The other day, Cristy mentioned that by the time we get married, I will be 49. I was momentarily silent, thinking that she must be mistaken. What kind of number is that? Certainly not my age. I have no mental connection with 49. But, point in fact, she is correct.
If I am kind and gentle with myself, I would quickly point out that I really look ten years younger than my true age. I wear flattering clothing and accessories, use a light hand with cosmetics and have migrated toward a lighter, softer hair color. If I am completely honest with myself, I would concede that my body is not the same as it was then years ago. I feel chronic pain in my joints, have lost some flexibility, and there are other more subtle changes that are not entirely welcome. I also have difficulty staying awake past my prescribed bedtime. When I am tired, my body just wants to fall asleep.
I consider myself a woman accumulating substance at this young age of 48. I value myself for my contributions, ideas and creativity. I value others for their sincerity and the manner in which they contribute within the scope of their chosen professions. For many years, I have been aware of an internal alarm system that tries to alert me if vanity appears as a guiding force within my decision making processes. As I progress through my own journey of life, I prefer to be a woman who seeks information to build thoughtful opinions, explores opportunities to channel creativity and appreciates the expressive creativity of others. My vanity-alert signal will check my internal motives to steer me away from pastimes that are inconsistent with becoming the mature woman of substance to which I aspire.
At 49, I do not aspire to have 500 friends on Facebook. I do not aspire to have 500 followers on Twitter. I do not aspire to stand in a spotlight or wield position and influence to get theater tickets or a dinner reservation at a coveted restaurant. I aspire to make a big fuss over Cristy when she completes her green-belt project, to cherish the days that we spend together and to reflect with gratitude on the trials I have faced and the lessons I have learned.