One of the things I enjoy as I get older (and maybe it’s a little odd but so be it) is seeing something and imagining, "What would my younger self would think?"
Let me elaborate. Recently, my husband and I were out dining with some friends at a restaurant, and the waiter distributed scented hand wipes at the end of the meal. You can see from the photo what a charming little gift it was: the tiny box with it's pen and ink couple that is reminiscent of an Al Hirschfeld sketch. Open it up, and nestled inside there is a trio of scented wipes: amber, wild fig, and pink grapefruit.
Okay, so it was pretty stinkin cute. And I said it was cute as I took it from the waiter’s hand. But then something just welled up inside of me and brought a big smile to my brain (if it's possible for brains to smile). I couldn’t help but think, “What if I had been given this as a little girl?” I would have been thrilled with such a treasure.
First off, I imagine I would have energized the pin and ink drawing. It was just screaming for some color. The crayons or markers would have come out. Second, I would have examined each “refreshing towel” packet and then agonized over which one to open first. Intense questions would have been asked such as, “Should I open and use the scent that intrigues me the most?” Or “Should I not even consider the fragrance, but perhaps focus on packaging? I could open the least pretty one, saving the others for a more special occasion." (Yes, I used words like "least pretty.")
No doubt heavy decisions for my small self to chew on, but it would have to be done.
It’s moments such as this one that I had in the restaurant, freebie towelettes in hand, that I find myself doubly enjoying. I believe it’s because I can look at a situation with two sets of eyes – eyes from years ago and current eyes. With the towelettes, I found delight in not just seeing them, but realizing how "little me" would have reacted years ago. It makes the younger “me” not seem so distant. And I find this important, because I’m a conglomeration of all my ages. And for a brief moment in life, it’s like two time periods meet together, and I live out the moment with twice the appreciation.
Growing up, I was a TV bug.
You could put one in front of me, and then watch me morph into a hard shelled critter with plenty of arms and legs for maneuvering my blanket, snacks, and pillows. Did I need to pee? Who cares, I could hold it.
I was not only mesmerized by TV but also movies. So many storylines to catch up on (after all, I was born in the 80s…TV and movies had been entertaining for quite some time). So many mysteries to figure out. So many science fiction films to get lost in. So many characters to learn of. I enjoyed it all. Black and white? I found it charming. Color? Even better.
I didn’t want to feel left out: I wanted to watch what others watched so I could be in "the loop." I wanted to laugh at shared jokes from the latest TV series. I wanted to “get” the lines people quote from major movies. Shared references from film and TV add such a rich dimension to conversations and make everyone feel closer somehow. Count me in.
Cartoons were so bright and colorful and gaudy and magical and fantastic. Disney? Warner Brothers? Nickelodeon? Yes please. Comedy sitcoms opened up to me the variety of humor. I could re-watch favorites again and again. I was quickly memorizing lines along with my family – and we still quote them to each other – often ending in a fit of laughter. Who couldn’t love that little box in the living room (which was slowly getting thinner and thinner with better technology)?
However, now I’m starting to see story settings repeated. There are new actors, but old jokes are being retold. Situations are replayed. The same personalities resurface under the guise of a “new” character. The plot twists are happening again and again. Mysteries are much less mysterious. Dramas seem less dramatic.
Is this a bad thing?
The older I get, I no longer feel so much like I’m missing out. Have I seen it all? Nope. Have I seen a lot? Yup. But my desire to immerse myself in many TV shows is slowly fading. Now it’s only special shows. Cautiously selected movies. I went from wanting to plunge my face down into the pie to carefully cutting a piece, pulling out a pretty fork, lighting a candle, and slowing dining on the carefully selected morsel. And to me, it’s just one more thing I enjoy about getting older.
One of my friends gifted me with this little favor bag tucked full of goodies. She had them made for her sister’s bachelorette weekend as a funny care pack of sorts for the gals to use during their fun frolic around Los Angeles. I was touched she brought one back for me (she knows I have a penchant for beauty products), and as I read those sassy red words, I had one of those “a ha” moments that became the basis for this first blog post you are reading.
For me, the proverb on this pouch is exactly how I used to feel about aging: It seemed a good idea at the time.
I can recall so many moments in my life when I longed to be just a little older because then I could go on my first sleepover, just a little older and then I could drive, just a little older and then I would be a college student…(I was pretty dramatic, so let your reading voice draw out the italicized words with a good solid whine.) I think I spent more time longing for milestones in my life than I did the actual milestone itself. Let me be real with you. Little me spent so much time dreaming of my first kiss, and the grand affair took just a few awkward seconds (albeit cute awkwardness.) That first kiss finally came, but never satiated, it seemed a good idea at the time for me to be a little less content with whatever my current situation was and to instead look eagerly forward to a future time.
But now fast forward to my 30s, and I was disturbingly doing the same thing – only I was reversing the process– looking longingly back in time to when I was younger and wondering why time had moved so slowly, yet in hindsight, so quickly. Growing older seemed a good idea at the time, but was it actually just a disappointing fate that I foolishly saw through rose colored glasses?
No, I don’t think so.
Part of the excitement of looking forward to something is, well, the excitement. But the excitement of getting older, while, ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time” is still very much a good idea and the entire purpose of my blog. I’m diligently discovering that despite the trials life can bring (along with aches, pains, and other unpleasant situations) aging is something I can eagerly look forward to, and indeed a good idea at the time, whether I am 35, 57, 78 or 105!
Creator of Love, Auntie.