It happened in the blink of an eye. There it was… Confirmation I’m officially “old.” Without even having to whip out my photo ID or my AARP card (which was shredded upon receipt), I was given a “senior discount” at the hospital cafe.
I’ve been visiting my tiny grandson in the NICU for the last four weeks. He was born nine weeks early, and since then, trips to the hospital have been part of my regular routine. I frequent the coffee bar in the cafe, and never pay much attention to the cash register when paying for my decaf nonfat latte, aka “what’s the point.” Today I just happened to notice a senior discount was applied to my purchase. Immediately I went into a tailspin.
- Looks like my new eye serum isn’t working as well as I thought it was.
- I thought those marionette lines were getting deeper.
- Maybe I need to do something more drastic. No… Brenda’s post about Botox confirmed my vow to stay away from the needle.
- It’s only been a few months since I turned 60. I must be declining quickly.
While waiting for the elevator, I noticed my reflection in a mirror. Why would someone think I’m a senior? In the magazines, seniors have white hair and are riding bicycles through retirement communities. Seniors were the Golden Girls, and I’d just been compared to Estelle Getty.
At 53, I became a first-time entrepreneur! I am a life purpose coach for midlife women, helping them flourish in their life, faith and career. In the past year, I’ve been busier than ever, working for a nonprofit that supports Christian women in the workplace, while starting my own nonprofit to serve women who’ve been wounded through abuse and exploitation. I’m also working on a personal and spiritual growth workbook to be published this summer. Me… a senior?
I ducked into the ladies’ room and took a quick peek in the mirror. Maybe it’s my hair. Maybe I need an updated wardrobe. Maybe I need a makeover from some hip millennial at Sephora. Whatever the remedy, I had to do it quick. People were looking at me and seeing a senior!
Then I got a grip. There I was, a champion for women over 50 who writes and speaks about authenticity. I had just presented a workshop on overcoming self-sabotage, including fear, perfectionism and comparisons. As much as I had poured “you are enough, just as you are,” into the lives of women, I had forgotten to believe it about myself.
I walked down the hallway to the NICU, realizing that what was most important was my tiny little grandson, my family, my circle of friends and my faith. I had a stern talk with myself, and would have kicked me in the rear if I’d been younger. Wrinkles and all, I am who God created me to be. I am complete and beloved, just as I am. Enough said.
When I shared my brief but dramatic “senior” experience with my daughter, she said, “Relax Mom. Seniors at the hospital are anyone over 50.”
Okay! Now I’ll cheerfully accept that 58 cent discount and start a fund to buy myself a bike.