On Aging, I Suppose.
This post originally appeared on our old blog Born to be a Bride.
Honestly, I’ve been in a funk about this birthday. Is that terrible? I have everything to celebrate and so much more. An absolutely beautiful, sweet, lively little girl in my life; a terrific husband who cheers me on at every turn; fantastic family and friends; and a career that’s peeking its tired little head out from behind pregnancy and newbornness and started to exist again. This past year was amazing in every way — I became a mom, for goodness’ sake. But still, aging for me is difficult.
Yesterday, I plucked three silvery hairs from my very tired head before shoving myself into some leggings (it took three pairs before I found one without holes) and heading into the city for highlights. (I see Justin at Sally Hershberger Downtown, and you should, too…)
I kissed my baby girl on her keppe and left her with the sitter who adores her. For the first time in weeks of using this wonderful woman to help with Willow, I did something special for me and not for work while she was in her care.
And it felt great! Riding the subway unencumbered, swishing around my fresh hair, witnessing the city alive and well, pulsating with the excitement of Fashion Week on the horizon (or maybe it’s just the arrival of the PSL). In any case, it was a very good day. But as I walked home, lost in my thoughts and trying to take a selfie of the hair on the street without looking like a total narcissistic weirdo to passersby, I felt melancholy. Why?
My father always jokingly (or not-so-jokingly!) offers us condolences on our birthdays. It’s a running expectation in the family and we always have a good laugh when he does so. But there’s something quite poignant about it, really, isn’t there? The birthday is really just an excuse for everyone to get one day out of the year to be celebrated and appreciated. A day when your friends and loved ones are supposed to be nice and now, in this new age of technology, virtual postcards come from every angle of the web. It’s supposed to just be a mile marker but for so many, myself included, it’s a grand old reminder that each day, each year, brings us one closer to the grave.
Am I horrible?
It’s odd, because I’ve never felt it more profoundly than I do this year. Something about being a mom. Something about watching her hair, currently a blondish, fluttering in a soft breeze, almost nonexistent at the sides. Something in the way the days seem a gift I might not even deserve. Each one closes and my heart hurts just a little — one more down, one fewer left with her. It’s a sick and terrible way to think about things, I know. But it happens sometimes. And today, the gravity of it is stronger.
I remember last year’s birthday in vivid, almost hourly detail. Down to the paint colors on my fingers and toes. I remember where I parked my car when I went in to get said nails taken care of, can picture the words of the texts that came through, most of all the virtual birthday card from one of my sweet friends in Texas that showed up on the screen. I can almost feel my seven-month bump beneath my palm, kicking around and filling me with complicated emotions — a little bit fear and mostly so much anticipation.
And now I’m a mom. Next year on my birthday she’ll be one, nearing two, and so on and so on it will go. Each year coming faster and leaving sooner than the one before that. No, I’m not depressed about my appearance. For the age that I am now, I look better than I expected to at this point, so I’ll find comfort in that (ha!). But the thought of having nearly a whole year of Willow’s life behind me, I don’t know, it’s sad. Call me wimpy and sappy or whatever it is… Maybe, sometimes, you fall into the role of a lifetime, and any reminder that one day it’ll be over, is just too sad to bear.
In any case, consider this post a “Gone Shopping” note, because we’ve just left to pick up an absolutely incredible new friend of mine and her darling baby girl to do a little retail therapy. The good thing about being cooped up in the house due to weather when Willow was a newborn is that I have some lingering gift cards to burn through. Hopefully, next week I’ll be refreshed and glowing from a weekend spent celebrating and scoping out the beauty backstage at the shows. And this birthday will be like ripping off a Band-Aid … and having a a massive drink to numb the pain.
Until then, L’Chiam! Another fantastic thing my dad always says about getting older? IT SURE BEATS THE ALTERNATIVE! Whatever gets you through the day, right? Cheers. xx