Am I middle-aged? That is the question that I keep asking myself. I suppose I had never really given much thought to it. My oldest daughter is going to be a senior in high school this year. We have been talking about her senior pictures and making plans to have them taken. In doing that I found my senior pictures to show her what mine looked like. I remember the day they were taken very clearly. It doesn't seem that long ago and yet I am being reminded of my age frequently.
I received a phone call in June confirming an eye doctor appointment. When the phone rang I was home. I was just unable to locate the phone until after they left their message. I called them right back to find out who the appointment was for. I have gone to the eye doctor every two years forever. My children go every year. I went to the eye doctor last year so it didn't occur to me that the appointment was for me. The appointment was for me.
I went for my appointment thinking that it was a big waste of time as I had just been there last year. The girl who took me back for the pre-test even talked me into having a picture taken of the back of my eyes because they can tell all sorts of things from that. I figured I should make it worth my while for going so I didn't complain much. I joked with the girl and I told her that if anything was wrong it would be the left eye's fault because that one was the trouble maker.
The doctor comes in and reviews my chart and asks me questions. Now keep in mind my doctor noticed that I was approaching a big birthday last year and was just sure that I may have problems with reading close up. I didn't, I see fine up close. This year he makes note of my age and again asks me how I am seeing up close to read. I assure him that I am fine in that department. He insists on making sure and is again surprised that I have "incredible focus." His words not mine. I did however need new glasses at the end of the exam which I had not anticipated at all. It seems my astigmatism shifted which meant new glasses for me.
I have teenage daughters that pride themselves in letting me know exactly how old I am. They love telling me I am getting old. I usually chalk that up to them being teenagers and teenagers live to irritate their parents. Plus I think it is fun to sing along to music in public which embarrasses them so I figure it's a trade off.
As we are looking at my senior pictures (once I get past the big eighties hair) I notice how thin I was. I then notice just how young I looked and how my parts were in the right places. When I look in the mirror a lot of the time I see my mother. I am no longer the thin young girl I once was. I am no longer the girl who didn't understand the importance of a push up bra. Nothing had fallen yet in that picture. I had my natural hair color in the picture which was nice because I had forgotten what my natural hair color was.
I took note of all of the things about me that had changed and I looked at my daughter who is getting ready for these pictures. The pictures that I remember having taken as if it were just last week and that is when it occurred to me that this may be what middle-aged is. I'm in the middle. I'm no longer that young fresh faced girl and I am not yet the older woman whose children are all grown and gone and waiting for grandchildren. This is the middle. The place where I don't know if I am too old to pursue dreams and ideas because it is my children's turn or if I can still dream and go and do. The middle is weird. I was an only child. The only experience I have with middle is by watching my own middle child juggle her place in the middle.
But middle aged? Somewhere between acne cream and wrinkle cream I've arrived in the middle. My baby of the family is using acne cream and noticed all my "potions" as I was washing my own face one night. He asked me if I was getting acne too. I told him no I'm getting wrinkles. We are both trying to prevent the inevitable from being obvious. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do in the middle, but as I look around at the people I'm in the middle of I can't think of a better place to be.