This year, I’m not having a milestone b’day. I’m calling it my trombone birthday. “Why?” you may ask. “Something about a parade,” is my obtuse answer. If you don’t get it, it really doesn’t matter. Probably a generational thing. Or a musical thing. Or simply nothing at all.
Recently, it has come to my attention that I’m still a growing girl. No. Not in stature. With sufficient exercise and watching my diet, the bod remains at a manageable weight, although stuff is shifting around a bit. Mostly in a southward direction. I swear day by day the earth’s gravitational pull is increasing in strength. That being said, I must admit I’m more than a little concerned about what the eventual results will look like.
My forehead is growing. It is the only part of me that is growing in an upward direction. Thankfully, I had a low forehead to begin with, so not too worried about this. Yet.
My knuckles are growing. No longer can I slip my hand into a narrow mouth jar. In addition, it may not be long until wide mouth jars are added to the “can’t do” list. I cannot slide my hands through the sterling silver bangles in my large collection. I should have left them on years ago. Today, I look at my hands and I see my mother’s hands. And my grandmother’s. And when suddenly a finger freezes into a painful point, I thrust it into the air and yell, “Ow!” The same as they did.
I cannot bear to think about what my facial features are doing. Thank goodness my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. My small, dainty ears are not so small and no longer are they dainty. Also, they are made to stand out a little from my head by state-of-the-art listening devices. (I still cannot say “hearing aids.”)
Millimeter by millimeter, nose and chin are gravitating toward each other. God help me if I live so long I cannot wedge a spoon between them.
Recently I became aware of what “long in the tooth” really signifies. It means imminent decisions concerning management of an arthritic mandible and dental work.
Okay. I’m sure you are getting the picture. Ugh. Furthermore, that’s as far south as I’m willing to go. I refuse to ever look at my neck. All mirrors in the house are adjusted to stop at chin line. (Or at least where I think it is. Or was.) The rest of me hasn’t seen the light of day in years.
Depending upon your age, at this point you may well ask, “Isn‘t there something I can do about this aging thing?” Well, if you are like me and want to stick around and see how some things turn out – like how your grandchildren develop as adults, or if we will finally get a woman as POTUS and then watch HER run the country – you can do like I will do.
· Look up. No. Really. Keep your chin(s) up. Smile a lot and lift your head up far enough to counteract some of the gravitational pull. My basic tenet is if you are smiling, no one will think you give a damn about your looks going south. Literally.
· Wear a wide-brimmed hat in the sun. Keeps you from squinting and helps to keep the sun from making more of those colorful basil and squamous cell spots which have to be carved away by a dermatologist.
· Do word puzzles and thinking games to keep open the conduit to your stored information and to remind your brain who is the boss of you.
· Give away – or better yet sell – all those bangles and other things that give you pain when they remind you of how things were.
· Don’t be afraid to look at your reflection in a window or in a mirror. Simply squint your eyes until everything is blurry beyond all recognition.
· Love someone or something. A person. An animal. Choose whichever is best for you. You will know your success when you bask in the warmth of returned affection.
Many happy returns.