Last year when I celebrated the Big 4-0, I wasn’t sure how middle age would suit me. “Middle age,” in fact, sounded like a term I couldn’t imagine applying to myself. Given the fact that it feels like I finally finished graduate school only yesterday, it seems physically impossible that I could be over forty. But, it really is true when they say time speeds up as you age, for my long-awaited graduation from graduate school happened over five years ago, not yesterday. My twenties were the decade I married and moved to New England; my thirties were the decade I finally finished school, divorced, and came into my own; and my forties are…now. I’m not exactly sure how I got here so fast, but here I am, waking up to “middle age.”
And therein lies the kicker: it turns out I actually like being “middle aged.” I don’t necessarily like that term, as it sounds middling and mediocre: not quite young and not quite old, just a nondescript mishmash of This and That. I don’t like the way that many folks utter the term “middle aged” as if it were an epithet synonymous with “out-of-touch and stuck-in-a rut” rather than “a period of life when you’re still active enough to do fun things and wise enough to enjoy them sensibly.” But despite my initial indecision about how I’d like being 40, I’m finding that being a “woman of a certain age” really suits me. I’m beginning to think, in fact, that I’ve been a 40-something-year-old all along, and only now am I behaving in a way that is age-appropriate. Finally, the sprinkling of gray hair that looked so strange when I started getting it in high school looks entirely appropriate on a 40-something head: a badge of wisdom rather than an unfortunate genetic inheritance.
I have been following Lorianne, Dr. DeSabato, for as long as I have known about the blogosphere. . . five years now, actually. She is smart, articulate and a wonderful photographer. It is not often you will find someone who is so good at both words and pictures. She teaches college students in the little town of Keene, New Hampshire. I urge you to visit her blog often, for a treat will most always await you.