Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lovin' Middle Age

I'm still thinking about yesterday's topic --- about things I'd do differently if I could go back in time and live my life over. I'll probably always be curious about what things would be like if I'd made some different choices. The theories of quantum mechanics (a topic that fascinates me, even though I understand only the smallest fraction of it!) say that there may be other realities where I DID make other choices and things changed for better, or worse, or some of each. That sort of speculation is why I love books like "Replay" or "From the Corner of His Eye" and movies like "The Butterfly Effect" or "Groundhog Day". But in this reality, my choices have made me who I am and I like myself, so even the choices I think were less than ideal can't have been all bad, yes? One of the things that I love about being in my 40s is how much more ME I feel compared to when I was in my 20s, or even my 30s (although the 30s were better than the 20s). I really like who I am now. In my 20s I'm not sure I understood who I was well enough to really like myself all that much. It makes me wonder, what will my 50s be like? My 60s? Beyond? It'll be interesting to find out. Assuming I don't get hit by a bus tomorrow or something, I plan to be a truly FABULOUS crone. Ok, yeah, I don't love that my boobs and my jawline have both headed south. (Gravity can be a real bitch.) I don't love needing bifocals, or reading glasses in combination with my contacts, to read in dim light. I don't love it that my joints feel more stiff and achy in bad weather than they used to. But that's all surface stuff...not that important, really, just annoying. The fact is that although society's standards would have me believe I was more attractive 20 years ago, when I was younger, and thinner, and firmer, I FEEL more attractive now. I feel strong and sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I carry myself taller. I move with more confidence. I smile more. And I think attitude counts. If I can stroke my own vanity for a minute (like anyone could stop me...HA!), I had a frivolously fun experience yesterday when I was out shopping that I just have to share. I went to the liquor store (for something to cook with, not something to drink...I haven't had an adult beverage to drink since staring the Virtue Kick...sigh) and this was the conversation at the checkout counter: Youngish Male Employee: You're 21, right? Me (laughing my ass off): Of course! Well, actually, no. I WISH I was still 21! But, yes, I am OVER 21! (actually I don't wish I was still 21, but that's what came out of my mouth) YME: Well, you can't be much past that. What are you....28? Me (still giggling): I'm 43. YME (looking shocked): NO WAY! You're 43? No WAY! Me: Born 1962...that makes me 43. YME: Your husband is a very lucky man. You tell him I said that. Me (grinning maniacally, but NOT jumping over the counter to give him a sloppy kiss): Ok, I will. And I did. He thought it was hilarious too. And whether the YME was serious or just being a big flirt, it kinda made my day, since even if he didn't really think I looked 28, he must have thought I looked flirtable. I see that as an affirmation that confidence and attitude are more important than perky boobs and a tight jawline. That's something I'd tell my 20-something self if I could talk to her too.