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55 2My friend Lori tells me that she’ll be 50 this year. I am five years older than she is. When I reminded her how old I would be, she said “I want to be the speed limit, too!”  Sigh. No, she doesn’t.  Being 55 sounds “old” to me.  54, for some reason, doesn’t. Maybe I think of 54 as being in my “early 50’s”, and I feel like 55 is edging too close to 60.

I spoke to my Academic Advisor at my new school the other night.  We had our first meeting over the phone.  I know she had all my vital statistics in front of her (including my birthdate) so she knew my age.   Hearing myself say, “I am one of your older students; I’ll be 55” sounded so jarring to me.  I wondered whether she was thinking the same thing I was – “Why are you getting more education at your age?” When we calculated out how long this degree will take and we came out with another three years, I felt a little bummed.  60 is looming closer all the time.

Age usually doesn’t bother me.   I would never do anything like Botox or a face lift.  That’s a waste of money, and I don’t know who they think they are kidding.  Most of the actresses on TV or at the movies who’ve had work done look terrible.  I have never in my life lied about my age. I always tell people how old I am.  I can’t change it. We all get older.

I was fine with 30.  40 was a little harder since you feel like you’re leaving your youth behind.  My fourth decade on the planet kind-of sucked anyway.  It was a decade of goodbye’s for me.  I was good with 50. 50 was freeing in a way.  I’m not sure how I’ll be at 60.  Right now it sounds a little intimidating.

Now as I look in the mirror I see the family “curse” catching up with me.  My older brother used to get carded in his 30’s.  He always had a baby face.  After he reached 50, he suddenly started to age visibly.  He had gray in his hair and lots of crinkles around his eyes.  I’m noticing that my hair salon visits are now closer together. My hair is more gray than brown, and the gray won’t stay hidden.  I’m also noticing all kinds of crinkles around my eyes and they are starting to bracket my mouth, too. I won’t get into what’s happened to my knees.

Next Wednesday when I go to bed, I will be in my early 50’s.  When I wake up on Thursday morning, I’ll be the speed limit.  How did that happen?