Today is my birthday. It’s not something I would normally promote or announce, but it’s connected to this story and so I decided to just ‘get it out there’ so I can move on and tell the story.
I’ve always been shy and low-key about my birthday, and nothing has changed. I’ve always been happy to be a February baby because there’s a part of me that loves the winter. The other thing I appreciate about my birthday is that I was born in 1970, which makes doing the math to calculate how old I am really easy for this math-challenged girl.
Earlier this week, I was getting ready for work and started thinking about my age. ‘I’m not really that old,’ I thought, as I grabbed a bottle of what I thought was shampoo to wash my hair. Unfortunately, because I can’t see the ‘fine print’ these days, I happened to lather up with conditioner instead of shampoo. Who knew showering would become problematic as I grew older? I squinted to find the bottle that said ‘SHAMPOO’ and started over.
I wasn’t exactly able to hop out of the shower because I didn’t want to twist my ankle. Instead, I executed a move that looked more like a lumbering, gingerly moving walrus flubbing over a log. I started to dry off with a towel, except my shoulder hurt and I couldn’t quite raise my right arm in the air. My phone buzzed with a text. I picked up the phone and realized, once again, that my vision was less than 20/20. Found my glasses, read the text, and returned to the job at hand.
Peering in the mirror, I assessed the lines, wrinkles, and gray hairs. I opened my cabinet and fumbled around with too many bottles of product. Eye cream, serum, essential oils, face cream, wrinkle stuff, tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, tonic to cure and prevent thinning hair, thickening cream to make what hair I have look full. My reality: I wear a baseball hat almost every day of my life at work and no one in the bakery or my family cares whether my skin is plump, tinted or dry. The absurdity of it all is irrelevant. I am a middle aged woman who feels compelled to at least try to slow down the ticking clock. If the beauty bloggers tell me to moisturize, moisturize I will.
‘This is what 47 looks like, Karen, just get used to it’ I thought.
‘But wait,’ I thought. ‘It’s 2016. That means that I’m not turning 47, I’m only turning 46!’
And with that one small realization, I’m pretty sure my eyesight improved, the brown spots on my face faded just a tad, my wrinkles plumped up a bit, my shoulder didn’t hurt anymore, and I literally did walking lunges (ok, they were slightly wobbly, but whatever) out of the bathroom because I had just gained an extra year.
Looking forward to continuing to age with grace, glasses & clearly marked bottles of product.