16 June 2011

The Last Cartwheel

I’m getting old. No, really for the first time in my life I’m truly starting to feel like I’m getting old. In the past I’ve always balked at the idea that I’m getting older. When friends would tell stories from x amount of years ago and then follow it up with statements like “Gosh we’re getting old” I simply didn’t subscribe to that way of thinking. I just never felt that way. I don’t think I was in denial- I just didn’t feel it.

That is until recently.

I see it on my face in the mirror and pictures of me. I see the infinite amount of wrinkles that seem to develop on a daily basis and don’t even get me started on my grey hairs!

I feel it in my body and my bones and muscles- and it’s not just an “I need to start working out feeling”…it’s beginning I tell ya- if “old” were some sort of disease those first symptoms have reared their ugly heads and planted seeds in my 37 year old body.

I live it in my day to day life: at times when I find myself hesitating to offer up my age, when I’m the only one in a group of people at a bar NOT carded, when I’m by far the oldest mom in the playgroup, when I think the music at a hip restaurant is way too loud.

I am indeed getting old and it’s no longer this little realization dangling in front of me- it’s right here and we have finally met. Really, I’m learning to be okay with it. I think when you actually accept that you are getting old there lies within you a world of wisdom that by golly can only come with age. There’s a certain appreciation that unfolds as we start to really contemplate our mortality. I’d like to think that as a result we live larger, we surround ourselves with good people, and we don’t sweat the small stuff. We know how fragile humanity is and we don’t know when it will be our time. When you’re younger you simply don’t think about those things.

I remember those innocent care-free childhood days. Laughing until your belly hurt, waiting for the ice cream man, playing Ghost in the Graveyard, sharing secrets at sleepovers, doing cartwheels in the front yard… I mean seriously I don’t remember the last time I did a cartwheel. I used to love doing them but I can not and will not ever remember my very last one. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I knew it would be my last cartwheel. Why can’t we get some sort of warning sign, a little voice that says “psst…hey you…this is it, better really savor it because May 10, 1984 is the very last time you will ever do a cartwheel!”

There is no little voice, no warning sign given but there is the knowledge of knowing, accepting, and embracing the inevitable. And we can choose to move forward with love and grace and be our own little voice. So I may not remember the exact date of the last time I rock my daughters to sleep or read them a bedtime story but I will certainly remember that I cherished those moments as if they were my last, each and every time! And if getting old allows me to make those revelations than it’s a journey I’ll gladly take!

Here's some "getting old" self portraits....I can see my wrinkles in all their glory! 


Anonymous said...

You made me all teary eyed with this one. I totally understand about cherishing every last rock and bedtime story. I think it has something to do with knowing this is the last baby, too. But, as far as "looking" old?! Girl, you better go look again. And maybe listen to that "Sunscreen" graduation song once to cheer yourself. :) Your self-portraits are gorgeous and you have plenty of beauty to rock for years to come.

Tricia said...

Thanks Tiffany! You are too sweet!

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