In a couple of weeks, my son will turn 12 (yes, I had him later in life than most of his friends’ parents). He proudly considers himself to be a “tween,” meaning he’s somewhere in that nebulous place between child and teenager – which his older mother is absolutely NOT ready to face yet!
Being a “tween” means you’re in beTWEEN two phases in life that are fairly well defined, making it a bit awkward because you’re not sure where exactly you fit in and don’t always know the rules. At 50, I’m also feeling like a “tween,” albeit a middle-aged one. At times, I feel like I still have one hand holding on for dear life to the younger version of myself – afraid to leap forward into the unknown and unfamiliar. As my girlfriend so aptly put it as we huffed and puffed our way to the top of a 13,000-foot peak recently, we’re not “spring chickens” any longer, but we’re also not ready to be the Golden Girls.
Let me provide some examples. Being a Florida native and still a beach girl (see the denial here?) at heart, I’ve been struggling for the last couple of years over what is appropriate summer wear. At what age are you “supposed” to trade in your shorter shorts for Bermudas? Your bikini for a one-piece bathing suit? At what point do you surrender your mental vision of yourself as still young enough to pull off what you always have and navigate towards what is more “age-appropriate,” whatever that means? I guess a big hint was not being able to find shorts in any semblance of a “short” length in Talbots or Ann Taylor for years. The designers must know what looks good on me more than I do!
In my yoga studio, I’m in that tween stage between classes where young people flip into handstands or throw their legs over their head (ow!) and those where the average age is definitely retired and moving at a much slower pace. I’ve yet to succumb to using my AARP card to get a discount at the movies, although I’ll order a child’s ticket for my son as long as we can get away with it. And by habit, my first inclination is to pick up skin care products for oily skin – then have to remember that I need the “wrinkle minimizing” line instead.
Yes, I’m at that awkward “tween” age, but am ok with resting here for awhile. Anyone else feeling this way?