It's funny how life creeps up on you. My friend Anne and I tried to see "Mamma Mia" (the movie) last night and it was sold out for the early show. We could have seen "Hellboy II" or "The Dark Knight"...but Mamma Mia was sold out. Things that make you go hmmm..
Anyway, we were walking back to the car, and saw a couple of other women our age walking TOWARDS the movie line. We told them that "Mamma Mia" was sold out and they turned around and headed for their car as well. Sometimes, you just know what movie people are going to see. Anne commented that with the selections available when you "see another pair of middle aged women, you know what movie they're going to see."
Her comment caught me off guard, because I don't think of myself as middle aged. Of course, logically and chronologically, I AM middle aged; 45 certainly qualifies for that. However, I have a 3 year old daughter running around so I often talk with other moms (who are young enough to be MY daughter had life turned out differently)who are much younger than I am, but we're on the same level because our kids are the same age. I can relate to them because we're all going through the princesses/Dora/toilet training phase, regardless of our age on our birth certificate.
Hormonally, I'm certainly middle aged. I was warned 5 years ago by an Ob-Gyn when we were going through fertility stuff before we found out it wasn't medically possible for me to conceive and carry a child to term that I would be in full blown menopause in 3-5 years. I just finished a period that lasted into 4 weeks. I suspect the Ob-Gyn was right. My other friends who are "of that certain age" are variously starting to notice weird things with their cycles as well. My friend Wendy, who has a son going off to university in the fall, was 2.5 weeks late a couple of months ago and was terrified that she was pregnant...turned out, she's just going into "the change". She was both relieved and saddened by the news. She watches me chase my 3 year old, and she's raising 3 boys in their teens-she doesn't want to go back to diapers, but she was sad that she's losing the choice.
I guess, in the end, age is an attitude. My maternal grandmother lived to be 86, and she was the coolest person I knew. She knew the latest movies, the latest songs, and she danced a mean hustle. She made it her business to keep up on things, and was a verocious reader. She wanted to relate to her grandchildren, so she immersed herself in their world and their interests. She was the epitomy of "young at heart." My father, in contrast, decided that he was "old" at 60 and started walking with this slow, shuffling gait. It wasn't until he was mistaken for his younger brother's FATHER instead of brother that he snapped out of it and started walking upright again. I know children that are "old souls" as my mother would say-far more worldly in their outlook than they should be for their chronological age.
It's taken me this long to be comfortable with who I am and what I believe in. I wouldn't go backwards for anything. I'd like to right some wrongs, or make better choices about love and romance, but then, I wouldn't have the life I have now if I did. Hindsight is always 20/20. I don't think I'm in danger of a Mid-life crisis, because I'm finally comfortable (most days, anyway unless there's a bathing suit in public involved) in my own skin, in my own person and with my own values and life choices. If that's what being "middle aged" means, then bring it, baby. I can own that. But I still want to learn how to tap dance, belly dance and do that hip hop booty shake...I've still got almost half my life left, after all!