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March 22, 2010

Middle-aged? Qui, moi?

Birthday-candles I turned 48 a couple of weeks ago. Unlike a number of people whom I know, I proudly announce that. What's the big deal, I wonder? I turned 48 and to celebrate I ran my very first half marathon race in 2 hours 38 minutes 13 seconds. Not bad, I think. Not bad at all considering that I had only started running just this last July. Not bad at all. I feel great. No, not for my age. I just feel great, period. Menopause is looming just around the corner according to my calendar and my gynecologist. I have a bone density scan to look forward to in a bout a year. Yet, I feel great and I feel strong. Especially because I just ran my first half marathon race.

So while still reveling in the after-glow of I-ran-a-half-marathon-I'm-amazing, I found myself in an argument, er,  discussion with a oh-so hip and smart 23 year old professional. What it was over is neither here nor there. Let's just say that I won the argument, er, discussion. Of course I did. I was right. I was on the debate team in high school and college. I have done more than my fair share of debating and arguing having three teenagers living here under the Big Top. Plus, didn't I say that I was right? I did. But not to be out done, the 23 year old shrugged it off and said to no one listening, "Great! I pissed off a middle-aged mother!"

What? Middle-aged? Who? Me?

Yes, he was talking about me. After all, I was the one whom he was just talking to. No, I wasn't pissed. I was right. And he was just 23. But me, middle-aged? I don't feel middle-aged. Middle-aged is like old to me. I'm not old. At least I don't feel old. Middle aged is when you are at the middle of your life. How can I be middle aged when my 70 year old father still rides his bike across the state of Iowa every year in the RAGBRAI? How can I be middle-aged when my great grandparents lived active lives until they were 100+? I'm only 48...oh...wait... I am in the middle. I guess that I am middle aged.

I am a middle-aged mother of a first grader...and a 23 year old...and all those other ages in between. Yes, I am a grandmother but no one believes that my delightful 21 month old grand daughter is is indeed my grandchild. They think she is my child. I got carded just this afternoon trying to buy two bottles of wine at my local supermarket where the clerk maintained that I looed like I was her age. What age was that? Thirty, of course.

Yet, I am 48 years old and I am middle-aged.

So what is middle-aged anyway? Merriam-Webster defines middle age as: the period of life from about 45 to about 64.

Okay, I guess that describes me chronologically.

Middleage.org describes it as the point in your life when you shift from seeing the future in terms of your potential and begin to see it in terms of your limitation..

Hmmm...my future is limited? I have no potential left in my future?

Sorry, but I just don't quite see it that way. My body has changed thanks to birthing all those babies of mine and because gravity works. My many laugh lines do not necessarily disappear when they laughter stops. My way of thinking has changed as well. But that doesn't mean that my life is now on a decline. No. There is much life to live for me. There will be more half marathons for me to run (four more this year). There are more kids of mine to continue to raise and send off to college. If we're so lucky, there will be more grandchildren to spoil and play with. I guess what I'm saying is that yes I am most likely in the middle but no where near to the end. There was a lot of living that was lived to get me to this point which likely means that there will be a lot more left to live; that is if I am fortunate enough to be blessed with the same genes as my centenarian great grandparents or my endurance cyclist father. I can't wait to see what the next half will bring me.

This is a 50-something Moms Blog original post. Laura Scarborough writes about her juggling adventures including her raising her family circus, running half marathons, getting older and getting carded buying wine at her local supermarket over at Adventures In Juggling.