In the early 90's, I was in a workshop production of a show called "Closer Than Ever" and it was a compilation of a lot of songs by Maltby/Shire that dealt with people at different stages of life. There was this song called "The March of Time", which at the time, in my very early 30's, I thought was hilarious. And I sang it without any idea how it really felt to be anything other than relatively young.
I've been quiet (something of an anomaly) for the past few weeks. I think it is largely due to the fact that a few weeks ago another birthday rolled over me. And so you don't misinterpret the metaphor, it did not roll over me like a floating balloon. No, not a floating balloon but rather a monster truck rally.
Its an interesting phenomenon this aging thing. I remember so well being 9 and not being able to wait until I was "double-digit". And then came the endless wait for thirteen. Sixteen. Eighteen. Twenty-one. And I had no problem at all with the passing of each year of my twenties - until of course, 29. That wasn't so good. But turning thirty didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. In fact, I hardly felt it at all. And my thirties were great. I looked fabulous in my thirties. There was a lot going on. Many pivotal events happened in my thirties. I got divorced. I got married. I became a mom. Instantly. I got hired by Disney. We bought our current home. And every year took its sweet time passing. I was in my thirties for a very long time. Like 20 years or something. Until 39. And about two months before turning 40, I started having anxiety attacks. Until I turned 40 and then they stopped and I was just fine. And I had a baby. I went to Hawaii. Again. I went to Africa. I went to the Caribbean. I went to Cancun. I went to Canada. And all was well. Until about 47 when time started to pick up speed. And try as I might, I couldn't find the control switch.
And then - then there was 50 - which was very weird. But I was a big girl about it. I still had all the kids at home and I was still gainfully employed and I was pretty good about chasing it from my mind. Except for that time switch - which moved itself to full tilt acceleration. And the older girls started college. And I lost my job. And then I lost another job. And then menopause. And then my youngest decided not to be a kid anymore. I remember in my teens being insanely jealous of my sister Linda, one year older, who got to do everything a year earlier than I. My only revenge was to to be able to say "but when I'm 49, you'll be 50". And here we are. Both past that. Way.
I look at my profile photo on Facebook and Linked in and realize: "I need to update my photo". I look at older photos of myself that I like - even back only a couple of years and think "I need a shot like that". And then I remember that I will never look like "that" again. Even with effort. Because I am on the other side of "that". Okay so maybe I can't look like "that". I guess I can look "different". And sometimes "different" is better. Well, occasionally sometimes.
Now before you think I'm whining too much, I'm not. I'm extremely grateful for everything I have in my life. The good, and in fact, the bad - because the bad keeps me dependent on God. And really, the bad hasn't been that bad. But I am sorely looking for the room that houses that time accelerator switch. I'd be grateful if it would all just s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n.