After posting a picture on Facebook I found myself remembering why I either take more pictures of my sons than I do of myself and definitely why I tend to not take close ups. While I do not hide my age nor pretend that I am any younger, it is still a bit of a stark reality to see the lines, shadows and spots. I am going to be 45 this week and saying that as I get closer to the date does make me think a little (not wince 'cause the lines will show more).
It makes me think of all the things that I thought I would do by this age - plans made when I was so young that 45 seemed so old. I have not become a writer like I wanted, well not in the books that I have yet to even think about sending to a publisher. I did not live in Europe - particularly Rome and Venice - for a few years. There were no year long treks living in European cities. I have not set up a studio where I can paint. There are the times I held back and did not love with the wild abandon that would have led to serious heartache but also amazing emotions. I never made it to living in the city (NYC if you are not from the Tristate area and wonder what city)- swayed by cheaper rents and the ability to keep my car by staying in Astoria (close but no cigar). I somehow wound up in a house when I thought by this age I for sure would be in my loft in SoHo (funny what you buy with fantasy money). I think of all the books that I have yet not read and the movies that I hope Netflix still has because I just missed seeing them by this much.
As I get to the middle age portion of my life I gladly embrace all the great experience I have had up to now too. I accomplished more than I thought I would too - I am more successful than I thought I might be after giving up on pre-med (organic chemistry and social life both made that path unappealing). I have made some amazing friends and traveled to places that I only had read about. I have been incredibly lucky to have loved some really good guys and whose place in my life was perfect for the times they were in it. There is this blog which helps a little with the yearning to be a writer. I am more confident now and hoping to squash the insecurities more and more with time. My body is no longer loathed - still not loved but at least I can sneak a peek at it without making that face...yep that one that you just made. I live in a place I really like and though it is not SoHo it has character and great people.
I have my children - now in my plans I will admit I never really thought about children. As I was thinking of the cafes and talks about politics in my life abroad and here there were no little people of my own in it. Yet they are the thing that makes me want to plan to 90, to be around for their dreams and to help them make as many of them as possible true. Their love has made me feel a love I could not have imagined in it's ability to make me content at 20 or 30 or any time before them.
Yep there are a few laugh lines, there are shadows under my eyes (thank you makeup) and there are spots (which when I was young may have been called freckles but now let's be honest are age spots). I forget more things than I did and I worry about things that never hit my radar before. I embrace others and am more open to ideas, lifestyles, and differences than when I was younger. So let the month long dinners and cheers of celebration mark this milestone. Let the creams (Youth as We Know It, Miracle Cream - sucker for most of it) take care of the shadows and spots. I guess I still hope to do some of the things I dreamed about in my younger years but I have learned to enjoy the moments I am in more than worrying about the moments that may pass me by.