It’s not all bad, here in the end of my forties.

That’s not to say that I don’t have a whole hell of a lot of complaining to do about the grab-bag of indignities being foisted upon me, from the weird ridges in my fingernails to the way my belly sits fleshily upon my own lap now. Plus the hormonal brain fog which may or may not be pandemic fog or just plain middle-aged fog, but at any rate it’s like this all the time when I try and remember things? Or the way I have to frowningly adjust my focus for small print now, holding it farther from me rather than closer. Let’s not forget about the chin-area hairs, which offer the near-daily answer to a question I’d never before considered: how does it feel to confront a set of sturdy steel cables erupting out of the sagging disaster that is your neck?

I mean…not always great, Bob.

Still. There are upsides. Maybe you’re with me in the aging Gen X experience, caught somewhere between bleak cynicism and slack-jawed awe/disbelief. Not to get all attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, bright as magnesium over here but at this point we’ve all for sure been dragged through some shit, lived through beautiful and terrible days, seen seasons of life come and go.

There is a complex richness to that. The way a long-simmering stew can get deeper and better over time.

We have a lovely weeping cherry tree in our front yard (not to brag but it is a double weeping cherry, which I had always assumed meant it was twice as awesome but apparently it refers to the doubled blooms). Every April it briefly transforms from a regular droopy tree into this delicate and spectacular thing: a fireworks burst of pink, a frothy held-aloft wedding bouquet trailing towards the ground.

The people who stop on their spring walk to look at this tree are almost always older people, I’ve noticed that. They’re the ones who take the time to stand still and tip their faces towards the temporary flourish of the petals. Doesn’t it seem like that means something?

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pete
Pete
7 months ago

Getting old generally suck but it definitely beats the alternative

Kathleen
7 months ago

This is extraordinarily beautiful. My parents visited us last week. They are in poor health but insisted on walking around the block a few times a day to look at all the blooms. I never walk around the block! What am I even doing here? (Also please brag away about your double weeping cherry!)

Lisa
Lisa
7 months ago

I turned 50 last week and YES TO ALL OF THIS. Also, I’m with Pete…this weird, uncomfortable “getting older” thing is better than the alternative. That much I know, is true.

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

Aging Gen X’er also here…I find my radio is consistently tuned to Lithium, the 90s alternative station, almost subconsciously. It’s so weird how I still feel so young a lot of times, and then something like a random pain for no reason, the amount of Not Fun drugs I now have to take daily, and feeling nostalgic every damn day over one thing or another reminds me that I’m half a damn century old. It’s flabbergasting.

Swistle
7 months ago

This post is a poem.

Jenine
Jenine
7 months ago

When I turned 30 I realized that I was starting to appreciate plants. I would just be struck by the beauty of a plant that I had ignored before.
Enjoy that double cherry blossom glory!
(I’m about to turn 55 and it’s rough but most things are working and I try not to wish for something impossible.)

Erica
Erica
7 months ago

Maybe some people are born with the ability to experience daily gratitude, but for me, it’s something I’ve had to work on. I work on it all the time and it pays off. I am always swept away by nature’s beauty on my walks or even when driving my car. My kids, not so much. Getting older isn’t for sissies but I’ll take it with the increased capacity for gratitude and gentler way of living. Stepping with a lighter touch and living with a softer, more open heart.

letsdrawaflower@gmail.com

I read once that at some point you realise how many springtimes you get to see. And I have about 40 springtimes left and that actually seems really lovely.
(Also hahah I don’t know how to hide my email? Can you help me please?)

Last edited 7 months ago by letsdrawaflower@gmail.com
.303 bookworm
.303 bookworm
7 months ago

I’m kinda in love with Macklemore’s “Good Old Days” especially the bit “we’ve come so far, I guess I’m proud, I ain’t worried about the wrinkles around my smile. I’ve got some scars,I’ve been around.I’ve felt some pain and seen some things but I’m here now”. It resonates you know?

Elizabeth_K
Elizabeth_K
7 months ago
Reply to  .303 bookworm

OMG I love this song so much, as well as this post. Yes, we’re saggy/baggy/neck haired creatures, but WE’VE LEARNED SO MUCH. Or at least I tell myself that.

Mackenna
Mackenna
7 months ago

I scold my younger self for being down on herself every day for not being [insert] enough. This includes myself at 50 now that I’m older than that. Yet, I continue to be down because today’s age is sucking hard… LOL. OMG…the body – breasts, nails, skin crepe, collagen loss – is total pain in the ass for the young person I am inside to cart around.