I just chewed up my first two Tums ever. Well actually it's some generic version of the calcium rich, chalky tablets. And it feels like a sign that I'm getting older. While birthdays and my age generally do not lead to such feelings, ailments like my recent tummy ache that's likely the result of my poor diet or stress do. In another few years am I going to have to pass on grabbing lunch at the Varsity because my stomach just can't handle it? Lets hope not. Although admittedly my diet is ridiculous, I've already made some concessions as a result of my age and what has come along with the real world, namely a very sedentary job. Thanks to the poor quality of all Coca Cola products in Costa Rica, I made the switch to Diet Coke with relative ease (note: a shot of grenadine also helps in the transition) four summers ago. When I started my current desk job a few pounds crept on, and I replaced sweet tea with unsweet and gave up the weekly meat and three meals with the male attorneys here (i.e. fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, etc.).
Metabolic changes aren't the only things I've noticed along the way though. I remember noticing the wrinkles around my eyes about seven years ago (at the ripe old age of 21) and briefly thinking I should do something about them. And then I realized I had some broken capillaries on my outer thighs and wondered if I'd be getting more of the unsightliness. And I'm sure there were other little things here and there that I obsessed about too.
But here's the beautiful part: I'm sure I have more wrinkles, broken capillaries, and whatever other cosmetic changes come along with aging now than I did seven years ago, but now I don't think about them. And even when there's reason to notice, it's not something that is given more than a second of thought. "It is what it is" as a wise man once said. So I guess that is a gift of aging--while our bodies often decline, our minds improve, realizing that those superficial details don't matter so much after all.