Ahh, getting old. It happens as quickly and silently as anything else. You turn around one day, and while turning, your hip hurts, you catch glimpse of the crow’s feet around your eyes and your knees buckle. It all hit me last weekend. My husband and I were out walking on a rare, sunny Sunday. We had climbed some stairs near the state park where we live. After much huffing and puffing (despite a year’s worth of work at the gym), we made it to the top! Here, between breathes, we were able to sputter out: view- is- worth- the – climb, before doubling over to slow our breathing. We took a few moments to enjoy the view and snap a few selfies for due diligence.
Still enjoying the incredible sunshine and watery views, we started our descent. Ascending the stairs was an adorable family: a mom with toddler, and a dad with a baby in a backpack-carrier-thingy. Immediately, my husband and I broke into our, “awww, what a cute family” exchange. The dad and my husband exchanged looks, just as my husband cajoled, “I’d offer to help you but I’m afraid those days have passed for us…” That’s when it hit me. They probably looked at us and thought, “awww, look at the active grandparents.” That’s right. We’re officially old enough to be grandparents. We aren’t (yet), but this where we are, knocking down the door of grandparenthood.
That’s the reality that we need to accept that I didn’t see coming, until that second….Just like that, all in a day’s walk, I went from feeling mid-30’s to being received as “grandparenty.” In a blink, we move on to the next phase of life and it left me wondering: did I even stop to enjoy the phase I was in? how did I not even realize my age until now? how does it go so fast and how are we so helpless to enjoy what we have when we’re in it?
Aging has hit me all at once, but maybe that’s the lesson- that I see it now and CAN start enjoying each and every step in this next climb before reaching the top. Now that I see it, I can fully embrace it, and gracefully ascend, huffing and puffing, to the next phase of life.