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?

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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