I don’t recognize the girl in the mandatory PTO Board school picture. I don’t feel the age that comes with the lines that circle her eyes. I don’t know whose neck is folding in the newly taken passport picture. I don’t know how to rectify the age I feel in my soul with the one that returns my stare in the mirror. I’m not sure I’m game for procedures that will leave my face looking like I’ve used a Snapchat filter because deep down in my toes I know the wrinkles affirm nothing other than the rather notable achievement of being alive.
But maybe it’s not simply the wrinkles that have me smarting from my four and a half decades on this planet. Maybe it’s taking my newly minted eighteen-year-old and his college buddies out to dinner forcing me into the role of being queened with the title of Annoying Interviewer and married to the guy telling dad jokes. I’ve entered the stage of motherhood where I’m not necessary for survival but somehow still vital to daily activities.
With the passing of time taking a greater toll on my psyche, and the mortality of this life looming forever in the background, I’m forced to remember what I want out of each day and this big, beautiful life. I want kindness to be my guiding principle and the ultimate brass ring I reach for every morning. I want to mother with a sparkle and less of a frown. I want to dig deep into my soul and string words together in a beautifully rhythmic pattern. I want to create…in the form of baking, cooking, and instant-pot-madness. I want to garden my yard into a full fledged orchard. I want to embrace the quirk of my tortured log cabin and continue to turn it into a home that sprinkles warmth. I want to be the best friend, the everyday confidante, the truster of secrets, the carrier of hearts. I want to love the ones who touch my soul with a love equal to what they bare.
When I sit back and meld the thoughts of getting older with the what-I-wants, my days feel suddenly busy-in the very best definition of the word. Suddenly, the clarity that’s come with the wrinkles and years is the most salient and settling characteristic of my soul. And maybe I just need to squint when I look in the mirror and burrow my eyes deep down into the recesses of my heart…because I recognize that girl and all that she is and all that she strives to be.