photo by Natasha Calhoun
Okay, so I'm 39 now. I'm okay with this. I thought I would follow up this list with its opposite - a few of the things that make me feel young:
1. Yoga. I am not an expert, but I can hold my own; and as I leave a class, I walk a little taller and breathe a little deeper.
2. Some of the bands I listen to are led by young people, but I love that so many of my favorites are those that are aging like me and continuing to make great music. Pearl Jam, Kristin Hersh, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Susan Tedeschi, Josh Ritter, Juliana Hatfield, Patty Griffin, Sera Cahoone, Tift Merritt, Wild Flag...
3. Skiing. Gliding down the mountain, with a cool breeze in my face. I feel light, and happy, and young.
4. Hanging out with my mom. Because she's a little older than me, and she's still rocking it. She rides her bike, takes long walks, gardens, does yoga... It feels good to walk in her footsteps and to have such a beautiful example of how to age with grace.
5. Tickle sessions with my kids. Rolling around on the floor making two little boys gasp for air as they laugh is the best.
6. Being at the beach. Maybe it's the sun, or the sand, or cooling off in the water on a hot summer's day, or maybe it's the stop at the ice cream stand, or the memories of childhood trips. Whatever it is, the beach never fails to make me feel young.
7. Playing a new album all the way through and reading the lyrics.
8. Watching my kids grow up and experiencing their childhoods along with them. It's like getting to go through it all over again. I get to eat popsicles, run through sprinklers, watch cartoons, read fun books, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, create paintings...
9. Driving with the windows down.
10. My shoulders. I like my shoulders. They're strong and have always served me well.
11. Nice compliments from friends (or strangers!). Like the comment my lovely friend Sara left about my skin. At first I'm thinking "My skin? You should see my forehead right now! And the amount my eyelids have started to droop in the last year." But then I think, "How nice!"
12. Watching the stars. I can stare at the night sky and feel 12 again. It always makes me feel small and huge and magnificent.