On the day before Thanksgiving, I turned 41.
I'm officially middle-aged, and this Thanksgiving week, I found that it is the perfect age to be.
Each year, our family runs in the local Turkey Trot. We have participated for so many years, we could clothe and entire African village with Turkey Trot long-sleeve T-shirts. Last year, my sister and her kids, as well as Hubby's mom, joined our little tradition.
As I am trained in keeping youngsters in line, I always get to run with the little kids in the one mile fun run while everyone else runs the 5K. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I don't run and would pass out if I had to run a 5K.
This year, these were my running partners.
Don't be deceived by their silliness. These are hard-core athletes.
Turken and Niece were convinced that they could pass all 3200 runners and win that big, non-existent trophy. They took off in a sprint and left me to weave amongst the walkers, pushing a stroller in which a three-year old Cuckoo was very unhappy that he was not actually running the race.
When the crowd cleared a bit, I let Cuckoo out to run. Within a minute we lost sight of our rabbits.
Cuckoo was literally thrown back into the stroller in order for us to catch up. We were getting close to the point where 5Kers and milers parted ways, and if they missed the turn, I would be stuck running the entire 5K. I did that once before, when Turken was a baby and strapped to my chest in a carrier, and Star was running his first race. It was an experience I did not want to repeat.
Once we made the turn-off, I let Cuckoo out of the stroller, never more grateful for him. Without the short-legged three year old, I would have looked completely pathetic with all my hard-breathing, yelling at a 4 and 5 year old to slow down.
At the end of that mile, I was feeling mighty annoyed with myself and my out-of-shape condition. That feeling changed, though, while we waited for the others to finish. There were millions of leaves that had been blown into gigantic leaf piles. My running partners and I took full advantage of them.
I realized that I may be out-of-shape, but I can change that. I'm grateful that I am still young enough to be able to jump in a pile of leaves and play with the kids.
On the day after Thanksgiving, I left Hubby with his mom for the entire day. I spent the time away with people at the complete opposite end of the life cycle from Turken and Cuckoo.
One of my great aunts lost her husband 21 years ago. For most of those years, I have been taking a couple of hours each time I head to Ohio to play her favorite game of Scrabble with her. This year was no different.
After I totally beat her, I brought my great aunt back to my grandma's house, where I played Tripoly for five hours with six adults whose average age was 73.
Amongst the talk of medicines and other old people talk, I had a great time. As folks get older, they are much less worried about appearances, and their conversations can be hilarious. Especially when those folks love each other and know each other so well.
I realized that despite the fact that I was tired and sore from the day's activities, I have a whole lot more life to live. If my family is any indication, I will be alive for at least 45 more years. I'm practically a baby!
All in all, middle-aged is the perfect age to be.
Have a lovely day!