I may not be eligible for an AARP membership yet, but my aching knees recently served as a reminder that I am perched at the top of the proverbial hill just waiting to make my descent down the other side.
My recent awareness of the nuances of getting older has me thinking about the interesting dichotomy of spending our early years desperately wishing to be older and the rest of it longing for time to stop moving so darn quickly.
As a kid, I thought turning 18 meant I was an adult. The reality, however, was that I was still dependent on my parents, didn’t know how to do my own laundry and had to sit at the kid table at Thanksgiving.
At 22, I graduated college and felt like I had the world at my fingertips…until I realized that having a degree doesn’t mean much unless you also have a job. I spent the next year reminding myself to have fun now because I would have the rest of my life to be pinned down to a demanding career. And when I did get that first job, I was referred to as “the young one” for several years before a new “young one” came on board and relieved me of the title.
I think the tide turned when I experienced a surprising wave of depression on my 25th birthday. After waiting so long to feel some connection to adulthood, I was caught off guard by an overwhelming sense that this was the end of my childhood. I hadn’t referred to myself as a child in many years and I was even married at this point, but I suddenly realized that I had taken my youth for granted and wanted it back. Ironically, the moment I embraced my young age as a great thing instead of a hindrance was the same moment I began to feel welcomed into the grown up club.
Nine years, two kids and a mortgage later, my defining moments of adulthood are mounting more and more quickly. Aside from crossing my fingers for the 2011 Sharper Image catalogue to feature a time machine, there’s not much I can do but give Father Time a big ole hug and poke a little fun at myself.
That said, I present to you 10 ways I know I’m getting old(er):
10. Nobody wants to see me dance. When I watch the Disney Channel with my daughter and start singing and dancing along to the songs, the look of horror on her face would make a passerby think she’d seen a ghost. And, in some ways, she has…..the ghost of my cool past!
9. The metamorphosis into my mother is nearly complete. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I see her face or hands. I hear myself talking to my children using the very same words she used with me. It’s an odd transition, but I won’t complain because my mom is great (and she reads this). Just kidding, mom. If I have to turn into someone, there’s no better person to become.
8. I don’t do roller coasters. In fact, I wouldn’t ride one today if you paid me a lot of money to do so. While I’ve never been a huge dare devil, I used to enjoy amusement parks. Now, a trip to a park is simply a necessary evil of parenthood and I have to pop a Xanax just to make it through the day.
7. I choose my seat in the movie theater based on proximity to teenagers. Nothing is more annoying than having my cinematic experience ruined by gum popping, excessive talking, and phone calls. This rule applies to any movie EXCEPT those in the Twilight series because, let’s face it, anyone who goes to a Twilight movie is required to act like a teenager or they won’t let you in. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard……
6. I always have a new, crazy ailment. I’m not a hypochondriac, but it seems I always have some strange ache or pain that bothers me enough to complain about it to anyone who will listen. And did I just use the word ailment? That may just have sealed the deal on an invitation to eat dinner at IHOP at 4:00 p.m.
5. I can no longer justify eating Doritos and Dr. Pepper for lunch. I recently attended an event for college students and was surprised by their food choices. I’ve never seen so many calories being consumed at once! But, if I think hard enough, I can remember the days before calorie counting, daily exercise and discussions about when I should start getting yearly screenings for this or that.
4. I no longer consider my greatest achievement to be getting an A in that 8:00 a.m. class that I never attended. Although you have to admit that’s pretty impressive, right?!
3. I don’t know what to wear on the weekends. Big meeting? I have it covered. Business casual? Done. Work out at the gym? Sure. But if we get invited to a backyard barbecue, I’m at a loss. I just show up in heels anyway and tell myself that pain is a state of mind.
2. I’ve started complaining about “music these days.” The Black Eyed Peas recently sampled the chorus of one of the iconic songs of my generation which just seems, well, wrong. I guarantee most teenagers are walking around singing the lyrics and mistakenly attributing them to the BEPs just like I did when groundbreaking band Ugly Kid Joe (ha!) remade “Cat’s in the Cradle.” History does, indeed, repeat itself. I’m just crossing my fingers we don’t hear Justin Bieber singing “Love Bites” anytime soon or life might never be the same. And, in conclusion, the #1 indicator I’m getting old is:
1. I had to ask someone if the group’s name is Black Eyed Peas or Black Eye Peas!
What humorous or otherwise defining moments of adulthood would you add to the list?
5 thoughts on “Time of My Life: A Top 10 List Inspired By The Black Eyed Peas”
I totally relate! I could have written this blog, that is if I had your writing skills. : ) A couple of weeks ago I was in the fabric store on Senior Citizens discount day and the young lady wanted to know if I was over 55!! I just teased with her because I’m not 50 yet. But I do think they should make it a rule if they insult you by calling you a senior citizen that you should get the discount anyway.
I visited an Urgent Care Clinic the other day for one of those “ailments” you mentioned. (#6!) When the “Doctor” entered the room….I wanted to ask for his driver’s license and a copy of his transcript! Surely this child was not old enough to practice medicine…..on ME?! But alas, he was. If anyone calls me “young-en” these days, it’s because I didn’t hear them correctly! lol! Great blog, keeping writing!
I never would have guessed you felt so much like a grown up, Kelly! You truly do seem young at heart in so many ways!
Hi, Melissa! Actually Kendy Cox, our Woman2Woman contributor wrote this post. If you look at the top of each RDC release, you’ll see the author’s name. However – to hear that I seem young at heart will carry me through the rest of this day…I am THANKFUL for you! Take care, Kelly
Great blog, Kendy! I am still clinging to my youth without going overboard. While I don’t want to get old either, I also don’t want to be one of those sad fashion victims. I saw a woman recently from behind and based on the way she was dressed would have guessed that she was about 20. When she turned around, her 50 something year old face peering out at me atop that Junior’s sweater, trendy scarf and furry boots actually made me gasp. She looked, well, (there’s no nice way to say this) pathetic. So, for me, realizing that I can still be stylist but that I need to embrace the Misses size 8’s instead of trying for the Junior’s size 9’s was my wake up (or grow up) call.
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