During my trip to Big Bear Lake last spring, I noticed a sign in front of a community center. Or maybe it was a church. I can’t remember which. The sign posed the question: How Old Would You Be If You Didn’t Know How Old You Are?
The question barely registered, before I blurted out: 32! I would be 32! Although I didn’t really blurt it out. I actually blurted it in. Internal dialogues are my specialty. I really need to work on the external ones. This blog is a great step in that direction. I’ve never been one to share the deep down stuff with anyone. Even those closest to me.
I pondered why 32 had magically popped into my head as the age I most identified with.
Sure 32 was a good age. It was a time I had just begun to find my stride in the early stages of what would be a successful career. My kids were excelling in school, and in life. Amazing little people. My husband was doing well in his career, and we were enjoying the perks that come with success.
This also happens to be the age when I felt my body looked the best. I had, after all, given up carbs for a year, so I had earned it. Never mind that I was the snarkiest bitch on the planet. Can you blame me? I hadn’t eaten bread in almost a year.
I don’t think it’s a shocker that someone so focused on the external felt that my best year was the year I looked my best and had accumulated a lot of stuff.
What was lost on me at the time was that none of that had anything to do with the actual question. i.e. How old would be you if you didn’t know how old you are? Not, what was your favourite age?
I chose to wax nostalgic and fantasize about returning to my
better younger days.
Recently I decided to revisit the question, forcing an internal ‘check in’. The problem was, I didn’t even know where to start.
How do you honestly answer that question?
I tried to logic my way through it. (Yes, I know logic is not a verb. Just humour me and go with it.)
So, Nanc, how old do you feel?
Well, it’s hard to say. I’ll be 47 in a few weeks. I feel like I’m a very young 47, but – hey, what do I know? There are some mid-to-late 40’s women who appear to be much more youthful than I am. And others who look like they could be my mother.
So, to the question, ‘do I feel 47?’, I guess so, since I feel like me. And ‘me’ is almost 47. How’s that for logic?
But apart from an actual number, here are other things I feel:
- I feel like I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.
- I feel like I’m capable of doing more than I ever thought possible.
- I feel like there’s a lot of life left in me.
- I feel like I’ll be learning and growing for the rest of my days.
- and…I hope that the best is yet to come.
In the end, I guess I never did answer the question. Although, if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say I would think I was around 35 if I didn’t know how old I was.
At 35, I should be old enough to have learned from the mistakes of my 20’s, but not yet be jaded by all I’d experienced in my 40’s. I would still have hopes and dreams of being able to redefine myself, change and grow.
Oh wait, I still have all those hopes and dreams. So, I guess I change my answer. I’d be 46, going on 47.
A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
How old would YOU be if you didn’t know how old you are?