While some people would undoubtedly take this title as a free pass to remark that “It’s not just your hair that resembles a hot air balloon”, I’ve decided to open with it anyway.

It’s tough being 50 sometimes. Those days of rolling out of bed with little more to do than basic hygiene are behind me. Even a good night’s sleep can’t restore me to some semblance of my younger self. The lines are there on my face no matter what I eat, drink or smear on my face. Although I do have a magic cream which improves things, it’s an improvement, not a miracle outright.

For a nature girl like me, it’s doubly tough. Were I to begin using makeup at this late date, the results are sure to be more Bette Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, than baby faced beauty. Coming to grips with this slow downhill slide is daunting and requires all of my menopausal superpowers to cope. I’m guessing this is why God invented chocolate and masturbation. Among other things those indulgences makes you forget, at least for a little while, that we all end up as a heap of lifeless meat and bones in the end.

My sweetie and I had a discussion last night. He’s a busy guy, very much in demand for his skills with computer programs used in law offices. He spends much of his time fielding calls and nonsense 24/7/365 from a variety of law office based sources. I’m a single mother of two teenagers. I field calls and nonsense 24/7/365 from a variety of teenage sources. Those demands are built into my schedule at work. There is no argument about who wins in a pitched battle. My kids. Work, almost without exception, takes a back seat.

Sweetie man is childless. And, he’s a man. Ask me what defines my success. If I can point to anything it will be the demonstrable ability my kids are showing at negotiating this cluster we call life. Ask my significant other and he will likely point at his musical ability or the kinds of projects he does at work.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Let me set this straight first. It’s not that either one is bad, or less than the other. They are just sooooo DIFFERENT. So, when I speak to him about priorities and not spending so much time at work I’m not sure it translates for him to anything sensible or useful. I might as well say, well you can’t spend your whole life playing music now can you. When in fact I know he could and he’d love it. Telling him not to spend so much time at work is, in many ways, just as silly. Work feeds him, and tells him he’s still got it.

Which brings me back to this tough being 50 thing. How do I still know I’ve got it? There is no Mom Olympics where I can compete for best parenting. I’m not going to win any beauty contests, even for beautiful old souls. And looking in the mirror is daunting. I don’t have THAT anymore. I think I feel like I still have it while I’m still learning. Learning a new technique for knitting, learning Italian, learning to be more compassionate, trying a new recipe, creating something new. I forget to be concerned about my looks or lack of them and I just exist in this happy state I didn’t know was possible 10 years ago.

So I’ll deflate my hair tonight, and laugh at myself because it’s funny to see Hollywood hair on such a Woodstock face. I’ll remember that I am 50 and not 20 and I’ll act my age, in a manner of speaking. Hopefully, I’ll make something with my hands that is useful or delicious. Hopefully I’ll forget to look in the mirror and make a face. Hopefully I’ll find losing THAT means finding something even more precious