What Just Happened When I Wasn’t Looking?


I didn’t even see it coming. It happened so fast. I blinked my eyes and POOF, there it was. Why didn’t I see this unwanted enigma creep up on me? Could I have stopped it? Maybe if I had some kind of weapon?

Didn’t others warn me about this plight? I looked all around for help. Was I alone? I was drowning.

Didn’t anyone see me? Throw me a life jacket. Please. It happened. This thing. This unfamiliar, unrelenting thing just happened. It swallowed me before I had time to figure out an escape. There was no mercy or preparation. I somehow didn’t think it would happen to me. Me?

Yes. It happened to me. I aged. I am in my golden years. It’s hard to even say out loud. It sounds somehow strange and unnerving.

Father time caught up with me to matter how hard I ran. I couldn’t run anymore. They no longer asked me at the Bealls Outlet Store if I was over 55. (On Mondays, they give an extra 15% discount for people 55 and older).

I turned and gazed in my full-length mirror. Gray hairs peeked out from my temple and below my ears, as it was time for my monthly “touch up.” The extra ten pounds stole my size 8 and dignity. Wrinkles are getting harder to hide. In fact, I think make-up truly accents my wrinkles.

Wow! Will I have to stop wearing make-up too? What about my age spots? How will I cover them? It is like swatting flies, I destroy one, and then another appears. No matter what, I can’t stop wearing my eyeliner that I have worn since my twenties. Can I keep putting it on? My eyes are a bit wrinkled and it is a little harder to put on make-up, plus the fact that a medication that I have to take makes my hands shake. Eek! Help!

My husband just got back from getting a haircut. “Haircuts went up another dollar,” he laments. Money is another concern at this age. Although we have saved and planned for retirement, our income doesn’t keep up with the cost of living. “You can only take out 7% each month,” our Financial Planner reminded us. The money we have saved cannot be spent. It is only a vessel to produce the 7% that we can have each month along with our Social Security checks. Our four children insist that they do not want any money handed down to them but no doubt there will be our little nest egg for them. That’s OK. I am thankful that we saved the money. It just is ironic that we can’t spend it. I think of all the times Jim, my husband worked two jobs so that we could save money for retirement.

OK. I have to get a grip, as they say. I try to think of the Hollywood Stars that still look great but I’m not a star. I don’t have a personal trainer and a make-up artist to work on me. Maybe they look good anyway. I tell myself not to be so jealous.

I talk to myself all the time. They say you shouldn’t answer yourself, but I do that, too.

“Frannie, you have to have a sense of humor,” I tell myself. “You will never survive if you don’t find something entertaining about all of this.”

Survive? What exactly does that mean? Keep afloat? Live through? Endure?

Was I being dramatic? Of course people survive 60 and older. I see them all around me. They are like busy bees fluttering around. Don’t they know they are getting older? How can they be so happily buzzing around as if they have all the time in the world?

It is amazing that I was letting a number (age) devastate me and send me to a dark, cheerless place that kept nagging and wearing me down. I am healthy and have a wonderful life but am now letting the fleeting passage of time get the best of me.
What a selfish person I am. An unknown wise person said, ” Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ”
It is true that time does go by quickly. Author and friend, Jennifer Stewart said it better that I can describe: “How powerful the expectation, how exciting the experience and then poof! Just like that, it’s all gone. Except for what is left in everybody’s hearts.”

Even William Habington, (November 4, 1605 – November 30, 1654) English poet) had something to say about time: Time! ” Where didst thou those years inter, which I have seen decease? ”

When I researched for quotes, I found various and unique sayings:

George Burns said, ” You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. ”

I found even more quotes about ageing:

” A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. ” ~John Barrymore.

” The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. ” Why, ” I answered without a thought, “now.” ~David Grayson

Even after all these intelligent and wise quotes were brought to my attention, I continued on my thankless path to a mind-set of a number (age) that I would be on this birthday. I would talk to myself about how ungrateful and stupid this thinking was, even as society is echoing, ” you are past an age of acceptance. ”

Then, I received a beautiful home made birthday card from a friend. The front of the card was a picture of many beautiful candles in various hues of orange and red. The candles were surrounded by these words: ““When we believe in Gods plan for us, every age is the perfect age to be. ”

That one quote on that one card helped to bring me out of my funk. “I do believe in Gods plan and if I truly believe in his plan, then I am at the perfect age right now!”  I was happy again. I was happy about my birthday and even aging.

I was truly celebrating my birthday, now. The present moment is Gods eternal gift to us. I invite you to celebrate each moment of your life.

6 thoughts on “What Just Happened When I Wasn’t Looking?

  1. enjoyed your story, I will be celebrating a mile marker next week my 60th, my son just came for a surprise visit and said oh your letting your hair grey, I had been hi lighting for a few years got tired of the inconsistent jobs and said enough, it’s okay thanks for the up lifting message, It’s great to be alive and well.

    • Jane, isn’t it amazing that aging is not at all like society would lead us to believe? It is indeed great to be alive and well! I truly believe, though I have had a happy life, the best was saved for last! Thank you for your comment!

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