Back when I was a teacher, I remember going on a field trip with my class.
There was a mom chaperoning who was sitting across from me on the bus.
She had on this v-neck t-shirt, and I was looking at the skin on her chest.
It had some visible wrinkles in it.
Not just wrinkles, but more like deep grooves. Trenches, almost.
I remember thinking, I would never wear a v-neck anything if that’s what my skin looked like.
She was an athlete and in great shape.
I felt sorry for her.
Now I am her.
I’ve got those wrinkles on my chest.
And in most other places, too.
They’re not to trench status yet.
But they will be.
I’ll be honest.
I look in the mirror sometimes and pull my cheeks up and back a little.
I daydream about having enough money to have something done to my eyelids.
I study the skin on my neck.
I look at my hands and think, Whoa. When did that happen?
I look at the other moms at preschool, the ones who aren’t showing the effects of gravity quite yet, and I’m a tiny bit envious.
But only for a little bit.
Because you know what?
My wrinkles and creases and grooves are a reminder of all the lessons I’ve learned.
Of how far I’ve come.
And while I’m no expert and I’m still learning and no two kids are the same,
I’ve got some stuff figured out.
45 doesn’t suck.
And neither do all my wrinkles.
I am healthier than I have ever been.
In every way.
I have never been stronger.
I’m running my second marathon tomorrow, and it doesn’t really even seem like that big of a deal.
But it is a big deal.
Because my wrinkle-free, thirty-something self never could have said that.
Or done that.
Sure, I’ll do what I can to keep more wrinkles at bay.
But rather than exert energy trying to completely eliminate them, I’m embracing them.
Because while my outsides may be showing some wear and tear, I feel like my insides are really just getting started.
Some little pop tart in a bikini might be able to kick my ass in a swim suit competition, but in most other areas,
I’d place my money on me.
I’m just entering my prime.
And I’ll take that in exchange for a few wrinkles any day.