Past my prime?
Somewhere along the way, I went from being the youngest in most situations to being one of the more mature individuals. Looking back, Iím sure this happened during the years I was doing so many things at one time I stopped paying attention to extraneous stuff like how old I had become. One day, someone brought to my attention that a lot of the folks around me were younger than I was. Age is rarely something I think of, unless Iím bragging about my older, more mature friends. Itís an awesome blessing to have people decades older than you within your life. Their experience adds great wisdom, honor and education to whatever you might be trying to figure out. Iím fortunate to have friends in their elder years and apparently now thereís a whole new group of youngsters chiming in their two cents, too. Recently one of these younger folks shared a viewpoint that got me thinking in a not so happy fashion. This younger-than-I guy was talking about how a lot of women in their 40s and 50s tend to look kind of rough. My first thought was well, maybe; but then it hit me - thatís me heís referring to. Solidly settling into my mid-40s, courtesy of a birthday this week, I realized when compared to a gal in her 20s or early 30s I probably do look a little rough. At first I wasnít sure how I felt about this. Iím not so vain to mind a wrinkle or two and do not wish to even consider Botox or fillers.My greatest dermatological concern continues to be whether my biopsies are negative and how long the wounds will take to heal. Still, I found myself considering his statement. Did I fall in the roughed up category? If Iím honest, I must say heís probably right. Life tends to rough you up a bit as you go. Depending on what hand youíve drawn, life can leave scars. If youíre really lucky, most of it will be superficial. Injuries, illness, deaths, career changes, family needs, financial issues and the myriad of problems throughout the years between 20 and 40 tends to leave its mark. On the cosmetic side, I consider just the surgeries Iíve experienced over the past 20 years and Iím really glad none of them left much more than lasting scars. In all the other areas of life, Iím pretty well blessed too. Itís a good reason to be thankful. I suspect as I experience more birthdays and continue to weather lifeís storms, Iíll begin to show more serious damage. I hope I will also show hope, joy and excitement over whatís still to come. Erma Bombeck was credited with a little ditty about getting to the end of life all used up with no leftovers. I hope I too can keep this perspective throughout the coming years. Do I look a little rough? Good. That means maybe Iíve got something to offer. Maybe I can understand what someone else is facing, or can help you avoid some of the mistakes Iíve made, saving you from a similar scar. Perhaps I can just laugh with you, cry with you or offer my solemn silence. Possibly we can wonder together over some of it. Life is going to rough us all up, if weíre lucky. Rather than fuss over what this might look like, I hope I remember to use these experiences to benefit someone else. In the meantime, happy birthday to my April birthday buddies. Youíre looking good my friends.