In my mind I am 18 years old. At that time I was heading off to college, and literally toward freedom. Life just took off and it's been a whirlwind ever since. No lulls whatsoever. So it feels as if time stopped right then and there. I still blast my radio and crack open my sunroof. I still enjoy a PB&J once in a while. I can hardly contain myself on Christmas Eve. I find myself saying some of the same catch words I did 14 years ago - "awesome", "cool" and "stoked". I remember prom as if it were yesterday.
The reality of what I see in the mirror, however, tells me that time did not stop. I just lost track of it. And so I have to stop and think when someone asks me how old I am.
32 years. It's just old enough to start seeing some prominent changes, but not old enough to start complaining too much. I have noticed my body is slowing down. I wake up to a few more stiff joints and sore muscles than even just a few years ago. I have stretch marks and other such battle wounds that really bothered me at first glance, but have since become a symbol of love. Things aren't as tone as they once were, but I take good care of myself . So I take all that in stride.
I really look forward to growing older, to entering the "winter of my life", because I have this idea that aging will bring me closer and closer to peace. And I don't look at aging as a physical thing so much as a spiritual thing. I am not insecure the way I was before marriage and motherhood, because there's just no time to waste on vanity. And yet, there is more reason than ever to check my butt over and over, ad nauseum, in the mirror before I leave the house.
I miss the care free college days, and reminisce from time to time, but am grateful not to have to deal with the stresses of breaking into the adult world anymore.
I feel settled. I'm content. There's no concern that I may be missing out on something, because my life has been full. The things I want to accomplish in life have little to do with my physical capabilities. "Climb Mt. Everest" is not on my to-do list before I die. I just want to remain healthy and live long so that I can enjoy the fruits of all my labors.
I can feel that the passing of time has helped me to become more serene over the years. And when I look at pictures of myself, it surprises me how that has become evident in my eyes, in my smile, in my whole countenance, and that although I notice the other not-so-positive physical changes in me, I am more radiant.
I say time has been pretty good to me.
But we'll see how I feel when I hit menopause. ;)
*Everyone participating sign Mr. Linky down here and leave a comment. Then go on over to Seeds From My Garden!