Every time we celebrate a birthday in the family, even if it's not mine, I'm still reminded of the passage of time. We have the "kids" (now adults) and their spouses over, with 2-year-old Caroline, and everybody has a great time. Then after they leave, Ed spends the next day in a pensive mood, reminiscing on how he misses the kids being young, where did the time go, etc.
I'm especially reminded of getting older when I see myself in a photograph. Normally I am the photographer in the family, which gives me freedom to avoid being in the picture. Then I remember how my dad was hardly ever in a picture because he was always the photographer, so I make an effort to have someone take a picture of me once in awhile. And, of course, to upload a picture to this site, as well as to MT sites I frequent, means I have to get a decent head shot. It takes me - I am not exaggerating - about 50 takes before I find a picture of myself I can live with. It got so bad that Ed, who used to do the honors at my request, refuses now to take my head shot, because after he took 4 or 5, I would find fault with them and ask him to take more. So I have to do it myself, holding the camera at what I estimate is the correct angle, and snap away. Over and over. Fortunately, I have a digital camera. I would hate to have taken a whole roll of film to find out an hour later when I picked up the prints at the store that I hated every photo. Now I just hate every photo digitally - it's much cheaper.
Why do I hate every photo? Because I'm old and it shocks me. When did that happen? Unlike some folks, it didn't bother me when I turned 40 or 50. It didn't bother me when the kids got married. It didn't bother me when I became a grandmother. But it bothers me when I see myself in a photograph. Every imperfection is there in full blazing color. Thank goodness for the "delete" key. Delete, delete, delete. Maybe? if I squint a little?....nah. Delete.
Reader's Digest, in their section Life in These United States, had an entry which hit home for me this week:
Fortunately, my husband found a fix for his midlife crisis: a new job. Unfortunately, it was in another state, which meant selling a house where we'd had eight happy years. Getting ready for bed one evening before the move, I said sadly, "I pictured us growing old together here." As he kissed me goodnight, he replied, "We did."