My mom turned 65 today. Happy Birthday, Mom! Coincidently, my sister and I had a conversation with our stepmom 2 days ago and were talking about how old we feel compared to our chronological age. My sister and I are 39 and 41 and we both feel around 30, but remembered a time in our late teens/early 20s when we had more responsibilities than many of our friends and had felt older than our real ages. Our stepmom is 68 and feels 50. We asked our mom, she feels 45. Makes you wonder how old many people in their 80s and 90s, who some of us see as past having hopes and dreams, feel. I also remember being 6 and feeling 20. I saw myself as a competent person who understood what was going on around me and felt I had something to contribute. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that I couldn’t go out and get a job if I wanted to. I could read, count money, answer the phone, set up a filing system, cook a couple of things. I saw myself as at least as capable as several of the adults in my neighbourhood. I really felt like an adult trapped in a kid’s body. I know a lot of girls approaching puberty and they, like most, swing between not being able to wait to be teenagers and being scared to death to leave childhood behind.
Makes me question how often, in our first 25 or so years of life (and our last), when we’re grouped, evaluated and taught, primarily by our chronological age, we actually feel on the inside the way we look on the outside.
At the top of the page is my mother-in-law, who turned 70 last March. Last summer we took her to Whistler, BC where she saw her first bear up close and was the only one of us to try bungee trampolining. She had never been on a trampoline in her life. (Ironically, it had been my 10 year old daughter’s idea to go, but she wasn’t old enough.) My MIL is one of many lifelong learners in my family. On her 70th birthday she bought herself her first laptop. I’ll have to ask her how old she feels!