April 21, 2010

Maturity is Highly Overrated

I wonder if there will ever come a time when my mental age will catch up with my chronological age. Chronologically I'm (pardon me while I throw up) 35, but mentally, I'm still in my 20s. When I look in the mirror I can see the little tell tale signs that I'm getting older. I'm starting to see the first signs of wrinkles, especially between my brows from my habit of scowling when I'm driving or thinking. The gray hair that has plagued me since my teen years is more abundant and even more resistant to Clairol. My body, while never firm and perky, is starting to give up the fight.

I can look around my life and see other signs of my age as well. I have a mortgage--not my first. My 15 year anniversary is coming up. My baby is now 11. Hanging out with other "young" couples makes me realize that I no longer fit into that category.

The evidence is all there, glaring at me like a neon sign, but I still can't seem to wrap my mind around it. In short, I am in denial.

There are times when I look around and think, "I can't possibly be old enough to be running a household that consists of 3 children, 2 pets, 2 businesses and an entire yard. I mean, I just graduated from high school a few years ago!" (The truth is that I graduated 17 years ago, but who's counting?)

I have friends who have careers and it makes sense to me because, after all, they are "older" than I am. I have friends with houses that are all put together, not cautionary tales in remodeling the way mine is. But that's the way it should be because they are obviously "older" than I am. And of course some of my friends have new cars that they are making payments on, but I don't because I'm not "old" enough.

I don't think of myself as my "high school self" any more because, let's face it, we all get better post high school and no one wants to cling to that yearbook image. But for some reason, I still struggle to come to grips with the fact that I am approaching (shudder) middle age. Forty is just around the bend as well as my kids' teen years. How did growing up and becoming an adult sneak up on me like that?

My saving grace is that saying, "You're only as old as you feel." If that's really true, than I still have a few more years before I have to start thinking about facing reality.

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