He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence. (Psalm 103:4-5 ~ The Message, emphasis added)
I'll never forget the day I turned a corner and realized that I wasn't a teenager anymore. I was at K-Mart around the holidays and the aisles were a zoo (why does everyone seem to wait till the last minute to do their shopping anyway?!). What I hoped would be a quick trip to pick up wrapping paper and tape was turning into quite a safari which was tragic for me because I loathe crowds - but that's another blog for another time...
So I'm making my way down the aisle when I spy an alternate route through a less crowded aisle. I got in that aisle and was making progress when I noticed a young mother and her little girl in my path. The little one was entertaining herself as children do, oblivious to anyone around her. She laughed and sang to herself and chattered to her mother who was doing the half listening thing. I paused for a second to take in the scene. I smiled at the mother who smiled back and said to her daughter, "Sweetie you're going to have to move so the lady can get by." With that the two of them scooted in closer to the shelves. I did the same so "the lady" could get past me too. A few moments went by and I noticed no one had come by... Imagine my horror and dismay to discover that "the lady" she was referring to was ME!!! (which might explain why they looked at me strangely when I moved out of the way too... how embarrassing!) Everything in me wanted to scream, "I'm not a lady! I'm only 23 for crying out loud!!" Instead I made a beeline to the nearest cash register so I could pay for my stuff and make my escape! It's no wonder I hate shopping.
Recently I was laughing on the phone with a friend of mine about "kids these days." On and on we went about the loud music that isn't saying anything -it's a wonder their hearing isn't affected. How about the weird clothes and hair? No, what about the piercings?! And don't get me started on their speech - who even understands what they are saying? There was a pause as we realized we had become our parents and at the same time we both said, "Oh my goodness!!! We're OLD!!!!" Somewhere along the way without our even realizing it we crossed the line between young and old. I feel like I've been blind-sided, sucker punched, hoodwinked... you get the idea.
Now, I admit, I've been fighting aging with every fiber of my being... (which reminds me I need to take my fiber when I finish this post). From coloring away my gray to stepping up my skin care regiment, I've been at war with the process. One of my freinds, who isn't much older than I am, is always referring to herself as "middle aged!" Can I just tell you it makes the hair on my arms stand up to hear that term attached to one of my peers!
Still each day there are things that remind me that I'm not 17 anymore; things like my hips and knees, my glasses, my new intolerances to certain foods, my "blond highlights" (my hair color is brown...) and the list goes on. And still I fight on grasping at the straws of my youth for dear life. Whoever coined the phrase, "growing old gracefully," was most certainly NOT referring to me! I know it's all vanity and futility on my part, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't at least try to go down with a fight... It brings me comfort to know that my age is a non issue in the presence of God. For me, THAT'S the Good News today!
Uh oh, I just looked at my roots in the mirror I keep on my desk and I gotta go find a calendar and call my stylist to set up a retouch for my color. See y'all!!
Oh, and have a YOUNG happy Thursday!