These days, the terms Fifty Shades of Grey just means that it’s time to color my hair again.
How did this happen?
I swear, I was 23 just yesterday. And now I’m 50. I got a birthday card in the mail from AARP… and I joined. I almost feel like an adult now.
To be clear, I’m not really afraid of getting “old”, I’m just wondering how the time slipped through my fingers so quickly. If I didn’t believe in salvation and eternal life I guess I might be scared. I suppose if I believed that this life was all there was… well, I’d be scrambling now.
I don’t know that I’d say I have regrets, but there are definitely things I’d do differently if I had them to do over again. Although I like the place I’ve arrived at, there are other roads I would have taken to get here. Less bumpy roads, maybe. Or maybe I just would have traveled those roads with different company than I did.
My teens were a horror show – too shy, too awkward, not a whole lot of direction. And it all seems like yesterday. My first car was a 1974 Ford Pinto. It was baby blue and had a white top. My first job was as a cashier in a grocery store. I loved the stage and did a lot of local theater productions. I only had the Pinto for maybe a year before I moved up to a 1974 Datsun, 260z. Both those cars were ten years old before I ever got my hands on them. I had an “I love Doug” bumpersticker on the Pinto, and the Z was just the coolest car to have as a dopey 17 year old girl with big, permed hair. It’s weird, the things we remember. The minor details that stick in our memories are the things that somehow define who we are.
Seems like yesterday.
I remember looking in the mirror and trying to imagine what I might look like when I got really old – really old, like 30.
I remember when I could get up without my body making sound effects. Staying up all night and still going to work or school the next morning. Why didn’t I know everything I do now back when I was 23 and still had all that energy? Back then I had a motorcycle, and a gun and I was cool. I swear, I was.
After a lifetime of wearing my hair long I finally got it cut super short. And it looks fantastic! It feels great and requires minimal fuss. Why did I wait so long to do it? I thought it would make me look older. It doesn’t. Could I possibly have been wrong about other things, too?
Fifty years old. Half a century of living behind me. And when I say living, I mean living. I can honestly say that I’ve taken a bite out life. I struck out on my own when I was younger than most, walked away from everything I knew and never looked back. I’m sure life would have been easier if I’d done the expected, but it wouldn’t have been half as interesting. Everything I have now I’ve worked for, but the only things I really own are my mistakes. So, I suppose in a way I’m rich now.
And now I’m trying to decide whether or not to grab a bottle of hair color at the store tomorrow. My glitter strands are showing again.
I can’t halt the aging process, so I’m going to embrace it instead. Fifty is fabulous and I love my life. I love where I am today. I have a wonderful husband, a crazy family that I wouldn’t trade for anything, a home that guests feel welcome in and thank God, all my needs are met. I love my dogs, I love my friends, I love my church and my work. I may have been thinner, cuter and had more energy at 25 but I wasn’t half as content as I am today. I can’t wait to see what my fifties have in store for me.