As the dog days of summer approach so does my birthday. A day when I’ll land squarely upon the crest of middle age. Middle Age. A term that until recently I associated only with a period in history. As in medieval. Knights and castles and what not. Make no mistake, grey hairs, fine lines, aching back didn’t figure anywhere in my vision. As they say, denial is not just a river in Egypt.
So what does middle age mean to me now?
If you don’t mind I think I’ll just start off with the dirty reality of it all and get that bit out of the way. Then, thoroughly depressed we can all set back and try to find the humor, and even some brightness in this unavoidable journey away from youth.
I will openly admit it. I’ve fooled myself for years, taking hold of that false sense of security that youth and young adulthood offer, telling myself that middle age was a looooong ways off and old age… well, old age was a completely incomprehensible concept for my brain to grasp. This was all working quite well for me, thank you very much. That is, until I innocently woke up one sunny Thursday morning, to the sound of birds tweeting outside my open window. It was the last good day on earth. A cool breeze floated gently in through the open window, danced through the curtains and spread across the bed, carrying with it the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls with overtones of rich dark roast coffee. My favorite jean shorts were folded neatly on the wicker hamper, waiting for my round firm ass to bless them. I yawned lazily. Stretched my smooth lean body, sat up, tossed my long flawless auburn hair and wiped the sleep from my eyes. Cue the harps of heaven! Let the angels sing! Life is good and it’s going to be another amazing day of feeling great, looking great, being great! I sprang out of bed…….
Ok , before you vomit, rest assured reality is about to enter the story. This is the part where you’ll hear the long drawn out screech of locking car brakes, followed by the inevitable sound of a nasty metal crunching, glass shattering, endless horn ringing crash. There you have it. The sound of reality. And just like that, as my feet hit the floor, I knew things would never be the same.
Oh sure, it probably approached me cautiously, quietly, as I conveniently ignored it. It probably crept in slowly, feeling it’s way, planting it’s seeds while I looked the other way. Middle age does not set up housekeeping in the time it takes your feet to hit the floor as you spring out of bed one fine morning. Never the less, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Just like that. WHAM! BLAM!! What the Hell just hit me?!
By the time I gained my balance and plodded down the hallway to the bathroom I was beginning to realize what was happening. My body had gone to war. AGAINST ME!
I didn’t need to look to know. God knows I shouldn’t have. But like a train wreck…one has to look…..so I inched closer to the mirror, eyes shut , feeling my way across the sink vanity. I turned my head to the left and cautiously peeked through one squinted eye. Hmmmm. Perhaps it wasn’t so bad afterall, though difficult to truly assess through just the one scrunched up eyeball. I turned to the mirror full on, and opened my eyes.
Lol, are you getting the sense that it turned out to be a bad hair day?
Alright, so I’m beginning to accept this mean and completely unneccessary little war my body is waging against me. It is a ruthless war to be certain. Gone are the tight ass jean shorts. (and I did love them so!) In march the start of saddle thighs as way of replacement. (what the hell kind of trade is that?) I pull out my bikini for a swim, my body looks back at me from the full length mirror and between laughing fits it manages to cough out the words, YOU… HAVE.. GOT.. TO… BE.. KIDDING!
I hear it teasing me when I’m shopping. Taunting me to fight back. Into the cart I toss a way too expensive tube of eye cream and then some new miracle makeup. I walk past the hair dye and thinking of my newly sprouted grey hairs I add a box of color to my latest arsenal against aging.
There was a time when I proudly proclaimed that I would age with unwavering grace. That I would embrace my “maturity” and my life lessons would all be beautifully sculpted into a radiant kind of wisdom. Calm serenity would ooze from my pores, fine lines around my eyes would add a sense of mystery and allure, giving me an older woman sex appeal I had read about once in Cosmo magazine. I would not only wear my new found curves but would reveal them with shameless sensual abandon and with a sense of confidence would boldly assert that my sexual needs are not only important, but damned worth the effort of fulfilling. That I am an experience worth knowing!! Perhaps I would be a cougar minus the cub, yet admittedly satisfied that the option was within my reach.
absolutely, I pledged I would own my age. I would love that every year I became sexier and more complete as a person. I wouldn’t compare myself to youth or the unrealistic standards we are fed but instead, would radiate what it really means to be a woman. Soft curves, deep moans, tried and true values, wild experience, inquisitive intelligence, gentle gestures, strength and determination peppered with a knowing sense of who I am.
I still pledge this. To not succumb to the messages that my life, nor myself, will ever be as good as it once was. It’s a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Still, I hope to find the way to aging gracefully, powerfully, with humor and a sense of adventure. But just between you and me…… some days I want to kick, scream and throw a hissy fit to beat all hell!!!!