At the gym daycare I was complaining about some Facebook “chain letter” when the 18 year old explained that her mom is always complaining about similar things. She compared me to her middle aged mother. And then I realized that being middle aged is only a term based on how long you actually live. By all intensive purposes, I could be middle aged. And worse, I could have been this 18 year old’s mother!!! Shouldn’t I be the one who is 18, not the mother?!?!?
There’s something about the stage at which you are at that almost defines your age more than the actual years. If you are pregnant with your first child in your mid-thirties, you probably feel more connected with a younger population. When you are done growing your family and have children that are older, you may identify more with an older population. Certainly most people say age is just a number, but it also seems to dictate where you are in your life.
It’s been a long time since I’ve spent my nights at the local diner and my days curled up watching Lifetime movies, so that may be my disconnect with the 18 year old. But just last Saturday I went out for date night with my husband and was in bed by 11. Sadly, I’m guessing that might be more in line with her mother.
Our world is in constant struggle with the aging process – Botox, hair dye, oh my! We are desperately trying to hold onto our youth at all costs. And with every trip around the sun, we are struggling to hold onto who we once were and the evolution of ourselves through knowledge and maturity. At some point a more senior person is deemed more insightful and experienced until they find themselves over the hill with diminished capacity. And no one knows when that shift happens.
As much as I shudder at the comparison the girl made to her own mom, the truth is that I’m lucky enough to still be on the upswing (G-d willing of course). And at some point, I may be reflecting back to my capabilities as a 30 something and my station in life and yearning for these days as I was on being an 18 year old again. For that, I’ll celebrate my recent full trip around the sun with another round of Botox and hair dye…just kidding, sort of 😉