When did it happen? I certainly wasn’t looking or even trying. But I have arrived and not by sleek carriage or snazzy sports car. I have stumbled into middle age like a toddler into the side of a coffee table.
It’s weird thinking you’re not that old, until you realize you most certainly are. I reference Winnie the Pooh and his song about being a rain cloud the other day and my client looked at me as though I had sprouted a gigantic extra nose. Another one reference a popular social media app only to pause to ask me of I knew what it was. I know what it is thank you, but not a clue how to use it.
I used to think I was relatable and an easy person to talk to because I was ageless, like a great … something. Now all I can think of is bourbon or whiskey they old men’s drinks of which I do not partake. I don’t like these seltzer’s, I like wine coolers… until I saw a GIF (how do you say that anyway) that said “Seltzer’s are to us what Wine Coolers were to our parents”. I’m a GIF reference, and not in a good way.
But I have an 8 year old! I can’t be old. However I also have a 20 year old and enough anti-aging cream to smooth out an elephants front legs. When did this happen? I’m middle aged. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing. What is my role? Where is the job description?
We tried to take family pictures this weekend but were over shadowed by an uncooperative child and a fast moving lightening storm. The importance of these pictures to me is almost inexplicable, I feel like we are running out of time. How many more opportunities for family portraits? How many more times will the kids cooperate? But as the skies opened and everyone rain to their cars, I realized there’s so much time yet it’s fading fast. I’m partway into this aged chapter of my life and missed the opening paragraphs. I was too busy thinking I was someone else.
I’m too old for insecurity. For grudges. For tolerance of the intolerable. Too old to have babies. To be reckless. To live with abandonment. I’m old enough to “know better”. To “know myself”. To remember the good old days. Too young for retirement. For months of travel. For caught up bills. For grandchildren. To ageless to know where I fit. Am I having some sort of mini life crisis? No one talks about the moment people no longer understand your analogies. Or what to do when your favorite band is heard playing in the elevator. Or how to handle your body advising it has been overused and is now taking a short, literal break.
I constantly tell people not to beat themselves up by saying “I should”… why kick yourself for something that has passed and hindsight has given you 20/20? But man, I should have recognized the signs. Perhaps I would have embarrassed myself less. Please tell me that you know of the care bears. Of the Smurfs. And for the love of all, Sesame Street.
Many of my friends are much younger than me. And I try to keep up. But maybe it’s like that old saying about keeping up with the Jones’s. Maybe I just need to keep up with me because nobody cares about my age or my references. They care about how they feel around me. So, maybe as long as people keep feeling ok, I can remind myself that every little thing is gonna be alright and I can keep my sanity. Even if I can’t figure out this TikTok thingamajiger