Lately I’ve been reading a lot of posts and blogs about aging. Some write about lessons learned or life as an older person or how they spend their time now that they’ve reached a certain age. Some argue age is just a number, it’s how you feel that is the true indication. Some mourn lost youth while others celebrate their blossoming creativity as they are aging. I am in the latter group.
My children are in their thirties. My cherished aunt is in her nineties. And I am in-between. There’s a lot to be grateful for in having been granted six plus decades of life. Many never get that opportunity. The aches and pains are a bother but besides that aging is a wonder. It’s a wonder I can still change. It’s a wonder I can still be surprised or overjoyed or educated. It’s a wonder I can still get out of bed, be mobile and healthy. I am often corrected by the millennials in my life for using outdated words or expressions or names for different groups of people. Life is a work in progress and I am forever working at it. Just as I work hard to learn new computer programs or apps, I have to keep up with the changing societal landscape as well.
I have no excuse to be set in my ways. Life is fluid and in constant flux. If I hope to change minds and perspectives and outdated ideas with my writing, I need to keep up myself.
Which leads me to hair dye. Most of my friends and peers are embracing gorgeous pure snow white bobs or silvery locks, letting go of the ongoing commitment to keep their hair the natural color of younger adulthood. But I am in-between. Although the top roots of my hair are snow white, the rest of my locks are still dark. I could sport the Cruella de Ville look but I’m not ready. Vanity? Social pressure? I’m in-between. And so hair dye and I have a close, personal relationship in the foreseeable future.
In such an ageist society I am fortunate to seem younger than the number on my drivers license. Maybe it’s because I embrace young and old alike: music, films, books, dances. People. Maybe I’m in denial. If I am only as young or old as I think, how old do others see me? And should I care? A recent greeting card I sent to my friend had two elderly women chatting. One said, look at those two old ladies over there, we’ll be like them some day. Her friend said, that’s our reflection in the window. Am I surprised when I look in a mirror? Sometimes the inner doesn’t match the outer. Other times it’s spot on.
Right now I am feeling in-between a lot. Is the pandemic over or isn’t it? Should I keep wearing a mask or not? Do I need the fourth shot or should I wait? I have finished writing my first novel, a source of relief and pride. Now I am trying to get an agent and get published. I feel the pull time as I read wonderful debut novels published by writers half my age. I almost envy the time they still have to write and publish more. But do they? No one is guaranteed time, I should know that well by now. And so I am in-between projects.
We often view life in terms of before and after. In doing so we are always in-between. Yet to feel that way misses the present. The only moment that truly counts. Regrets, oh I have them plenty. Times that weigh on my mind which I fervently wish I had done or said something differently. But I can’t go back and change a thing. And I have no crystal ball for the future. I can only be now. I can only make the best of the in-between.
Here nor there. This or that. The in-between. It’s where I am right this minute. And I’m okay with that.