Yesterday at the office, one of my colleagues (who might be 41 or 42?) said that she is starting to have experiences that make her feel "old". She's the baby of the family, the baby in her group of friends... and recently, she's graduated to circles where she's actually the oldest in the group. She's feeling awkward about that transition.
At first, I couldn't relate. I'm 36. I feel 24. Or 6. Or 79. Depends on the day and how my energy level, playfulness, and wisdom intersect. If I feel 36, it's when I feel my most awkward.
I'm not a gal who laments her fine lines, stretch marks, or grays. In fact, I welcome and cherish them. I'm not in search of the Holy Grail of Youth-inization, and Botox and plastic surgery are choices I totally support, if it helps your inner life, but can't relate to at all.
This morning puttering around my life, my colleague's sentiments were for some reason ringing in my ears. I woke up with my daughter and had coffee and movies in bed (she has milk and bananas, by the way). I had a nice fragrant shower. I started putting away the dishes and making a conscious plan for my work-at-home day.
And suddenly, I felt old. The bows and ribbons around the life I've created conspired to make me pause and say, "Is this where I always meant to end up?"
Here are the things that make me feel old:
Maybe it's not old we're talking about. Maybe, old is a catchphrase to mean, "Suddenly, a whole shit ton of life went by and I'm here and most of that life I did on auto-pilot and my eyes are open and how did I end up here?"
If the opposite of old is young, and we're lamenting being old, we have to ask: would we really want to be young again?
I wonder if it's really old we're lamenting, or rather the unconscious passing of years, the things that make life too ordinary, unremarkable? I wonder if we're really questioning what mark we've made or plan to make, if we lived up to the greatness and specialness that we were told lived inside us. I wonder if the catchphrase of "old" just means, "It's getting a little urgent that I do the things I dreamed of doing".
What makes you wonder, "How the hell did I end up here?" or makes you feel "old"?