I’m Going to Live Forever

I’m feeling the passage of time. My first childhood crush, Davy Jones, died last week, and I feel old. I thought he looked great when he died at 66, but he still looked a lot older than the image I had of him in my head. It’s funny how the mental picture and reality don’t always line up.

I watched a bio of The Monkees on the Biography channel. There was Mike with his cute little knitted skullcap and Texas accent, goofy Mickey behind the drums, and witty Peter, who I also thought was cute. Now they’re older, just like me, but I still feel like I’m ten, watching them on TV after school each day, sandwiched between Bewitched and The Brady Bunch. How the heck did time go by so quickly?

My ten year old heart still swoons for you, Davy!

(source)

This summer I’m going to our family reunion. I have a ton of cousins. We used to have massive Easter egg hunts when we were all kids. I told my aunt I’m not one of the kids anymore, now I’m one of the Old Folks. She said that made her one of the Ancient Ones.

I never really thought much about getting older until a few years ago. There were signs in the mirror, but they weren’t extreme. I brushed thoughts of getting old out of my mind.

Then I started becoming aware of how much older everyone else is getting, and realized it was happening to me as well. It might sound strange, but it surprised me. I mean, I walk around the house barefooted, wear cutoffs, live in t-shirts,  jeans, and Converse sneakers, and am musically sophisticated. Is there a point in time when I’ll officially be “too old” to wear cutoffs and listen to loud music in the car?

I watched the Oscars, and some of the actors who are twenty years older than me now look twenty years younger, thanks to plastic surgery. I think they look strange and robotic. It seems to be mostly the women who think they need to tighten themselves up, but I suspect many men are getting work done as well.

The other day I was flipping through daytime TV. If you want to see bizarre looking actors who’ve had way too much plastic surgery, check out The Bold and the Beautiful. I’m being tacky, but honestly, some of the people I see on TV these days don’t look human anymore, and they certainly don’t look like anyone I know.

It makes me sad that so many people are willing to pay thousands of dollars to try to erase time. I don’t like aging any more than the next person, but I wish we didn’t idolize youth as much as we do in this country. Europeans have a different take on aging and beauty, one that is much more realistic and compassionate. When I lived in Europe, our local retirement center had a playground in the park. I used to take my children there to play, and the old people loved watching and playing with them. What a great way to bring young and old together.

The other day a former student of mine sent me a friend request on Facebook. I thought she was someone new to our running group. It took me a few days to realize she was one of my fifth graders all grown up.

The most shocking thing I’ve had to face this week is that my daughter will soon turn twenty-nine. 29!!! I have a daughter who is almost thirty! 30! (Of course, I gave birth at a shockingly young age.)

It seems like only yesterday when I was twenty-nine myself and decided I had to cut my long hair when I turned thirty because, well, I was turning thirty. It was so old to me back then. I’ve cut my hair and grown it out so many times since then I’m surprised anyone recognizes me anymore, and I have quite a few friends even older than myself with much longer hair.

Even Rodney Yee, my favorite yoga master from the Gaiam DVD’s, is starting to show a little gray and has just the slightest hint of a paunch when he does Side Angle Forward Bend. Time spares no one, not even the very physically fit amongst us.

Oh well, I don’t know why I’m complaining, because I’M GOING TO LIVE FOREVER!

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