Life Memoirs Uncategorized

On Getting Old(er)

I  recently had a birthday.  They seem to come around more often these days.  I’m officially NOT young anymore.  There ain’t no way around it.

To rephrase the words of Sammy Hagar:  “I can’t BE 55!”

Me at one year of age, circa 1960
How did it happen?  One minute I am 16, going to my church sweetheart banquet, the next I am wondering where these extra 30 (or 40 or 50) pounds came from.  My kids are grown and I am middle-aged.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when I was a young mother with babies?  And a couple of days ago that I was a young bride?

My first grade school picture, circa 1965.
Where did the time go?  And wait, can’t I rewind, or at least pause?

Newlyweds, 1980.
When you are raising children the days sometimes seem very long.  As a young mother I rose early to get ready for work, fixed breakfast and dressed my young children, took them to daycare and school, went to work, picked them up from school, ran them to and from their activities, cooked and fed them dinner, helped with homework, and then bathed and put them to bed.  The days were long indeed.  But all of a sudden it was over.  They grew up without me looking.
Now I spend my evenings wondering where the years went.
Someone once said about raising children:  “The days are long but the years are short.”

With my children in 1996, on vacation in Colorado.
I understand now.  It is so true. I can hardly watch videos of my children growing up without getting all choked up with tears.
I can still hear their little voices while they played or when they called to me.  I can still hear their joyful laughter.
Maybe this is why grandchildren are so precious to their grandparents.  I don’t know about that yet, but if the Lord is willing and wishes to bless me in that way, someday I may find out.

In the meantime, I will remind young parents that the days are long but the years are short.  They won’t listen.  I didn’t.  But they will remember when their children are grown.  And they will have these bittersweet feelings as well.

It’s the circle of life.  It’s meant to be.
But nobody ever said it would be easy.

Me on the far left with my son Matthew, new son-in-law Bryan, daughter Natalie, daughter-in-law Taylor, and husband Jimmy, 2012.
Even though my joints profess their age quite loudly sometimes, it still seems impossible.  I can’t BE 55!

Saturday Ramblings: Self-image vs. reality

The other day I got ready for work, thinking I looked really cute in my jeans, ruffled lacy tank, and lace zipper jacket.  I work one day a week at Festival of Flags, a little gift-wrapping and flag shop in Tyler. Unfortunately we weren’t very busy so no one got to see how cute my outfit was!  
The next Thursday I dressed even cuter, and we had more business but not even one person made a comment about my outfit!  
Today I realized why.  I was shopping at a darling little boutique in Canton called LaurieAnna’s Vintage Home, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  There seems to be a HUGE difference in my perception of myself and how I really look to the world.  My grandmother used to sum it up with these words:  “I look in the mirror and I ask, ‘Who is that old woman?'”
Because you see, walking past that mirror was not the cute young woman I expected to see, but a chunky middle-aged woman with more than a bit of a muffin top and double chin.  What the heck?  When did THAT happen?  I mean, I check myself in my mirror at home before I venture out into the world, but I certainly don’t see the image I see when I am in public!
Oh well.  Who wants a skinny grandma, I always say.  Not that I’m a grandma yet, but I could certainly pass for one.  I guess I’ll always be 25, thin, and cute in my mind.  Now to find mirrors that lie, at least a little.