I’m a few months shy of turning the big 5-0, but middle age is on my mind. A lot. Every snap, crackle and pop of every joint in my body sounds like a warning knell to old age.
I’m starting to think about retirement. I’m only a few years away from qualifying for the ‘mature’ or ‘golden’ checking account at my bank.
I like what I look like at almost-50:
It seems as if everywhere I turn these days, people look younger. My pastor is young enough to be my son. How did this happen?
But I am happy. I like who I have matured into. I am someone who stopped today to take a picture of a purple flamingo on an old building in town because it amused me.
I am someone who has never stopped being excited by the appearance of trains. I count the cars and engines. I wish on the caboose. I’m instantly transported back to age four, strapped in my stroller as my mother pauses under the tunnel in Floral Park as we near the playground so that I can count the cars and clap with delight as the train thunders overhead.
I am, in short, still me. Still Jeanne. Still the girl who loves Herb Alpert and horses, who prefers vanilla over chocolate ice cream, who loves her cats and misses her dog, who prefers the company of animals to the company of people, who loves a crackling fire and a fine merlot and a good mystery novel.
With every year that passes I gain gratitude and strength, crows feet and silver hair, inches along my waistline and wisdom in my soul. I can’t wait to focus on my writing this year as God calls me deeper into my truth, deeper into my fiction, and deeper into sharing stories with the world.
I’ll leave you with this sign I saw along my walk in Appomattox today: