I looked in to the mirror this morning. I spend very little time looking at my face as I rush thru my 'morning preparations'. I shower. I brush my teeth. My hair usually gets pulled back in to a ponytail. That's about it and I'm set to face my day.
Maybe it was because I celebrated my 55th birthday a couple of days ago. If you want to call it 'celebrating.' Because I'm not one who's ever made a big fuss about my own birthday. Another day on the calendar, for the most part. I think I mentioned in a previous post about how it's kind of lost in between Christmas and New Year's. It's easily overlooked. In fact, last nite as I was getting ready for bed the phone rang twice. Two callers wishing me "Happy Birthday" a day late. I let the answering machine take the messages. As I climbed in to bed Dear Hubby asked me, "Did I hear the phone ring?" and I told him yes, he had. "Who was it?" he mumbled sleepily. I told him a couple of people calling to wish me happy birthday. "Didn't you talk to them?" he asked. I said no...I was getting ready for bed and I hate to talk on the phone just before trying to go to sleep. Sleep is hard enough to settle in to sometimes without the adrenaline rush of phone talking. If you talk as seldom on the phone as I do, you'll know what I mean about 'adrenaline rush.' Phone talking makes me very anxious. There was a long pause when I said I hadn't talked to the callers. Dear Hubby told me, "You sure are goofy sometimes." Why, yes...yes, I am.
So this morning I stood and stared at my face in the mirror. I mean, I really stared. I know I'm getting older but our daughter is always telling both Dear Hubby and me that we neither look nor act our age. How old does 55 look, anyway? How has age changed with time? People who were in their 50s back in the 1950s looked like they were 70 compared to what we look like today. For example, Frances Bavier who played Aunt Bea on "The Andy Griffith Show" was about the same age I am now when she starred on that show. I know I don't look that old. Pictures taken at my wedding to Dear Hubby show our moms looking what they were at that time in 1974...middle-aged women. I didn't look like that at their ages, either. It had a lot to do with the fashions, hairstyles, and make up. My mom was the Queen of Polyester. She also favored smock-style tops that buttoned down the front with big pockets at the hips. Ugly, to say the least. And always in dark browns, black, navy blue.
I dunno. I'm 55. I do have silvery-white hair but now that I've grown it out again it's usually in a ponytail. I wear my jeans and my tee shirts. I'm either barefoot or in sneakers with "Kiss Me" socks on...or my Christmas socks that are bright red with little yellow and green Christmas trees all over them. I like bright, vibrant colors. I have a few wrinkles, two especially that are etched down either side of my chin. But my skin is still clear and relatively young looking. I don't have a 'turkey' neck or jowls. My eyes are bright and shiny. Does this come from genetics or does it come from a good life, a life not clouded with unhealthy habits that take their toll? Does it come from trying to be positive and not letting unhappy thoughts or circumstances overtake me? From shirking off depressive thoughts, the self-discipline to overcome adversity? I am not Peter Pan and I don't live in Neverland but I am a strong believer in focusing my mind away from self-destructive thoughts and behavior. It is the way I learned to survive from an early age and it's served me well.
I spent a good portion of today playing on the floor with my grandsons. Dylan loves to pull all the couch cushions and every pillow off our bed to make big piles he then jumps on. Cooper joins in the fray, wiggling on to the pillows and rolling off them. Dylan and I play "Cave" where I pile all the pillows on top of him...then he bursts forth and we start all over again. This can go on forever. And if I act as if I'm getting tired he'll grab me by the arm and implore, "Play, Mom! Play!" So of course I have to indulge him. He and Cooper are learning to play together in the process, and I am there to referee and make sure Cooper doesn't get lost under the pillows or accidentally squashed. I don't feel old, playing with the boys. I make up games and we 'pretend'. I am 55 going on 5 on days like this. I know in Dylan's eyes, I am his best friend. I am ageless to him. I'm just "Mom". (Once I was MawMaw. He abbreviated it when he came back from Texas. His mama is "Mum". )
There have been a lot of smiles that have crossed past this face of mine in 55 years. Sorrows, too, and I'm sure they're there as well. But the smiles are the windows of my soul.