When I pull my hair back, I see two gray ones. When I raise my eyebrows, my entire forehead furrows into rows which never really settle back down. My chin hosts a collection of (regularly plucked) stiff bristles.
I’m getting old.
I don’t mind the fact that my boss is younger than me, that I could practically be the kindergarten teacher’s mother, or that I’m almost old enough to by my own children’s grandparent. Truly, I don’t because I value life experience and I suspect that I’m a little smarter now than I was when I was earning straight A’s in high school.
But I’d like to stop now. I’d like to just stay in my mid-forties, thank you very much. I’m not interested in aching joints and lagging memory and sensible shoes. Okay, so I am interested in sensible shoes (Chuck Taylors are sensible, right?). I don’t want my cheeks to sink into jowls. I’d like to avoid dependency on Depends.
I find the movement of time and its consequences so puzzling. Weren’t my teenagers just babies a moment ago, unable to sass me because they hadn’t yet acquired language? Wasn’t I just trying to get pregnant and moaning about my empty house and crying on Mother’s Day because I had no one to give me a Carnation?
These children are constantly changing–bringing home papers with tidy numbers printed in crooked rows, playing raucous music with words I cannot understand, laughing at jokes I don’t find amusing–and I am bewildered, wondering where time has gone, even though I see its ravaging marks on my face.
I’ve heard of sailors at sea who veer off course by an inch and end up hundreds of miles from their destination. I think I’m heading in the right direction, though I guess we won’t know until we land on shore and hope that we disembark on a friendly tropical beach and not on a snake-infested island without fresh water. (Sometimes, the storms rage and I despair.)
Meanwhile, I’m going to leave those gray hairs because I have a feeling I’ll end up bald if I start to pluck every single gray.