Changing Gracefully

Before we start, here is the dictionary defintion of graceful. Just so you know where I am coming from:

1. Characterized by beauty of movement, style, form, or execution

2. Suggesting taste, ease, and wealth

Now that we have that out of the way, I should tell you that this isn’t me really. It is an artist’s rendering of how I look made from a picture that my son submitted to somewhere. I like it, but I don’t look quite that way to myself, and I don’t wear glasses anymore. Still. Lately, I feel more like this picture.

See, my life IS changing. First of all, I am learning how to wear make-up. Not bad for a person of my advanced years! I am still not real confident about applying it, but I am getting better. My husband originally said he thought the eyeshadow just made me look tired, but the more I wear it, the more he likes it.

I have a new job. Now, some people think I am absolutely insane to give up a position as a salaried teacher to work as an hourly paraprofessional (translation: teacher’s aid). However, I have always felt a really strong pull both to maintain a continuous work history and to be there for my family, and I think that this job will satisfy both those needs. Sure, I really would rather make more money. But I’d rather have the time and energy to devote to my family, too, and at this point in my life it does not appear that I can have both. I am a little sad to be leaving the friends I made in the local school system, but the friendships were largely professionally based, and I will make new ones. Maybe stronger ones.

I know that the changes in my life are good because not only am I happy, but my husband is happy too. He is singing songs along with the radio to me, something he has not done in quite a while. And flirting. I know all you twenty-somethings think that people our age do NOT flirt, but you’re wrong. Your body gets older. Hopefully you get wiser. But when you are fifty-plus, your head still often thinks that you are twenty and wonders why your body can’t keep up.

I started this year of my life wondering about a lot of things: how it would feel to get the application for my AARP card, how I actually got to be a grandma, where the gray hair came from. But underneath all that, I am still growing. And I am still me.

That’s a good thing.

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