The concept of age is something that has always eluded me. As an early teenager I wanted to grow up, like we all do, I guess, but when I turned 17 I must've really loved it because I kept on being seventeen for at least three more years.
The day my beautiful daughter Liv was born, on giving my date of birth at the hospital, it suddenly dawned on me that I was not 17 any longer - I had turned 20 without really understanding how it had happened.
All through my twenties and thirties, too busy having children and celebrating their birthday parties, I was never aware of my age and was often taken aback when someone asked. I remember one whole year when I thought I was 35 - it turned out to be that I was 34 - I had one bonus year! Didn't think much of it at the time, to be quite honest.
The first shock came when we moved to Santiago de Chile, where everyone working in the office was very young. After a party, a departing guest (a gorgeous-looking girl in her twenties) said something in the line of: "How wonderful to be so enthusiastic and full of life at your age!" AT MY AGE? AT MY AGE? What the hell did she mean by my age? A simple substraction was enough to make the coin drop with a thud. I was already 42!!!
(Now don't ask me how that happened 'cause I had been too busy changing houses and moving from one country to another to even notice).
It was tough, but having digested the fact of being in my forties, I've been pretty reconciled with life until very recently, when two incidents disrupted my peaceful and quiet existence in which mirrors are only used for looking at my teeth after I brush them (which explains my total disregard for wrinkles - all well earned and deserved as far as I'm concerned).
The first occured a couple of months ago, when a young girl stood up in a very crowded metro wagon to offer me her seat! Well, what that feels like, you'll have to wait till you reach my respectable age to know. I turned to see if she was beckoning someone else. Nope. I refused with a smile and then glanced at all the other people standing. Did I look older than ALL of them?? The answer is obvious.
The second incident happened yesterday. I was sitting outside, and a ray of sun was caressing my hair and driving warm, friendly vibes down my spine when I suddenly discovered my reflection in a shop window across the road: I saw a lady with gray, wiry hair who greatly resembled my mother!!!
Nothing wrong with that, I guess. I love my mother and I love gray hair; (I just hope it goes gray all over, not in patches).
What kills me is the fact that years just seem to drop in on me totally uninvited and with no warning...