I'm feeling old. Well, maybe more like "out of sorts."
When one hits the mid 40s, one becomes used to the term ma'am instead of miss. I was first called ma'am when I was in my late 20s, by a dental assistant who wasn't much younger than me. Boy, did my day go down hill from there. How many people can say they remember the moment that moniker was applied to them? Yes, traumatic.
But at this point -- at 44 -- I am impervious to the ma'am label. There are other reasons I am feeling out of sorts these days.
I am in a new work environment. After being a work-at-home mom for almost a year, the mental transition hasn't been easy. The well-spring of emotions that this job has elicited will be expounded upon another day, perhaps.
Picture an elementary school setting. Not only am I surrounded by young children, but by fertile young teachers with the makeup and hair and clothes to go with. A silly statement, but I bet most readers get what I mean.
There are a few of us seasoned folk sprinkled into the mix. The days of pregnancies, potty training struggles, and preschool programs are long gone for me. Since I no longer fall into the Young Marrieds category, I feel like a middle-aged alien wandering the halls of the school. OK, I exaggerate a bit, but still, the thoughts of "I don't fit in" pop into my head at least once a day.
When I look at this honestly, I know I am feeling this way because I am comparing myself to these women. Women who on the outside appear to be put together, golden highlights, baby bumps and all. Lunchroom talk about ultrasounds, overseas adoptions and sick toddlers have me nodding and smiling either in sympathy or in polite agreement. (I am the newbie so these people are still perfect strangers to me. I can't offer up much more than this at this stage anyway.)
I miss the Young Married stage and the energy, exuberance and honeymoon attitude that goes with it. Although, I feel equiped to handle it so much better now that I am in my 5th decade! I can see why grandparenting is the best!
I think I am mourning what I had, and which I now have to greet in the faces of these women on a daily basis.
Make no mistake. I love, love, love the life I am leading now. I am blessed despite life's hardballs.
In time I will get to know these women who, right now, are only two-dimensional figures of youth and happiness.
There is more than meets the eye. And in time, I pray they will find this true of me too.