life lessons

Looking Backwards And Forwards – Briefly

We were packing to fly home from Florida yesterday morning, when I heard a news item concerning pieces of an errant Soviet satellite expected to crash into the earth’s atmosphere later in the day.  Of course, they didn’t know when or where – two of the more seminal bits of data I was taught were necessary when reporting factual information – just that it was coming.

Well, wouldn’t it just be my luck.  Some people fly back and forth from Fort Lauderdale all the time, playing on their iPads or watching a movie.  One return flight and we would be destroyed by some feral piece of metal appearing literally out of nowhere.  My closet was a mess, I hadn’t left enough chicken for the dogs, my son and daughter-in-law needed to get back to their own house and I had a hair appointment on Thursday.  I was going to be identified by the DNA found in my grey roots.  How embarrassing.  Who do you call when the timing of such events is just not good?

We certainly don’t get any do-overs on our days.  Nor do we get to cancel cosmic appointments which we can’t calendar and over which we have no control.  I face my date with middle age with great reluctance even though I’ve been on this date for a few years now and intend to extend this phase until I’m well into my sixties (and then I’ll call it post-middle age).  I would love to get everything lifted and tightened without compromising my ability to raise my eyebrows, smile broadly and laugh a lot.  True, it takes my thighs ten seconds to catch up with the rest of me once I stand still, parts of my body hurt in ways I never imagined and I haven’t partied like it’s 1999 since 1992.  Yet, I still think I’m going to go on forever and somehow none of this will get any worse, so it’s ok.

Am I wistful for a younger me?  I suppose so – certainly in terms of my energy level, comfort in 4 inch heels and the ability to rebound after a rough night.  I miss riding horses (hard to do with a fused spine), driving to the beach and back in the middle of the night with my night owl newborn and watching the sunrise.  I miss the breathlessness of youth without the need for either an inhaler or under eye concealer.

In other ways – not at all.  I am with the man I still want to be with after all these years (let’s not discuss that part of my youth that it took me to get here), my kids and daughters-in-law are amazing, talented and fun adults to totally adore and hang out with, I feel less hysterical and a skosh wiser.  On most days I really do appreciate the gifts I’ve been given – the ability to truly care and listen to other peoples’ stories, give a giggle and get a grin, not worry too much about the day-to-day dramas that aren’t going to matter to me in five years.  And to love those I love really, really hard – and just as importantly, to have their love.

I don’t always feel this way, though I have been called a Pollyanna for far less.  I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow.  But to close this loop the space junk fell into the Pacific, I haven’t straightened out my closet and my roots will receive their highlights and lowlights on Thursday.