Wednesday, July 13, 2011

White-Knuckling It

I remember my Mom saying that she wasn't going to like being 39. She said that when asked her age and then answering "39," people would automatically assume she was lying and that she was really older than that. She informed me (I was 16 at the time) that 39 was the age most folks claimed to be for as long as they could feasibly get away with it.

I am now undeniably, unalterably, unavoidably, truthfully 39 years old and I'm not much happier about it than my mother was, though for different reasons.

I'm not terribly concerned that my friends and acquaintances will think I'm fibbing about being 39. Really, I'm married to "The Pastor" and even if I'm suspected of fudging my age, surely nobody would accuse "The Pastor's Wife" of lying on such a trivial matter...right?? Honestly, if I was going to tell a lie, I hope I'd choose something a bit jazzier than my my weight...or my IQ...or my ability to speak 3 foreign languages and crochet.

I was the grateful recipient of a birthday cake this weekend that proudly sported a "?" candle instead of the expected "39" candle. I loved it! I was not yet ready to see a "39" lit in all of its flaming glory. I find nothing glorious about it.

My Grandma, who is 50 years my senior, would level a serious look at me and say to my lamentations on aging, "Consider the alternative." She's right, but I'm still a bit bothered by the whole matter.

My biggest problem with turning 39 is that I'm beginning to feel like I'm 39. Until about 3 years ago, I still felt like I was 25 or so-- I didn't look it, of course, but on the inside, I felt super!  These days I'm a bit creaky and jiggly and I groan a little when getting off of the couch.

With this older feeling has come the heavy realization that I have missed, by a smidge, becoming the fairytale princess of my eight-year-old dreams. Oh, I'm living a lovely life, no doubt. I'm well-loved, respected, needed, healthy, and all around spoiled rotten, but I've very few occasions these days to don a ball gown and crystal slippers and tiara. I don't dance around the palace sweetly singing with the birds and the bunnies everyday. I don't lay my gorgeous blonde tresses on seventeen pillows under a canopied bed every night. My Prince Charming (and so he IS) doesn't arrive home at the end of each day on a white stallion singing to me in a deep baritone that he too is living his dream.

At 39 I'm accepting the reality that I'm simply getting older on the inside and on the outside. It is at this point in my life where I realize that I much more resemble the Seven Dwarfs than I do Snow White...

  • Doc - glasses are all too necessary in my life these days...
  • Dopey - vitamins, minerals, and Advil, oh my!
  • Grumpy - please don't get between me and the coffee, it's just not pretty.
  • Sentimental* - I've become the "little old lady" in the grocery store who advises young mothers with babies to "rock them a little longer."
  • Sleepy - a good day = an early bedtime! 
  • Saggy* - just where does all that skin intend to go?
  • Happy - the dwarf who is always laughing. I might as well laugh at it all, it really is the best medicine. With age has come the ability to take myself a bit less seriously, I hope that will continue!
* I know that Sentimental and Saggy were not a part of the original cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a little known fact, however, that as Snow White approached 40, she kicked Sneezy and Bashful out of the cottage because all of the sneezing got on her nerves and her decreasing lack of coordination caused her to constantly stumble over Bashful who was forever hiding behind her apron!

So 39, here I am holding on tightly, white knuckling it, if you will. My last year in this fine decade of life. I'm deciding to live it to the fullest, to enjoy all of the good stuff, to bid a fitting adieu to the ball gown and the canopy and to accept the fact that these days when my father calls "Young Lady....", he is, most likely, talking to one of my daughters!! 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho!!


Sudeana said...

Good perspective, however I do remember many times looking at my oldest sister and seeing the princess heading to the grand ball. So go ahead and mark it off your list, not because you will never attain it, but because you've "been there, done that!" love you!

G'ma suz said...

A grand thought came to me as I was thinking the other night. Going south already because I was thinking!! Anyway when God hands us a "cake" with
many candles flaming upon it—we probably will get a bit "scorched" if we try to jump over it. So it is to our advantage to just "eat through it!!!!!!!!!!!! We will learn more. Eat up, Mom (the woman looking for some unscorched pants)

Anonymous said...

Hey Snow White, as your friend I'm telling you to enjoy every minute of 39 because the year goes faster than the speed of light.


39 and holding, and my pants are scorched!!!

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