Getting Older

Single strand of gray hairThis morning was the first time I saw a grey hair on my head. I’ve known that they were there – my niece has pointed it out several times to me – but it’s different when you see it for yourself. At that moment, it was confirmed for me that I am getting old. In a flash, I was reminded that in a couple of years I’ll be 40, that perimenopause was coming soon (if it hasn’t started already), that I will soon have to get all those scary sounding medical tests that old people have to get, and that I am really, officially all grown up.

You see, I’ve always looked young for my age. I’ve always been mistaken for being about 5-10 years younger than I am. Although, I’ve never appreciated the gasps at how young I look, it was a cover for me to stay young. Thanks to that grey hair, my cover has been blown.

I don’t know if I’m ready to be grown up. As a kid, you think grown-ups have all the answer and can solve any problem and can fix anything and have an unending supply of money. They also are boring and always tired and always fussing at you. Well, I don’t have all the answers, I can’t solve all the problems, I can’t fix everything, and according to my girls, I am boring, always tired, and always fussing. Does that qualify me for half-grown up?

As a kid I learned that you had to be 35 in order to be old enough to be president. I also realized that there wasn’t age limits on grown-ups. So 35 became the milestone for being grown up.

I remember at 15 thinking how far away 25 was. 10 years felt like such a really, really long time away. Then suddenly, I was 35 and wondering where the time went. At that moment, I started researching when middle age started. It had been 35 but with people living longer, I was hoping it wasn’t until 40. Imagine me, middle-aged. Cool mom, super auntie, and awesome lady sticking kids in garbage cans (they had it coming); middle age equals grown up and grown-ups aren’t cool.

You’re probably waiting for the part where I become OK with this and appreciate my getting old. Well, it hasn’t happened. Mind you, I just saw the grey this morning. I am pretty bothered by it and the whole getting old thing. I’m not ready to be old, I’m not ready to be like all the 40 plus people I know. They aren’t bad people, but when you see and hear them, you know they’re old. I want my kids to still think I’m cool. I want other people’s kids to keep saying, why can’t my parents be cool like you. So no, there is no resolution here. Just a lot of apprehension.