Saturday, April 17, 2010

Old

I feel old today.

I know that I'm not. Not really, anyway. I'm still in that 18-35 demographic. But I feel a lot older than that right now. Physically, emotionally, I'm just not ready to feel as old as I do right now.

In the last few days, I've stressed my body more than it's used to. Moving lots and lots of mulch out of the kid's play area, and giving myself only a few hours to get it all done in. Moving lots and lots of sand around that same play area once it was dropped off in heaps by the wheelbarrow toting men in my life.

I had a hard time sleeping my back was so sore. My knees weren't happy to begin with since the weather changes constantly this time of year. My built in weather prediction center, those knees. I don't need a meteorologist. Add all the moving and bending and lifting and heaving, and they are not happy. My hands hurt from the blisters that I should know better than to have in the first place. Eventually, someday, I may realize that gloves are my friend and I should use them. Maybe.

I can remember when I could do things like this for days on end and barely ache. Those days are gone. But it's not just the fact that my body hurts and feels old right now. I see things I don't like in the mirror these days. The wrinkles, the fine lines, the crow's feet.

As I am sitting here typing right now, I am looking at my hands and I am seeing hands that must belong to someone else. Someone older than me. My skin doesn't look that way, does it? But those hands are mine. And yes, my skin does look that way. I can remember in college, my boss at the time always commented on how pretty my hands were. How young they were. I used to brush off her compliments, thinking she must have seen something else. But now I know what she meant. Because my hands don't look that way anymore.

I've graduated from oily skin light moisturizers to thick dry skin creams. I don't need to remove oil from my skin anymore, I need to replace it. I need to exfoliate. To scrub. I start to resemble an alligator if I forget to put lotion on for too many consecutive days.

Helped along by all the things going on in my life, my hair is changing too. Though it started turning long ago, when I was barely in my twenties, it is speeding towards gray faster and faster now. It used to be smooth and sleek, straight as an arrow without any effort on my part. It's become drier, more coarse with time. Wavy. It's no longer a matter of highlights or accents that I want, it's covering the gray roots that I need. And really, gray is a generous description of the hairs. More like white. Wild and crazy, they stick up and out and cannot be tamed. They refuse sometimes to be dyed at all, defying my wishes to make them appear younger.

I can color my hair. I can find thicker creams and moisturize. I can stretch and strengthen my body. But I can't stop the clock from running.

I can't stop aging.

Let's just hope I can do it gracefully.

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