Remember the moment you first noticed it?

It’s the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. It didn’t happen overnight, but many of us didn’t see the earliest signs until one day we looked in the  mirror and there it was. A wrinkle. A gray hair, maybe one of those stiff curly ones that stick out. A potbelly that won’t go away. Did you ever think you’d be shaving your ears?

It wasn’t always something we could see. Maybe we were sore or tired after a morning walk, or some other activity we’d done a thousand times that never bothered us before. Or we couldn’t remember a name of an author or book or movie, something that we knew well.

Then, once we noticed that innocent little sign, we began to look for more and suddenly they were all over the place. Before we knew it we were racing to the drugstore or standing anxiously at the cosmetic counter searching for something to make the problem go away. Vitamins. Herbs. Wrinkle creams. A little hair dye to banish the gray.  Translucent bases, bronzers and powder or cream blushes and a dozen other tubes and vials to preserve the bloom of youth.

Maybe we took it all in stride. Accept the inevitable, we thought. Let nature take its course. Still, we noticed one day that we had a crossed a line, from youth to no-longer-young. Once over that line, life is different. Before it, we spent birthdays thinking about how many years we’d live. After it, birthday’s became a time to contemplate how many we have left.

I once told an old friend whom was complaining about her daughter & son-in-law becoming hot-air balloon chasers. She called it a “mid-life crisis.” I said, “It may not be that at all, it may be the first time in their lives they’d had the opportunity to do it. I hope their having the time of their lives!” They didn’t let age or aches and pains stop them from doing what they love. Having a new adventure. We let opportunities go by all the time, as we age, so that people don’t accuse us to not acting our age. I say, “Hang that! Seize the day & Embrace it!” I’m not above dyeing my roots or buying more than one product to keep the fine lines and imperfections away, but my DASH (the line between birth and death) will be one of spontaneity and adventure. Magical moments: balloon rides, fire­ works, date nights, limo-service… How about you?

Consider all the ways our lives changed.

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. ~ Victor Hugo