Varying Degrees of a Dilemma…

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Different stages of life bring varying degrees and interpretations of what constitutes a dilemma. Here is my example for today…

I woke up earlier than usual this morning because I am scheduled to be a poetry judge  for “Louder Than a Bomb Florida”. I have been looking forward to hearing students share their poetic voices and express themselves in a lyrical format. The finals to this competition will be later in April and my small role is to help narrow down the best poets and poetry teams by judging today’s competitors. (Keeping in mind that poetry is subjective. However, based on a given criteria, the group of judges have their scores tabulated and score keepers come up with an average for each individual poet, group, and school to see who moves on to the semi finals.)

Anyhow, I started thinking about the young poets I’ll see and hear today. I had a fleeting moment of recollection of my own youth when I used to write poetry, turn it into songs, and then play my poems as music on either my folk or electric guitar. I lamented momentarily for my long lost youth, which ironically still seems very alive to me, until I happen to walk past a mirror.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for every gray hair and every line because I have survived life, when so many others have not. And so I rejoice each and every day that I am still alive. A part of me has been shouting to the heavens my gratitude that in less than a week I will reach the last year of my 60’s, but another part of me realizes that I am verging on the decade I have set aside in my mind and called OLD age!!!

Whenever I refer to myself as middle aged, my older son in his 40’s, laughs at me explaining that HE is middle aged and therefore I cannot possibly be middle aged too. I tell him he cannot call me old until I approach my 70’s and as long I am still in my 60’s I am indeed middle aged, at least as far as I am concerned!!! (I’m a junior senior and that’s that!!! End of discussion!!)

So, with 69 lurking in the wings, and a little envy at the young fresh faces and outspoken words I will be hearing today, I have a plethora of mixed emotions this morning about getting older. There is still that young rebel inside of me and I envy the poets of today, who with their words have the power to change our world. I rejoice in their passion, their strength, their physical beauty. But most of all, I admire their energy.  I still feel like just like they do deep down inside.  That is until I actually look in the mirror.

This morning I stood in front of my reflection to slap on a little blush and lipstick and low and behold, in front of my face I saw a huge red ZIT on my left cheek!!! I burst out laughing and actually jumped up and did a happy dance. YES. I jumped for joy! I mean, if I can still get a pimple, doesn’t it mean that I am still young inside??

Gone are the days when a blemish was the end of the world. I used to agonize over those period pimples that would pop out of nowhere when I least wanted to see them. But today, I rejoice that I have a large red zit on my face. I feel young again! Hoorah!!!

Now, my dilemma is this… I don’t have pimple cover up since I am 68 years old and never get break outs anymore. I suppose under eye concealer will do the trick. Or maybe, just maybe, I will let that big old red sucker shine brightly proving that this old girl is still young enough to break out! Hahaha isn’t life something???  I have a pimple today. Yippee!!!! I feel young…. or at least 40 again. I can’t believe it!  I am going to a poetry slam and I will fit right in. I’ll have a pimple.  Isn’’t life grand???!!!!!

Moi with Judges for “Louder Than A Bomb Florida”

6 thoughts on “Varying Degrees of a Dilemma…

  1. Ha! Thanks. I did have fun. The poets were incredible. The top two groups made it to the semifinals. I added the photos but my red lump doesn’t seem to be visible. You see, I gave in and put a little concealer over it. Lol.
    I’ll always be young at heart and that’s what counts!

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  2. Have fun in the poetry panel and soak up all that energy.
    You are quite hilarious with your zit proving you are still young.
    Just forget about labels and have a ball.
    miriam

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  3. “I lamented momentarily for my long lost youth, which ironically still seems very alive to me, until I happen to walk past a mirror. Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for every gray hair and every line because I have survived life, when so many others have not. And so I rejoice each and every day that I am still alive.”

    You have nailed it here perfectly, bordering on poetically, Lesley. The great weirdness of life, which is we continue to be 20-something in our minds while the clock zooms faster and faster.

    I, too, celebrate the occasional zit. And if I don’t rise as fast as I did at 20, I can still do all my garden tending squatting. Proudly.

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    1. What a lovely comment, Amy. Thank you. And be proud you can still squat! That, my friend, is an accomplishment! I’m impressed.
      Yes, age is such an enigma. I related to the young poets and still remember everything about being their age. The pain, the joys, the insecurities etc. Most of the time I can think back to just about any time in my life and jump right into that moment to relive the emotional subtext. I wonder if that’s something everyone can do or just actors and writers. Our brains seem to be able to conjure up images, scents, sounds, and sensory emotions from our past and use all that in our stories. Sometimes, I feel like a time traveler of sorts. If I hear a Janis Joplin song , I’m back in college watching her sing, smelling the pot wafting through the air. If I see my grand daughter dancing and singing with her Wonder Woman doll I flashback to Little Lesley acting much the same way with my Barbie. During this bizarre administration in our country I feel just as I did during my protesting years. Age is so different in my mind. It floats through decades but somehow illudes old age. Perhaps because I haven’t been there yet… or don’t think I have reached it. Lol
      I so wish Einstein had developed his theory of time to completion. I’d love to understand how it works. For now I’ll just have to my best and be youthful in my head and embrace those rare blemishes when they appear. Lol

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