Too old, too young, just right.

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Until recently, with a birthday mere months away ending in “0”, I have struggled with a Goldilocks complex: too old, too young…

Just right. Finally.

I think we’ve all had those moments after a near disaster averted, a crash that didn’t happen, an MRI that comes back clear, where we think “Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I’ll be better. I’ve learned my lesson. I get it now. I’ll appreciate what I have soooo much more.” But like speeding, our gas pedal quickly gets floored as soon as the cops are out of sight.

It’s always been a race against the clock for me. More, more, more. Faster, first, go. Young, younger, youngest. I was the youngest in my graduating class, started college at 16, worked immediately in a field where age is prized. I remember being grilled on the witness stand once about my credentials by a defense attorney. He said there wasn’t any way I had enough experience. I did. Won that case,  channeling some serious Dr. “Bones” Brennan, with relish.

Blessed with an apparent baby face, I was recently told by a supervisor “You look like you’re 10!” Let’s be clear here, people, telling a 40 year old they look like they are 25 is a compliment. Telling anyone over the age of 8 that they look like they are 10 is condescending, rude, and generally to be avoided.

Visiting a parent on a locked memory care unit, an Alzheimer’s ward, for the past two years has changed me though. I’m no saint, lordy be, far from it. I often dreaded these visits. It forced me to examine the end stages of life. Harsh, heartbreaking and life changing. Suddenly though it didn’t matter if I looked like I was 10, the fact that I knew who I was became the only thing that mattered. It wasn’t about someone challenging my credentials, I could answer all the important questions: where I was, my name, and the people I love.

Perspective matters.

Perspective, it can’t be bought, is often painful in the acquisition thereof, but so needed.

I’ve seen some of the young beaten down by circumstances appear so very old, and then I have watched some octogenarians with the loveliest spark, lighting the way to aging gracefully.

You are just right, in this moment. Be a goldilocks. Blow out the candles. You are just right.

Keep sharing moxie.

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8 thoughts on “Too old, too young, just right.

  1. Delightful. A wonderful read at the end of a very long day. And I am loving your blog…. Funny enough, i turned 40 and 10 on the same (leap) day. Put both in perspective. ((Heading down to KC to hang out w/ D&T C. Wish it were up on the rock…))

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    1. So good to hear from you! Sounds like a mini “house” reunion coming up. And, yes, I did remember your 10th birthday. I told my daughter about my one and only leap year friend that is a twin to boot! Thanks for reading.

      Like

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