Yesterday was my birthday. I had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family and I have to say, there’s never been a birthday yet where I’ve been upset about my age or freaked out about telling people how old I am. This year was no exception. I’m 52. I admit it. I’m a grandma. I’m turning gray and I’m 52. I’m okay with it. Really.
Well…I thought I was until my kids walked in with a gorgeous cake from one of my favorite bakeries topped with two big candles. A big 5 and a big 2. Seeing those candles spell it out for me like that kind of freaked me out. I started laughing so hard I could barely blow out those big number candles. Eventually I pulled it together, blew them out, ate my cake and enjoyed the rest of the evening. But that feeling stuck with me. That feeling that, no matter what my head may be telling me, my body is saying I’m getting old.
Before you try reassuring words like “52 is the new 40”, or some such nonsense, I realize that I’m years away from the retirement home and I don’t need to rush into ordering my hearing aid just yet but the fact is, my youth is behind me. Let me tell you, it’s weird watching a TV show, or looking at a group of people, thinking of them as contemporaries only to realize, with a start, that they are the age of your children.
I love this time of my life. I have zero desire to go back and relearn all of the life lessons or remake all those mistakes but it’s still disconcerting, at times, to look into the mirror and see a grandma staring back!
On the way to my birthday dinner last night, we were listening to (rather, singing along with) the John Mayer CD Continuum. There’s a song on that album called Stop This Train. It’s not a new song. It came out in 2006. I’ve heard it dozens of times. Always thought it was a pretty song but lately the lyrics to this song have hit me between the eyes.
So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find a way
To say that life has just begun
Stop this train
I wanna get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t, but honestly
Won’t someone stop this train?
If you’ve never heard this song before, or even if you have, take a few minutes to listen to the lyrics of this beautiful song.
I don’t know about you but this song makes me cry. Every. Time. Life is racing ahead at breakneck speed and I feel like I’m losing my breath trying to keep up. I don’t want to look back and wonder why I wasted time cleaning the house when I could have gone for a walk with my daughter or why I spent hours on Pinterest when I could have played a game with my son, or why…you get the picture, right?
Well, I can’t stop the train but I’m determined, this year to take time to look up, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the ride!