I found out this weekend that I’m middle-aged. Did you guys know that? I did NOT know that. I think there are certain situations where I feel it – like, when the store clerk calls me ma’am, or when I’m confronted with someone that guesses I’m in my mid-forties rather than my late thirties, but most of the time, I still feel like I’m 22. Does that ever change?
People in your mid-fifties – do you feel like you’re 22, too?
When I turned 22, I made my best friend drive me to the beach in the freezing cold and watch me go in with all my clothes on. I remember worrying that there would be a time that I would think something like that would be too crazy to do, and I wanted to solidify the moment in my head – what it felt like to stand in the ocean and not give a fuck that I had all my clothes on and it was freezing. Did I already tell you guys that story? I can’t remember. Probably because I’m middle-aged.
Other discoveries that were made over the past week –
I discovered Anna’s parakeets are cunning escape artists and my survival instincts outweigh my mothering instincts. Because I took this picture:
because the parakeets were talking to each other and looked very sweet. And I was all “Oh, the birds!”. MOMENTS LATER, however, they FLEW OFF Anna’s shoulder in opposite directions in a cunning attempt to escape. I immediately DOVE into the other room, hitting the floor, and leaving Anna to manage ALL THE ANIMALS. Butterball pounced towards the yellow one, and Anna immediately started yelling BUTTERBALL NO! I GOT ‘EM MOM! DON’T WORRY! NO BUTTERBALL! I GOT ‘EM MOM! DON’T WORRY!
I discovered the men’s room. In an effort to get more steps in my day, I decided to go to the ladies room on the complete opposite side of my office building, which, turns out, is set up a little differently than the one outside my office. I walked in, threw my phone and my keys on the shelf near the door, and looked up, and realized I was standing in front of a man that had just zipped up from one of the urinals to the left of me where there were normally stalls.
And instead of just backing out quietly, I said:
OH! OH! OH! OH! OH!
in that voice that only seems to come out in these situations (the one that sounds like I’m a church lady that’s seen a mouse and jumped on the nearest chair.)
The one that sounds middle-aged.
And then I tried to grab my keys but they fell on the ground. So I grabbed them off the floor. And then I tried to grab my phone – still, unfortunately saying OH! and inserting SORRY! a few times, and my phone hit the floor too.
By the end of what was likely a 10 second but felt like a 10 minute exchange, I was backing out of the bathroom, bent at the waist, barely clutching my keys and phone, and of course, still saying OH! OH! and opening the door with my rear-end. (I actually can’t decide in this moment if saying ‘rear-end’ is MORE or LESS middle-aged than saying ‘behind’. That must make me SUPER MIDDLE AGED. For some reason I’m now feeling like I need to insert things like GOOD GRAVY in this post somewhere.)
I discovered this view, over and over, sometimes over coffee:
I had an escape this weekend, and part of that led me to this view, which was an air bnb find. It was lovely – just the right distance away from the city, and just close enough to still be in proximity to incredible food, culture, music and most importantly – coffee. If all of that weren’t enough to make the weekend perfection – we were invited over to the main house for a glass of wine the night we arrived – and accepted – and ended up being treated to the owner’s mother playing the piano for us. Watching her play instantly made me long for my own grandmother sitting at our piano, so gracefully moving her fingers over the keys and her feet over the pedals – and after a few notes, I realized she was playing one of my grandfather’s favorite songs. I could have curled up on the couch and listened to her all night.
So. If you too, are middle-aged, some lessons for you.
Watch out for the parakeets, because they could fly off your daughter’s shoulder, and you can’t handle that kind of excitement. And for Pete’s sake (eh? eh?) keep your head up when you’re heading into the restroom, so you don’t end up backing out of it bent at the waist. And if you can’t avoid any of that and need a little respite in the country from the stress of your everyday life, I’ll set you up with an airbnb recommendation.
I promise, with the right company, host and surroundings, even in your middle-aged body, you’ll feel 22.