Tomorrow I will be 55 or as my husband likes to say, “Double nickel.”
How did this happen? When did I officially enter the latest stages of middle age?
It must have happened when I wasn’t looking.
I remember when I was a kid talking with my best friend, Dawn about growing up and getting older I guess we were in Jr. High School-15 or 16. One conversation turned to the year 2000- that seemed like light-years away. “I’m going to be 42 in 2000.” I said to Dawn. “If I live that long!”
Back then, our parents were probably in their 30’s and of course, to us, they seemed old. Wow, that must make me ancient in the eyes of teenagers today!
That’s me in the white dress at 10 years old
But, I don’t think of myself as old. My body argues with me all the time about this as some days I wake up with an ache or pain somewhere for no reason. Most of my hair, what’s left of it anyway, is gray. Clairol is having a harder and harder time creating satisfying results with any of their best products. But, I keep trying.
My make-up kit has a variety of anti-wrinkle creams and smoothing lotions that promise to turn back the hands of time. Sometime I think to myself that maybe I’ll stop dying my hair and stop slathering the creams and potions onto my face morning and night and then I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. Not so fast, I mean, what if the creams really are keeping me young looking and I stop using them? I will be a wrinkled prune by next week. Best to continue with my quest for the fountain of youth for a few more years.
Me at 10
Me at 30
I have not decided how to celebrate this milestone, but I certainly will. Maybe I’ll take my camera outside for an adventure; possibly head over to the Smithsonian. There is always something interesting to see and photograph in DC. Maybe a movie at the I-max or in my favorite theater, the Uptown.
One thing is for certain, there will be ice-cream.
I have been on some kind of diet or another since I was 13. Seriously. Up and down goes my weight. It does take significantly longer in my late-middle-age stage of life to see the needle on the scale head south, but if I cut back on all food and get some exercise. Usually it’s walking endlessly outside or on the treadmill. As long as I do something everyday, I do see results.
Today I wanted to mow the lawn for the last time this year. Mowing would crunch up all the leaves from neighboring trees that fall in my yard and let them decompose and enrich our soil through the winter. The mower wouldn’t start. I asked my husband for help. No luck. Finally I gave up on the gas mower and dragged out the push mower. Yeah, it’s a piece of crap, but I was determined to help out with the leaf decomposition. An hour of pushing, pulling and lots of unjamming the blades and the lawn doesn’t look any different. I think a couple of stray, tall blades of grass got hacked off, but the leaves are still intact. I have no idea how, after mowing over and over and over, none of the leaves got any smaller. Mother Nature will have to do the work on her own this winter-I’m done. Oh, but there is an upside to the push mower…no gym membership is necessary to work the abdominal muscles. The lawn may look like crap, but I burned some calories so, I can have ice-cream on my birthday.
I will skip the cake as I have developed a sensitivity to wheat and eggs in my late-middle-age stage of life and have abstained from eating lots of foods I really like for almost a year in an effort to avoid allergy shots.
It’s hard to pass up fresh baked bread, pasta and desserts. But I’ve been doing it. Oh, I forgot to mention the allergist told me I am also allergic to chicken, soy, oats and chocolate.
WHAT? Chicken too? And CHOCOLATE?? Enough! I mean, a girl’s got to live a little doesn’t she? Make mine two scoops of chocolate-chocolate chip with nuts and whipped cream.
Me (The Sock Monkey Fairy) at 52
Ed Asner and me at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival October, 2013.
Me at 54