Last night after watching the “Parenthood” finale (Netflix binge!), I had an epiphany.
For the last 15 months, I have been pretty smug. In fact, I’ve been pretty smug my whole adult life–when it comes to aging. I’m one of those people who always says things like “I don’t care that I am getting older,” and I thought I really believed it.
I truly don’t care about LOOKING 41, because I think 41 year old women are quite beautiful. I thought that not caring about how old I looked meant that I didn’t care about my age. I thought that celebrating every birthday with gusto meant that I didn’t care that another year went by.
Instead, I would say “My age doesn’t bother me, but seeing my kids getting older is what upsets me.”
Hello!! Reality check!! I only care that my kids are getting older because it is tangible proof of the passage of time and what I have left to lose as I get older.
Growing older means losing people. It’s why my grandmother’s birthday last week made me a little sad and why I block out that my mom is over 60. Acknowledging their ages is acknowledging that every day I have had with them is one day less I have with them in the future.
Seeing my kids start a new school year is a reminder that we are getting closer to an August where I won’t be taking First Day of School pictures and waiting at home with cupcakes to hear how the day went. It’s not that I don’t want them to grow and thrive and start THEIR own lives with families of their own. It’s just that I know what that will mean for ME, and I am not sure how I will deal with that.
I need to start being straight with myself about getting older. It’s totally okay not to WANT to age because of all of the changes that will come with it (and I don’t just mean this crappy metabolism and crick in my neck). But at the same time I need to understand that I am holding myself back by being afraid of the changes and mourning every single “first” and “last.”
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I learned a lot from “Parenthood.” It really made me think about aging in a different way and about why I get so emotional on the kids’ birthdays but not my own. I’m not going to pretend anymore that I don’t care about getting older, because I was fooling myself. I’ll have to figure out a way to deal with that. (I only finished the show 9 hours ago…I need a little more time to process).
In the meantime, does anyone have a suggestion for what series I should watch next? 🙂