Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Aging

None of us live forever, certainly this is why the passing of time is such a popular topic among writers. We all marvel at how quickly the years pass, particularly after we become parents. We watch newborns turn into toddlers and then children in the blink of an eye. We see the lines appear on our own faces and wonder, when did that happen? We witness our own parents age, their bodies change, their hair grey. Unstoppable. Unstoppable. Julian is now almost six months. His first little baby tooth is pushing through. Unstoppable. Unstoppable.

It's inevitable, and perhaps that is the hardest part. Certainly for those who can afford it plastic surgery can mask the evidence, but even for them, it doesn't stop the passage of time, it doesn't truly keep one young.

Growing up in a youth obsessed culture, I admit that at age 37, I already miss my younger self. The tone in my skin and my calves. The brightness of my eyes, the whitness of my teeth, the tightness of my tummy. Aging has already left it's physical mark.

Recently I was telling a friend about my 1997 trip to London. I lived there for six months on a student visa. I lived in a one bedroom flat with my boyfriend and two other people. I was a waitress. I often spent my mornings wandering the streets, parks and museums of the city on my own. I took my time, and reported to nobody. I drank tea in cafes, had a pint in a pub, and read a book in Hyde Park on my own time. Tonight I looked back at my photo album from that time (see above pictures) and became quite nostalgic. I miss that woman. Young, free, ambitious, pretty, hard working. My whole life ahead of me.

That isn't to say that things did not turn out well. Of course they did. I married that boyfriend. We found careers, traveled, and created a beautiful family. I love my life, but I am afraid that it is passing too quickly, and my growing children remind me of that every single day.

Lately there are times when I wish that I could not only press "pause" on life, but that I could also rewind, and go back to my younger self. It's hard to see that person fade and to know that I can never, ever go back.

We all get older. If we choose to have children we proudly watch them take our places amongst the ranks of the youth. For me it brings great happiness, but also some sorrow as I begin to fully acknowledge our circle of life.


  1. I know this, too.

    You are a beautiful woman, Rachel. I don't see any wrinkles or other signs of aging on you :)

  2. This is all so very very true. I feel like I could have written that exact post myself! If I dwell on it too much, I freak out!

  3. Yes, I can so relate! Just came across an album a friend made us as a wedding gift in 2005 and I wanted to cry in mourning for my old life. But as you said, I also can appreciate how far I've come and how blessed I am to have my own little family now.

    P.S Been meaning to stop by -- hi from your preschool friend!

  4. My friend and I were discussing this only yesterday. Her 18 year old son has just finished year 12 and gone over seas for three months, meeting up also with his first ever girlfriend over there. It's coming into summer over here, and thoughts turn back to when early summer held so much anticipation and exhilaration about what they were going to hold - the new experiences, the romance, when all the senses were constantly alive. So bittersweet to look back....