Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Better with Age

Dear Better with Age,

How timely it is to have you as the topic of my next post!  Could it be that I just want to make myself feel better about being in my brand new Club?  Having turned 40 along with an everlasting cold that knocked me off my feet is reason enough for finding euphemism in the inevitable process of aging.   Here is my #TopTen list of Things That Get Better with Age:

10. Wine/scotch: the number one no-brainer answer.  I found several bottles of French and Californian reds on our wine rack that are older than Dear Daughter.  I'm not sure when Dear Husband is planning on consuming them, but they had better be some good wine.  #SeeTheDustOnThatBottle?

9. Shoes/jeans: I much prefer a pair of worn shoes and jeans to brand new ones.  There's nothing like wearing things that seem to have memory of your body shape, accommodating your every curve and arch.  #BreakEmInWearEmDown

8. Sex: no longer constrained by the pressures of fertility or infertility and having settled into being in the post-reproductive phase of life, it is, well, like aged wine: full-bodied, complex, and satisfying.  It is a new chapter in emotional and physical intimacy, rewarded by bidding farewell to child-rearing sleep deprivation and getting our bedroom back to ourselves.  #BestSurpriseOfAging

7. Recipes: with time comes experience, and with experience comes improvement.  The elements of perfecting a dish lie in the tiny changes one makes over the years--kind of like evolution.  And of course, mutations occur, just like when I ran out of ham and substituted bacon for making fried rice for the first time and made Killer Bacon Fried Rice.  #WhatWasForDinnerLastNight #BestCookingMutationEver

6. Les Mis: the change in my perception of this musical over the years is profound.  I watched Les Miserables for the first time, live, back in college about 20 years ago.  While I liked it, I didn't have enough life experience to fully internalize the epic beauty of the work.  Watching it on the big screen last year was inexplicably different.  I was deeply touched by the characters, emotions, songs, and music of the movie.  I've had the honor to hear the music for about half my life now, and it still gets better each time.  The complexity of human relationships and the emotion of love portrayed by this musical is to be enjoyed for a lifetime.  #LayersDimensionsScope

5. Sense of humor: I am so glad that I am no longer my younger self in this aspect.  Have you ever met someone so tease-able because she took things so literally and seriously?  I was that person.  The one who never had a good comeback for a joke or some silly mischief?  That would be I.  The person who was too self-conscious to ever try to say something funny or off-the-wall?  Um, me.  Thanks to the workings of DH and his dorky sense of humor, I've come a long way in that department.  I've learned to let go, be less self-conscious, and more fun--especially with the kiddos.  Laughing is such a wonderful part of life.  It's even better when you're laughing at your own dorky self.  #SelfDeprecationHumorRocks

4. Photos/videos: perhaps the most treasured "old" possession in my opinion.  The older, the better.  The joy that comes from seeing times of old is priceless.  Evoking memories of once and had been are great for a laugh--just look at the hair and fashion faux-pas of yesteryear!  #ChortlingDownMemoryLane

3. Awareness of the world: as the brain matures, focus shifts from self to outside of self, and that's where learning about everything around us becomes more engaging.  I remember not being interested in the news, current events, and educational media such as documentaries and classical music.  Thankfully, I grew out of my self-absorbed self and became fascinated by new knowledge and the fine arts.  Now, documentaries are no longer boring, and instrumental music is highly inspiration to me.  #SureSignOfAging

2. Empathy: clearly associated with life experience, we gain appreciation for others' emotions through mutual understanding and compassion. With age, we relate to other people better, we're more apt to put ourselves in others' shoes, and we are less inhibited to try to understand others and take the leap to make connections.  In fact, we model the importance of empathy so that our children can learn to be kind and do good in the world.  It is Sunshine on a cloudy day, Colors among shades of gray, and Warmth on an overdue Spring.  #PowerOfEmpathy

1. Sense of Self.  So I've trekked through the formative years where I learned about the world around me; I've survived the chaos of the transitional teenage years; I've tread past the bright, anything-is-possible young adult years; and I've just completed my first decade of motherhood.  I'm at a place where I'm much more comfortable with mySelf than ever before.  At times where I may have felt very self-conscious at a younger age, I now think--I've earned the right to trust what I believe in to mind what others think of me.  I now get that people don't have to like me.  I just have to like myself.  And in order to do that, I have to believe in myself.  I have to know that my values and beliefs are valid and therefore good enough--not for anyone else--but for me.  #FindingComfortInMyOwnSkin

All this sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  Well, all of these things that get better with age all come at the cost of my fading memory, my disappearing mental and physical agility, and the unforgiving additions of wrinkles and gray hairs.  I have proof.  Yesterday, I went to do an emergency load of laundry (zero kiddos underwear count) only to find a load of unwashed sheets and towels in the washer and a load of undried now dried-to-a-crisp load of dishtowels in the dryer, that have been sitting there for I-don't-know-how-many-days.  To add salt to the wound, for two days in a row now, I did not have the brain capacity to set the timer on the rice cooker because I cannot reconcile a twenty-four hour clock/timer in my inflexible AM/PM brain.  There's nothing like opening the rice cooker to be greeted with a pile of uncooked rice under an inch of water.  Total dinner fail. Two days in a row.

If this is a sign of things to come, be scared.  Be very, very scared for me.

So, Dear Better with Age, I needed this list to know that there will be grander things to represent this stage in life than forgetting what I got up off my bottom to actually do.  Or conditioning my hair twice because I can't remember if I already did it or not.  But I'll be sure to let you know how that bottle of wine is when we open it.  Unless, of course, if I forget by then.



  1. Loved loved loved this list. There are so many of my own truths sprinkled in here!

    1. Thank you, Nilsa! I guess I'm a "list-y" kind of gal. I enjoy making these lists, so I'm glad you can relate to them! :)

  2. Loved that Sandra! It seems will never experience non-sleep-deprivation-sex you mentioned. I am envious! I say this as I feel the kicking in my belly at age 41 !!! But at age 41, you are right Sandra, I don't mind that my two thighs have melted into one because I am happy where I am. After 40 we are so lovable because we love ourselves!!

    1. True dat, Helen! But you know your little bundle of joy is so worth the sleep deprivation! We care so much less at our ripe age, which is actually a good thing. It makes our lives easier and happier! Thanks for dropping by, my friend!

  3. Gasp, you said s-e-x. Hehe. Just kidding. You can now. And totally hear ya on the sense of humor. The crude jokes I used to tell and like. So glad I'm past that. Of course, I'll prolly have to re-live those type when my kids get older. Sheesh. And don't worry about the rice cooker thing. Happens all the time around here. To my hubs, of course, hehe.

    1. Tee hee, that s-e-x part was my exercise in not caring about what others think. Did I pull it off? :) That rice cooker thing? One day it was the clock I didn't set right, and the next day was the timer not set right. I haven't cooked rice since that day... Sigh. Glad to have your hubs in my company. :)

  4. Great list. I'll have to remember there are good things about aging when I turn the big 4-0. Sometimes it's too easy to focus on the aching back, sore muscles, wrinkles, etc. - all the crappy side effects of aging :) All that noted, I've never had any desire to turn back the clock and relive any period of my life (even if it were possible.) Hope you are feeling better and you've bid that nasty cold farewell.

    1. I totally agree with you, Janna! I don't need to turn back time, either. I'm feeling better cuz I tasted my am coffee for the first time in 2 weeks! Gah, this cold was so terrible--now I'm trying to salvage my house from not cleaning for weeks! Thanks so much for coming by, and I'll be visiting soon, too!