It’s Time to Let Those Wrinkles Take Their Places

Turning 50?
As I approach the completion of my first half a century of life on this earth, I start to wonder what happened to all that time that used to stretch out before me when I climbed trees and gazed at my hazy future.

I have reached the age where I prefer to climb mountains rather than trees (I can use my walking sticks for balance); where my students ask me if I remember what World War II was like and accuse me of being the same age as my mother.

I suppose the good news is, I probably won’t live to be 100, so I’ve already survived my mid-life crisis and the other side of the hill should be a breeze. My one regret so far in life remains in all the time I’ve wasted.

I’ve wasted time fretting because I didn’t have bell-bottom pants like all the other girls in fifth grade. I wasted time scheming and scrimping money so I could buy a pair of Candies high heel shoes (cheap, uncomfortable things) because everyone else had a pair in junior high. I let precious moments slip through my fingers because I wanted to leave the house with every hair in place and a flawless face—because that’s what girls in high school did. I worried about relationships (or lack thereof), and perused magazines that promised to teach me everything I needed to know to attract the opposite sex, have a meaningful relationship and get him to pop the question. I poured over books that purported to have the formula for raising perfect children, holding my dream job and becoming a millionaire by flipping real estate. Ha!

But the closer I come to God, the more I realize that time operates differently than we perceive it. I needed those ‘wasted’ times in order to grow. The waiting times and the wasted times have always produced growth and self-realization (unfortunately, some of those times—like the raccoon-like use of eye-liner—have been recorded for posterity on film).

Now that I rock on the crest of the downhill slide, I realize I’ve declared my independence from many of the things that made my uphill climb so difficult. I only eat what I like. I exercise because I love the way it makes me feel (ok, and I’m a little competitive). I quit wearing make up and dying my hair about eight years ago. I haven’t worn high heels in over ten years. I sing in class (my screechy voice keeps my students on the edge of their seats). I quit using a blow dryer, curling iron and curlers.

I finally realized that the important part of me is what I’ve spent developing on the inside. Click To Tweet

I finally realized that the important part of me is not what people see on the outside, but what I’ve spent developing on the inside. I don’t need to cover up my wrinkles, because wrinkles are time stamps of character. When I grow up, I want to be the old lady swinging from the grape vines and laughing with glee over a life well lived.

I don’t need to cover up my wrinkles, because wrinkles are time stamps of character. Click To Tweet

What about you? How does time feel for you?

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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