I’ve given it some thought now, and, as it turns out, I really don’t want to look younger. The truth is, I would not trade one day of my current life – one day of my me now – for any one of them in my past.
Someone described aging as growing down into oneself. Oh, how I love that! My thoughts, my voice, they’re just getting clearer. My words ring true to me in a way they didn’t used to. If this is what comes from aging – bring it, I say!
The older I get, the easier it is to recognize what matters – and what doesn’t. The crepe paper neck? That, my friend, that doesn’t matter in the least. Unless you decide to turn it on its head and worship it as a symbol of how far you’ve come.
I spent so many years chasing after more – more things, more recognition. I bored even myself.
Each night at dinner we sit around the table and each person tells the others what their “rose” of the day was and what was their “thorn.” The other morning before school my little boy crept into bed with me, wriggling under the covers, his head on my shoulder, my nose in his hair. “This is my rose,” he whispered, almost to himself. “Mama?” he asked. “Can we just snuggle for a while even though we’ll be late for school?”
Yes. Yes, we can. And we did.
Striving to be something you’re not – something you’ll never be again – is a sort of betrayal, isn’t it? How can you at once honor the journey you’ve taken, the hard work and the hard loving you’ve done, while wanting to turn back time? It seems to me like such a thing might keep your roots from growing firmly and deeply down into yourself. And now wouldn’t that be a shame?