December 21, 2011
Editor’s Note: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is writing a blog called “Food for Thought.” It is available online at http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.
O.K. is it self-serving to write about Dec. 22 being my birthday? Probably, but I promise I won’t make it all about ME ME ME. Partly, but not all of it.
Today, I am 51 years old. I have four grown children, and they’ve all turned out to be amazing, very cool people. Wish I could take all the credit for that, but my husband had a big hand in their upbringing and guidance. Our children are the main yardstick I use by which to measure my life’s accomplishments. That will probably sound weird to everyone except you mothers out there, but it’s true.
So anyway. Back to 51. Never has a new decade bothered me in my age progression. Reaching a new age, having another birthday - in my opinion - beats the heck out of the alternative. And to tell you the truth, I have liked each decade better and better.
In my 30s I hit my stride professionally; in my 40s, I finally gained the self-esteem and confidence that every woman deserves (you can speak your mind and be assertive about it, and not feel guilty ladies), and here in my 50s, I feel as though I am beginning to enjoy the fruits of my labors. There’s self-discovery as a result of our being new empty-nesters, and there’s the sheer joy of watching your children become wonderful young adults and pursue their dreams.
I wouldn’t be true to myself, however, if I weren’t honest about some of the other joys of aging, no matter how gracefully I try to do it. For one, it’s hard to look cool and collected when it takes you five minutes or so to walk completely upright when you first get out of your car or even a chair. My joints just aren’t as responsive as they used to be.
Too, I was strolling down Main Street Buford the other day with a girlfriend, and my knee decided to stop working. It simply froze. It wouldn’t bend or hold weight or anything. At that point I just had to stop and pretend to window shop and pray that the situation was temporary. It was, until it happens again.
Everything seems to be dropping, going south. I’m not a vain person, but I do hope this phenomenon doesn’t go on and on. At the rate I’m going, I’ll soon have to start wearing some of my clothes upside-down so they’ll fit properly.
What’s up with that little semicircle of skin underneath the eyes? Mine looks like an intricate roadmap, and all the creams, potions and lotions in the world do not affect it one little bit. Don’t believe it.
Lastly, I finally get what people mean when they use the term “turkey neck.” Again, don’t waste your money on the creams or that “As Seen on TV” gadget that massages the neck area. I think that actually makes it worse.
I do like my 50s though, neck and all. Not that I want to rush things, but wonder what the 60s hold?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently-released book, “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, The Erie (PA) Times and the Anniston Star, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on radio shows nationwide.