It has occurred to me over and over recently that one day I will be old.
Why this hasn't occurred to me before, I don't know. I mean, I knew I would "grow up" and stuff, but I hadn't realized the actual realities of growing old. It used to be that I would read that you didn't need to worry about mammograms until you are over 35. "No Problem!" I thought, "Doesn't apply to me!" Well now it does.
Gray hairs? Other people had them, not me. Well, since I chose to stop coloring my hair when I became pregnant with my third child more so that I could remember what my natural hair color was than from a fear of birth defects, I have discovered that I too, have gray hairs. Or in my case, silver white platinum hairs that are curly where the rest of my hair is straight. I've also found out that you can have silver eyebrow hairs as well.
I used to see little old ladies doing their shopping (and really, they probably weren't THAT old, most likely in their late 50's) and think to myself "What a sweet looking grandma!" I now realize that sooner than I am ready for, I will BE that sweet looking grandma! Because I don't see my parents regularly, it surprises me to see the changes in them as well. I think of the Bonnie Raitt song "Nick of Time" where it talks about the child/parent relationship and seeing those physical changes as we grow up and it suddenly makes a lot of sense to me. I am going to be old someday, and that day is a lot closer than it used to be.
I saw a Crankshaft comic strip this summer that sums up my feelings well (and I wish I had a copy of it!): Crankshaft was talking with his daughter at the high school graduation party for his grandson. His daughter was talking about how she never thought that day would come. Crankshaft responded that he knew that his children and grandchildren would grow up, he just didn't think it would happen so quickly. I knew that I would grow up and be older; I just didn't realized how quickly it would come.
So what's the lesson here? For me, it's to start taking care of myself physically NOW so that I can enjoy my life when I'm old. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, drink enough water, exercise, blah, blah, blah and yadda yadda yadda. All of those platitudes make a lot more sense now that I'm on the road to old.
And that's the other side