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MANN: Aging as gracefully as I can

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
December 13, 2018 - 12:00 PM

OPINION


In less than a week, I will celebrate what I consider to be a milestone birthday.

There is no significant event taking place — I already have my driver’s license, I can drink and smoke as much as I please, and I have the privilege of being able to vote.

But it is still a milestone, as it contributes to solidifying this growing barrier (invisible of course), between me and my youth.

In a few days, I will be turning 35.

Even as I write those numbers now, I find it all very confusing.

Where did the time go?

Just yesterday I was hiking the hills in my backyard with reckless abandonment (as reckless as I could be, which really wasn’t very reckless at all), greeting the sun without ever having gone to bed, and swooning over that month’s Teen Beat heartthrob.

And so here I am years later, still hiking, still greeting the sun without much sleep (under completely different circumstances mind you), and still swooning — although the focus has changed to my kiddos and whatever adorable antics they are up to.

So, I’m basically the same person but older — and with a lot more experiences under my belt.

But this year I have really noticed the physical changes — the ones I want to deny are possible — the ones I need to learn to live with.

I read a great blog post last year about aging gracefully.

The shortened version: aging does mean you are going to give things up physically — but it’s not all about losing.

Our bodies change, there is no denying it.

As we age we find a lot more grey hairs (at least I do), and although many of us find our best versions of ourselves later in life, time still ticks, intensifying our sometimes obsessive focus on youth and beauty.

We live in a society that sets both on a pedestal, so is it really any wonder many of us fear the clock, and dwell on what we used to look like — what we used to be able to accomplish.

With each passing year, it’s hard not to notice new laugh lines and aches and pains we never felt before, purchasing more and more anti-aging products until someone discovers the Fountain of Youth.

But in the meantime, there is a solution...

I am going to focus on me at 35. The 20-year-old me is gone. Her great hair and somewhat flawless skin is memorable, but I kind of like this 35-year-old, smarter and more focused girl I have going on.

I wasn’t a mom at 20, and I was more interested in having fun than stopping to smell the roses...and roses smell pretty darn good.

I think 35 is going to be a great age.

I have a lot of plans to get through, a lot of people to talk to, and a lot of hugging to do.

I can’t turn back the clock or stop the aging process in its tracks, but I can be me — here and now, and that my friends is something worth celebrating.

— Becky is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her famiy and saving time by reading while walking.


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