A Light Bulb Moment

Sometimes an epiphany in life comes to us as a light bulb moment, much like the kind you may see on Oprah when audience members are turned on by a particular idea or new way of thinking.

Sometimes it takes a series of tiny sparks to shed some light on an issue not previously deemed relevant.  And then there are the ' hit you over the head' zingers that blind you like a flood light. Take for instance the realities of growing old.  Sooner or later it hits you - you're not the spring chicken you thought you were. I haven't given much thought to growing old - not really. Oh, I'm well aware I'm no longer 18, even though I like to think my mind still functions like it did before gravity got the best of me.

For the most part I've done my best to ignore the signs of advancing age; the middle age spread that just keeps spreading.  The fact that I'll now wear my sweats and slippers outside, something I would never have dreamt of doing in my prissy prime. As I'm getting older I'm finding that being vane is not as much a top priority as, say, being comfortable. You just can't savor an ice cream sundae when you're stuffed in a stylish pair of blue jeans. I've also noticed recently that when I look in the mirror it's my mother's face staring back at me. Somewhere along the way to middle age I realized that I'm not immune to the ravages of time. It's not everybody else  that seems to be getting on in years while I imagine myself unchanged since high school.

For me the light bulb moment, that I'm indeed graduating up the ladder to geriatrics, shone as bright as a light house on a foggy night, the day I visited the DMV to renew my state ID. Since it had expired I came well prepared - with enough paperwork to qualify for the Secret Service. (Another sign  of getting older: being overly organized and prepared to perfection.)

I had everything but the required marriage license to prove I am who I say I am. I surely didn't need a license to prove that I've been married to the big guy standing next to me. All the clerk had to do was notice the tell tale proof~the look on his face that only a husband has after sharing more than a quarter of a century with the same woman.

Luckily I passed documentation inspection and was sent to another clerk who would process the information. And that's when it hit me like a sledge hammer~ the rude awakening that senior citizenship was right around the corner.

The kindly young man asked me the necessary questions and I answered to the best of my knowledge, though I was tempted to tell a little white lie when the question of weight came up. But, he caught me off guard with the hair question.

He took one look at my head and asked in all sincerity that his 25 years could muster and asked, "Should I put down blond or gray?" "Blond" I told him, trying to hold onto my dignity as I reached over the desk and whispered, "I'm due for a date with Clariol!"

There's  no denying the hands of time hold us all in their delicate grip. But I'm learning that having a sense of humor about it certainly can turn the tide from hopeless to happy. After all, age is just a number.  No matter what your hair color or how many lines map a wrinkled face, you will always only be as old as you feel. And with that thought in mind I threw on my baggy sweats, slipped into my favorite slippers and headed right to the store for that much needed bottle of youth - the blond hair dye.

There is comfort in time gone by; comfort in accepting the fact that, for most of us getting older means getting better.  Even if it does take us a little longer to reach our goals, we succeed with patience, wisdom and stamina.  And that's a light bulb moment that shines bright for those who believe.

~ Kathy Whirity ~

Bio: Kathy Whirity lives in Chicago where she shares her life and love with her husband of 29 years, Bill, their two daughters, Jaime and Katie, and two rambunctious retrievers, Holly and Hannah. Kathy is a newspaper columnist who shares her sentimental musings on family life.

[ by: Kathy Whirity Copyright © 2005 -- submitted by: Kathy Whirity (kathywhirity@yahoo.com) ]


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