This month I turn 39 years old. I can hardly believe that I am about to enter my last year as a “thirty-something.” Was 1978 truly that long ago? As my 90-year-old grandfather has taught me, “Each year comes faster than the one before it.” I’m going to have to agree with him.
I recall very vividly my kindergarten year at age six. It seemed like an eternity until Halloween, then another until Christmas break. Let’s not even talk about the remainder of the school year, how it slowly dragged and crawled toward summer vacation. I remember feeling back then that if time always were to feel so slow, then I would practically live forever.
Well, that was more than three decades ago. And I don’t recall any other year passing so slowly. Somewhere in my mid-20s time seemed to speed up. That accelerated pace only continued when I became a parent and was lost in the shuffle of sleep deprivation, routine and temporarily losing myself while throwing all my care into others.
Now my children are five and seven, yet I don’t feel that I’ve aged in that time. But guess what? The fine lines by my eyes and the stray strand of grey hair on my head speak otherwise. Am I going to fight the aging process? You bet. I already invest my time and energy into sunscreen, moisturizers and eye cream. Additionally I hydrate, practice proper nutrition and exercise regularly. Eventually, I may add a little hair color to my routine, but I’m not there yet. I am loving my natural hue while I still have a headful of it. As a friend said, “As long as you have more pepper than salt, you’re okay.” That philosophy works for me.
In addition to taking care of my physical health, I treat my mental health very seriously. I work to stay positive, keep a sunny disposition and surround myself with those who enhance my life. As Katherine Hepburn said, “I believe that the happiest girls are the prettiest girls.” There is something to be said for having fun and keeping a vivacious spirit and the impact it has on youthfulness.
I recently spoke with my mom and said, “I’ll only have about 10 years left of being ‘young.’” She replied, “Actually you probably have about 20, because when you cross 50, you say ‘What the hell, I’m going to go for broke and do things anyway.’” This sounds like my current MO in my 30s, so perhaps I can keep things going well into my mid-60s? But I suppose that I’m putting the cart before the horse just a bit. After all, I’m still only in my 30s.
So yes, as I prepare to blow out 39 candles on my cake, I hope that I will continue to pass as someone younger while I still can. And once that stops, I’ll do everything I can to still feel young and live my life to its fullest potential. Happy birthday to me -- may I stay forever young.