I can hear my 80-year-old self. I mean I don’t hear her voice but I can hear her. I can feel her.
Apparently, since I am in my late 30’s I am supposed to feel like I am getting old. And while the boobs aren’t as perky as they once were and I have a few stretch marks and (gasp) a few grey hairs, I just don’t feel like I am getting old. Older, of course, but not old.
I sat next to a woman at a wedding reception recently who was probably in her seventies. We started talking about all sorts of things and at one point she said, “How old are you? Twenty-seven?” I laughed and told her how sweet she was to think I was that young and informed her that I was thirty-seven. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Sweetheart, when you are my age, there is no difference between twenty-seven and thirty-seven.” I realized how stupid I must have sounded.
I have fond memories of all the stages in my life, but I don’t wish to re-live any of them. Each year of my life has literally been better than the last so I truly look forward to what each new year brings. That isn’t to say that I haven’t experienced loss, sadness or disappointment, but when I look back at the whole of each year, I only see how life has gotten better and better.
I can hear my 80-year old self. I imagine being her and looking back on where I am now and seeing how young and full of life I will remember myself being at this time. I can imagine her thinking back to when I am in my 40’s, 50’s and even in my 60’s and I can imagine how young those ages will still look to her from her 80 year old body. I hear her telling me not to be so stupid as to be unhappy with how my body looks now. I hear her telling me that I am young and beautiful and that I should appreciate the body I have today, because when I am 80 I will remember it fondly. She tells me that I will be angry with myself later if I waste a moment of today hating my body or my face or my weight. Through her I can see that at 57 I will still be young. Through her I understand that it is the ultimate waste of time to sit here at 37 and think that I am old when even in 20 years my 80-year-old self will still remember me as being so young.
So, I believe her when she tells me that I am not old at 37, and that I will not be old at 47 or even 57. She seems like she knows what she is talking about.
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