Another Year Older – The In-Between

I am 63 years old.

What does that even mean?

It means I was born in the late 1950s.

It means I was born at a time when medicine would give me a leg-up on longevity.

In fact, it means something completely different than it did only a half-century ago when – if photos tell the story.

Photos tell me that aging (for women) looked like gray poodle-curled hair, floral dresses with a light sweater, orthopedic shoes and matching handbag, forced retirement, and bringing lime jello salad with celery and shredded carrots to family get-togethers.

I remember thinking my grandparents – no matter their age – all looked positively ancient.

In contrast, I see high-school classmates on social media with their tanned legs in shorty-shorts and tank tops (showing their upper arms? Are you kidding?) and beautiful blond hair that you’d swear is natural (but know it can’t be!). Some are nipped and tucked, many are naturally youthful. More than a few are still working, as I am. Almost all look vibrant and healthy. Very few orthopedic shoes. Just sayin’.

I’m not stupid or blind… and know I don’t look like most of my former classmates. Truth be told, I never did. In a world of Farrah Fawcett’s, I was a Bette Midler, round, fair, and loud. A little wild. But I digress.

I took the featured photo of myself this morning. My 63 looks a little like I expected, bolstered by going naturally gray and matching everything, including my glasses, with my hair.

I see a softer Dorothy Zbornak (think Golden Girls).

And that’s okay.

Where am I going with all this???

I guess…

It’s just that…

… sometimes…

I have a hankerin’ for the …

(DON’T SAY IT!!!) <<< I can hear you all!

… Olden days.

I know. I know!

But seriously, I can’t stop now. The momentum has begun…

It was *something* to get dressed up for the bank, or a flight, or even just a trip to a department store. I can still hear the sound of high heels clicking on marble floors, smell the scent of expensive perfumes (which sometimes gave me a headache!), and impeccably-dressed salespeople ready to assist with your every want, need, or whim. The stores had glossy signature boxes, sturdy enough to hold whatever you purchased … and pretty enough to put a bow on and give as a gift.

Back then, going to a restaurant was a once-a-week (or less often) treat and fast food? Unheard of!

Kids played outside ALL DAY LONG and had to be called in for dinner with a yell from Mom or Dad. We pulled weeds to make money… literally knocking on doors and asking (my first sales job? LOL) … and putting on shows and selling tickets to parents and neighbors in the summers.

Technology was found on channels 2-13 if you were lucky enough to have a television (only B & W, of course!).

Music was everywhere and seemed to be a backdrop to everything, especially in the 1960s.

There was a different… FEEL…

How does one describe the indescribable?

Birthdays bring that kind of reminiscence and melancholy, don’t they?

Especially 63.

Retirement age. At least, it used to be.

Yep, times have changed and we are blessed by many of those changes (medically, especially).

Others? Not so much.

Lingering here brings bittersweet memories… and most of those surround the PEOPLE who were in my life and no longer are…

That’s the most difficult part of all, isn’t it?

We were ALL once young…

And, we will ALL pass away…

It’s the in-between that matters, I suppose. You know, if I were to get sappy.

Okay, I’ll stop.

So, here’s to another year to strive…

To be better…

More compassionate…

More mindful…

And!

Most of all…

Savor the in-between.

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