May 25, 2015

A Letter to My Middle Age Friend

Dear Friend,

     It was so nice to see you, I know we say it every time we get together but it's true, we really should get together more.  This middle we find ourselves in isn't fun, nothing about the middle is easy; the young and the new are behind us and the relief and freedom of the old is still some time in the distance.

     We are in the middle of a career and we wonder why we are still doing it and if there isn't something better.  Have we made the right choices and have we learned to live with our regrets? Our marriages have survived tough times and we've settled into that strange "Middle" area here, too! We are in the middle years of our kids with all the upcoming struggles of teens but miss the babies and know that they will be adults in the blink of an eye.  We worry if we've done enough or even if we've done too much.  Our parents are aging and this new role does not quite fit either of us yet.

Perfect Hobbit Hostess
       It seemed though, that our biggest area of angst was the loss of our youth.  Let me tell you what I see when I look across the table, I see my friend.  Yes, I'll admit it, we are rounder around the middle and what the heck has happened to our thinning eyebrows and hair but so what!  Your eyes are still alive and dancing with fun and humor and I helped give you a couple of those laugh lines.  The white hair around your temples is dramatic and it gives you an exotic Elvira sort of look.  Those sun spots on your face?  We got those hanging out on the Carolina Beaches laughing until we were hoarse.  Yes, our bodies aren't the same and they were better 5 years ago but we've had surgeries and health problems but most of all we've both quit smoking.  I see what is inside of you, over that temporary shell we fret so much about.  I know you and love you well enough to just see you.  My friend.

Hobbits Dancing
     When you look in the mirror, see yourself as I see you, and I will do the same.  Laugh at the ridiculous and no, you don't look like what that picture claims, because the camera sees a costume on a digital screen, and they have not invented a camera that can see what I do.  No camera captures the life, the spirit, and the warmth - the storm of nature that makes you who you are.  My dear friend, let us settle into this time and enjoy our lives.  We'll cook good food, make a nice home, love people around us, garden a bit, and read a good book.  Yes indeed, there IS something to be said about being a Hobbit.