Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31 (NIV)
If someone had told me twelve months ago, that I would have such angst over turning fifty, I would never have believed them. This year marks a half century of life, and I am surprised to find myself anxious over the approach of my birth date. Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time standing in front of the mirror trying to decide if I look better with or without bangs. The news reports all say that 2008 is the “year of the bang”. Who knew that when in 2007, after almost fifty years with bangs, I grew mine out? That is always my luck. A day late and a dollar short when it comes to fashion. Maybe I looked younger with bangs. My first night of school was this evening. I convinced a friend to join me because I did not want to be the only gray hair in a room full of eighteen year olds. The teaching assistant informed me that she was eight years old the year I received my Master’s Degree. Great. Make room for the old lady. I managed to hobble into the classroom, then, drive home in the dark. Class gets over way past my bedtime. The professor asked if anyone knew who J. Edgar Hoover was. I felt like saying, “Sure, I went to High School with him.” There is one other thing that is making me feel old. Tomorrow, I begin prepping for a routine procedure that comes with age. My health insurance requires it of all fifty year olds. I have to take two days off of work for it. One of my staff asked why I would be out, and I told her that the organization we work for was giving me a birthday gift and I was so excited about it that I needed a day to get ready. She believed me, and said wasn’t it nice of them to do something special for me. Sure thing. Just wait until she turns fifty. Tomorrow I will swallow a handful of laxatives and wash them down with a gallon of miralax. Just what I need to make me feel ancient. Bless the little girl at the pharmacy who acted shocked when I gave her my age. She said, “You don’t look that old.” My husband says to quit whining about it. Getting old beats the alternative of dying. I guess he is right. Maybe, I need to let 2008 truly be the year of the bang and get someone to bang me in the side of the head and remind me what is important in life. There is a lot to be said for the wisdom of the ages. Five decades worth of living has broadened my perspective. I will interpret the history learned in my class in a different way than I would have the first time I went to school. Oh, there’s a good thing about turning fifty. I will never have to be eighteen again.