Each of us handles our advancing age in our own way. Some people reflect on their lives and make a bucket list of things they have yet to accomplish. Other people can’t tolerate the changes they see in the mirror. They fight the aging process tooth and nail by enlisting every tool available in medical science. Still others acquiesce to the endless march of time as part of life by gracefully acknowledging each passing year with its accompanying wrinkles, declining vision and deteriorating bodily functions. Flab appears on what was once a young, nimble body. Bending over to pick something up often triggers a series of snapping, crackling and popping sounds that rival a fresh bowl of Rice Krispies.
Fighting aging is a losing battle, so I don’t waste my time worrying about it. It’s going to happen to those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to grow old. Since wrinkles are an inevitable part of the aging process, I choose to believe that any wrinkles I have acquired have come from a lifetime of laughing and smiling. If I’m going to have them anyway, I’d prefer that mine come from laughing rather than frowning. I also choose to believe that any weight I gain helps to pop out some of those wrinkles from the inside like pushing out the dents on a car. Even though I’ve made my peace with getting older, I’d still like to look as young as I can for as long as possible, but a little affirmation goes a long way.
Several mornings a week I walk to work past a school with a crossing guard. Each time I pass the crossing guard, I say good morning to her and we chat about the weather. I have been doing this for 3 years. This morning, as I began to cross the street, I looked both ways, saw a car two blocks away and stepped off the curb. Before my foot could hit the asphalt, the crossing guard yelled at me, “There’s a car. Stay on the sidewalk until I tell you it is safe to cross the street!”
I was startled by the tone she used with me, but stepped back thinking she had seen something I hadn’t seen like the car speeding up or someone barreling around the corner. Clearly, she takes her job seriously. I stood there waiting for a few minutes as the car made its leisurely journey down the two blocks before passing by as I stood safely on the curb. Once the car had turned the corner, the crossing guard signaled for me to cross. As I began to approach her side of the street, she was muttering about how fast people drive and how students don’t follow her instructions. She chastised me for not waiting for her to give me permission to cross the street. It was only when I was within a few feet of her that she realized I am an adult and apologized for scolding me. She is a doddering old woman who probably needs glasses, but I choose to believe that it is my youthful appearance and exuberant walk, not my diminutive stature that caused the crossing guard’s confusion. Being mistaken for a twelve-year-old is not a bad way to start the day when it is your 42nd birthday.
**A big thank you to Chatty Cathie of Chatty Cathie’s Endless Chatter for sending some blog love my way with the Liebster Blog Award! Stop by and have a chat with Cathy. You won’t be disappointed. **