This past weekend was a rough one for me. I wrecked our car because I didn’t see a 14 inch high curb. I drove right into it. In my defense it was raining and dark, but excuses weren’t sitting well then and they aren’t sitting well now. I felt sick about what I’d done to our car and not a little bit pissed. I’m angry because I’m pretty sure this incident is age related. I think I’m getting older and it sucks.
I’ve never been the best of drivers, but now I find myself wondering if I should be driving at all. If a road is dark or wet or under construction, I’m white knuckled and working myself into a panic attack. And despite all the good and continual advice my husband offers, I can’t seem to just “pay attention to the lines” and ignore the big-ass semi coming up on my bumper because I’m too afraid to go the speed limit. If I’m truthful, driving isn’t the only area of my life I’m “white knuckling” due to age. I think I’m hanging on to denial as hard as I gripped that steering wheel, but sometimes reality smacks you hard like a 14 inch high curb or …a mirror.
I’ve never been terribly vain and consider myself a fairly “low maintenance ” woman, but I’m not liking what I’m seeing. I see changes that I can’t do anything about. Time is taking its toll. I’m looking my age for the first time in my life. My lids are drooping, my chin is sagging, my wrinkles are pronounced, and my skin just doesn’t bounce back. My hair is thinning, my bones are creaking, and I can’t read without glasses. I am not happy. I think I might actually have to accept my youth is over. Dammit.
The only thing that is tempering my disappointment in these changes is the fact that with age I find myself more willing to take chances, learn new things, and accept who I am. I am more tolerant and open-minded and well, in general, pretty damn fearless (driving aside). These are good changes. Some of the best years of my life have come after the big 50. I really would like my 30 year-old body back, but with my almost 60 year-old mind and soul. The me I see in the mirror might not look familiar, but the girl behind those eyes is more herself than she has ever been. And, I’ll take that over youth any day.