I am not exactly sure how I came to be a middle aged women. Yet, here I am. I don’t feel 45. That is for sure. I am usually the oldest in any circle that I find myself invited to join. I tell myself that it is because I have a youthful spirit. A lot of days I still feel 30.
Except my back. My back does not feel 30.
Aging is definitely a gradual process. You don’t realize the crows feet and gray hair until they are seemingly taking over. I don’t actually have a lot of gray hairs though. My hairstylist Christi told me so. Because I pay her to lie to me as she bleaches my hair blonde.
Even my eyesight has held up pretty well. My eye doc did try to sell me contacts for a minor vision problem but to be honest the benefits weren’t worth wrangling lenses into my eyes every day. I just couldn’t tell much of a difference. I thankfully wasn’t a candidate for the dreaded progressive lenses yet either.
I will admit, however, for the last couple of years, I started having problems reading the tiny print on the back of labels. I found the words to be blurry and noticed that I had to make adjustments in the position of the label and try every eye level I could think of in order to read the small words. Until that stopped working.
Even signing my receipt at my favorite Mexican restaurant, pretending like I couldn’t do simple math seemed better than admitting that I couldn’t read the total, in order to calculate the tip. Sad.
Finally I bought one of these. It even has a light on it.
Eventually, I began to feel silly pulling out my magnifying glass whenever I needed to read something. I was no Sherlock Holmes and everyone knew it. There had to be another way. One day as I was browsing Amazon (Okay, so that is actually every day) I stumbled upon these:
Wait, I thought only old people wore readers. Upon closer inspection I learned that there are levels of readers. There is even a reader level eye chart online. Think, if you can read THIS line, then you need level so-and-so. I took the test. I was a solid 2.0. Considering that they went all the way up to 4.0’s I felt like an overachiever. My vision wasn’t THAT bad.
I checked the price and they were $13. FOR ALL FIVE PAIRS! There was even a pair of sunglass readers. How could I pass this up? And so I ordered them. Amazon Prime, see you in two days.
By the time Amazon delivered my package I had completely forgotten what I had even ordered. Because even though my eyes are mostly hanging in there, my memory has completely deserted me. Opening every single box from Amazon is kind of like Christmas morning these days.
Right! Readers! Naturally, I tried on the red pair first.
Do I not look like every smart person you know?
I used my new readers to read labels. And small print books. And once just to try and look smart but no one had warned me that with readers, you can’t look out into the big, wide world. Because it sort of makes you want to throw up with all of the blurry distortion. Readers are exactly for what they are called. Reading.
My life was forever changed. I put a pair of readers in the kitchen drawer. One in the bedroom nightstand. One in the office and one in the bathroom (for reading shampoo labels, naturally). The sunglass version I assume are for when I want to read small print outside. I will have to find a place to stash those.
I suddenly realized how one actually becomes old without realizing that it is happening. I was so excited over my new reader glasses that I didn’t care who knew that I had a pair in every room.
You need help with homework? Let me grab my readers. Who needs large print on their cellphone anymore, just to read emails? Not me. I was now fashionably middle-aged. Wearing my readers like a middle-aged boss.
I have learned to embrace every stage of this thing called life. There is no reason to pretend that I am 30 anymore. And all of you 30-year-olds, ask any 40-year-old if they would go back. They will more than likely tell you no way. For what we lack in supple skin and youthful knees, we make up for in wisdom and life experience.
Learning to be comfortable in your own skin is something that comes with age. Admitting that your eyes are turning on you takes courage. Wearing your red readers at the restaurant just so you can see the menu? That takes being awesome.