Promises to Keep is a blog about a girl, just a hair past 40, who is a bit distressed by the gray templed, frumpy stranger who stares warily at her from the mirror. The mirror lady seems nice enough, but the girl wonders what magic has transpired. Where is her own reflection? The mirror lady mimics the girl's every move. "Why, that just can't be me! I'm only twenty-ummm...thirty-something." "41" says the mirror lady. "Shut up, lady!" says the girl.
As a child sitting on my mother's bathroom counter, my mother confided in me that at times she was shocked when she looked in the mirror and saw the older lady staring back at her. "In my head I am still 17." What crazy talk! I remember thinking "How could she feel 17? That was eons ago. She is an old lady in her 40s. 40 is ancient, and no 40 year old could ever feel young."
30 years later, I understand. I don't feel my age either. (Well unless I've been sitting cross-legged for awhile and try to stand up.) I don't quite feel 17. I've had far too much loss and sorrow in my life to be that carefree again. But nor do I feel 41. In my head, rather, I am ageless. And while it does bother me a bit to see the graying temples and the laugh lines, the real concern is that the sands in my hour glass are falling faster than ever before. If just yesterday, I was only in my twenties, tomorrow I will be in my eighties, and the day after that, I will be just a memory to those who loved me. I have way too much to accomplish, and many more memories to make before my grains of sand are gone.
Some call it a bucket list, but I think a bucket is for fried chicken or dirty mop water. I don't have a bucket list, I have promises to keep to my 18 year old self. All the things I wanted to do, thought I would surely do by the grand old age of 40, well many of them I haven't done. Don't misunderstand, I have done a lot and am thankful for each experience I have had, even the ones that did nothing for me except make me stronger. I still have so much more to do.
Some of my promises are little, some are big. Some are silly, some are serious. Some I may not even know about yet, but the discovery is part of the fun.
I put my hand up to the glass and the mirror lady does the same. She smiles just as I do and we say in unison, "we've miles to go before we sleep."