I seem to be in a constant state of feeling young v. feeling old. Really old. While I typically feel pretty good about my age, my body, my emotions, my general state of being, sometimes I just plain feel old. Like when I think about how I’ll be 34 years old when I have my first baby. My mom was freaking 29 years old when she had her third (and final) baby. I panic when I think that I’ll be 52 when my first baby graduates from high school. When my mom was 52, I was finally getting my crap together and finishing undergrad, my sister was finishing her Master’s degree, and my brother was starting his Master’s program (at Harvard. Show off).
But then I remember that, most of the time, people think I’m at least five years younger than I really am. And that makes me feel fabulous! I often wonder: is that because of how I look? O how I act? If it’s the latter, that might be a problem, so I choose to believe it’s the former.
I’m incredibly active (when I’m not nine months pregnant) and I pride myself on taking pretty good care of my mind and body (I could do a better job of caring for my spirit sometimes). I guess the adage is true: You’re only as old as you feel. If that’s the case, I feel a ripe old late-20s. In fact, I may just celebrate my 30th birthday from here on out.
Let me be clear: I do not fear getting old. I have quite possibly the greatest example a girl could ask for of how to grow older with grace and bad-asssery. I could spend a lifetime talking about watching my mom turn 30, 40, and 50. Her 40th is the most memorable to me, but I think she really pulled out all the stops when she turned 50. I often have to be reminded that both of my parents are just a few short years away from turning 60. That just doesn’t seem possible. I am convinced they’re 54. That’s just how old they’ve been in my head for the last several years. I mean, my parents are ballroom dancers, my mom has recently considered taking up running again (something she did every day until she banged up her knees pretty good when I was probably 15 years old…hmmmm), my dad takes pilates classes and rebuilds ancient cars in his spare time. My mom swears we’d be an unstoppable team on The Amazing Race and my dad still loves watching cartoons (as any self-respecting adult should, at least from time to time). They’re both in the best shape of their lives, at least as far as I’m concerned.
I see photos of my parents from decades ago and it feels like I’m looking at photos that were taken yesterday. My dad still wears dashing suits and tuxes whenever he gets a chance and would still build a sphinx out of snow (something I’m looking forward to him doing with my babies). My mom is still fashion forward and introduces me to new music all the time.
So when I think about getting older, it doesn’t freak me out. It makes me think of all the radical things my parents have done every year since I’ve started paying attention.
I think I’ll just keep celebrating my 30th birthday until I turn 40. Then I’ll celebrate my 40th for a few years until I hit 50. I won’t worry about getting older. I want to embrace everything that comes with it. I want to enjoy every second of it. Far too much time is wasted on complaints and fears when I could be dancing, running, or wearing glitter and 6″ stilettos. I’ll be acting as old as I feel.