Family Affair

Age Is Just a Number

I may be pushing 60, but I'm far from pushing up daisies

The big 6-0 is bearing down on me like a locomotive, and to be honest, I couldn't care less. Inside, I feel more like 6 than 60.

I've earned the right not to care. I've earned it with each gray hair. Wrinkles? They're a badge of honor. So what if the skin under my arms is flabby and saggy and I've got a spare tire? Face it, I'm never going to be a bodybuilder. I wasted far too much of my youth on fad diets, nibbling salads like a rabbit, my weight going up and down like a Duncan yo-yo.

When I hit middle age, my metabolism crashed. No matter what I did, I couldn't get rid of the baby weight (mainly because I was most likely carrying a food baby). I'm actually pretty careful about what I eat—I measure my cereal every morning without fail—but it's no longer an obsession. If I occasionally eat something drowning in butter ... well, it never hurt Emeril. I still don't wear a girdle or Spanx. I'll take my small victories.

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I can stay in my pajamas all day and not feel guilty. OK, maybe a little guilty, but I do it anyway. Some days I don't even wash my hair. Some days I don't even wear a bra (but don't tell my kids—that still freaks them out).

I may be pushing 60, but I'm far from pushing up daisies. My dreams are as big as they were when I was 20. Hell, maybe even bigger. My younger self could push things off to that faraway, nebulous "someday." Well, someday is here. Time to go for the gold—while I can still grab it without reaching for Ben-Gay.

In some ways it feels like the sky's the limit, but I know my limitations. I'm never going to have that fourth baby, and that's OK. Chances are I'm never going to climb Mt. Everest or run away on the back of a Harley and become a Mama Hog. I'm good with pushing my grandkids in their little blue wagon.

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Sipping champagne at midnight in a Monte Carlo casino on New Year's Eve? HA! I can't even stay up long enough to see the ball drop in Times Square. I have plenty of time to see Father Time and I'd much rather sleep like Baby New Year.

I'm now of the age where I can have a brain fart and blame it on being an old fart (and that goes double for any other meaning of the word). The truth is, I'm able to laugh about it all.

Since I'm old and pretty close to decrepit, I'm able to get away with doing and saying things I couldn't when I was young and cared what other people thought about me. I'm comfortable in my skin and can see the bigger picture now in glorious Technicolor. My grandmother used to say that when she looked in the mirror and saw what was staring her in the face, she still felt like a young girl inside. I didn't understand what she meant.

I sure do now.

Tags: aging