Monday, November 24, 2008

They say the memory is the first to go....

It was a moment of clarity that I will never forget. I'm old! I'm one of those old middle-aged women that I used to snicker at when I was 15. You know the ones...their clothes are out of date, their hairstyle hasn't changed in 10 years, they wear the wrong color-palate make-up for the season, and their bodies don't turn heads anymore!

My moment of clarity came on my 45th birthday last week. I had already been reflecting the fact that I was no longer on the upside of the 40's, instead I would be heading in the downward slide to 50. Half-way through my 40's on my way to 50. I got up the morning of my birthday, my young and beautiful 16 year old daughter was the first to call me and wish me happy-birthday (I was out of town on business). Not long after, my other young and beautiful 19yr old daughter called to do same. It was nice to hear from them and know that I am loved. I went about my business getting ready to meet my colleagues for breakfast. I went to breakfast and made no mention of the fact it was my birthday, I didn't want to acknowledge it really.

And then it happened, my moment of clarity. I went back to my room to fetch something before heading over to the conference for more meetings and I looked in the mirror. Aghast in horror, I saw a woman whose clothes were not hip, whose hairstyle hadn't drastically changed for over a decade, whose body was deplorable...and the makeup?


Yes, that was my moment of clarity.

I'm old.

But, as an old friend of mine used to say, it is what it is. I can't change my age, and I certainly don't feel all that old on the inside - at least not how my 15 year old self imagined it would feel. So what if my outside looks it?

This is why my blog address is named as it is. Every moment of (bitter) clarity I've ever had, has been followed by a (sweet) epiphany. Life is a wild ride and I'm sure rarely turns out as people expect it to. I may be frumpy and old, but - as they say - with age comes wisdom, and I think I finally understand the true meaning of this. My life has not turned out as I had planned, but I know enough to value the sweetness of my life and am smart enough to know that my 15 year old self had a lot of learning to do. Every person's life is a journey, and I believe we are measured by the depth and breadth of what we give of ourselves. I have a loving family and great friends who love me without the make-up! I hope that I've given of myself to the extent that they feel no need or want of more, but also know that I'll always be there with more anytime they want for it.

Love, and be loved.

That's all that matters in life.

Nothing else.

(On my birthday - I flew home and we went to dinner.)


Chris said...

And you are very loved, so consider the journey a resounding success!


Iguana Banana said...

Happy, happy birthday my dear, dear sister-friend.

You are so beautiful! I don't believe you that you are 45. You look as young as you feel.

I am looking forward to a time when we can celebrate our birthdays - when are you coming this way? We have time after Jan 1 to come south to you guys! And I have 3 weeks off in Feb - maybe we can rendezvous during that time?

I know that this year will be filled with much joy, happiness and laughter. May it also be filled with enough chaos for you to realize just how good everything is!

love you bunches and bunches!

Jon said...

Good Lord! I can't believe that someone actually has to come SOUTH to see you!

My moment of clarity came several years ago when I found myself humming to the grocery store music. I assume it is all downhill from that point.

You are a beautiful woman inside and out.

Russ said...

OH My Goodness! Welcome to the club. When I was younger (teens) I thought I would not live to see 30, only cause it was so OLD. Then it was 40 then 50 and now I'm thinking 60, still scares me. You are a loving and beautiful person and I we are so blessed to have you in our lives.