I remember when my mom was pushing 50 and she’d mention something about being “middle-aged.” To which I would smart-aleckly reply something like, Was she planning on living to 100? (Sorry, Mom.)
Merriam-Webster defines middle age as “that period of life from about 45 to 64.” Since it’s a dictionary, I’m going to believe this. And it may or may not have something to do with the fact that I find myself now squarely in my mid-40s and everything to do with the fact that, like many things in life, my mom was right and I was wrong.
A few signs you’re approaching middle age:
1) The first few steps after waking up are punctuated by mysterious creaks, pops, and snaps and someone saying, “ow-ow-ow-ow.” And you realize all these sounds are coming from you.
2) You need reading glasses to send or read a text. And if you don’t, you risk sending messages like “I’m balling adleep. I’ll rext you kater.” Or worse, if you autocorrect kicks in.
You also notice all the food you’re eating lately looks a bit blurry. (Just put your glasses on!)
3) The pronouncement that bathing suit season is approaching doesn’t mean bikini waxes and running to check out the latest poolside fashions. No, not for you. You wonder how much clothing you can wear and have it still count as “swimwear.” A tee shirt and shorts works, right? Or maybe you were just born in the wrong era.
4) Your crow’s feet bring a whole new meaning to the attempt at a “smoky eye” when you apply eyeliner. It’s not pretty.
5) You begin to notice the presence of things on your face that were never there before, like….chin hairs. (shudder) That would be fine if you were a man. But you are not. And if you ignore those puppies for like, a day, they wind up inexplicably long and twirled around on themselves like a cartoon witch’s. (Dear children, for the love of all that’s holy, someone please pluck my chin hairs when I can’t remember who I am!)
6) The lists of “this season’s hottest fashions” make you laugh and laugh. And you also realize that if you are old enough to remember the first time Hammer pants and ripped jeans were in vogue, you need to just say no this time around. Your children will thank you.
7) Speaking of the 90s (we were, weren’t we?), when someone mentions “the 90s,” your mind drifts back to that time as if it were a mere decade ago. And then you realize 1990 was over 20 years ago.
8) You marvel now at how gracefully your parents handled their aging parents, full-time jobs, and you as a teenager as you utter such wondrous gems to your own teens like,
“No, you cannot have a house party while we’re out of town.”
“No, I don’t want you jumping off the roof. If everyone else jumped off the roof, would you?” and
Suddenly, you are your parents.
9) You realize that, more and more, you are dressing for comfort rather than style.
10) You think the stores are playing a brilliant collection of songs as overhead music and hum along in your happy ignorance, when someone mentions they are “oldies.”
11) You are completely comfortable with yourself, and realize that all the scars, stretch marks, and saggy bits serve to remind you what a heckuva life you’ve had so far!