My birthday was yesterday, June 5th. I'm 43. I asked all three boys how old they thought I looked. Middle Boy  said 42, Toddler Child [3 1/2] said 23, and Oldest Boy  nervously looked to his father for assistance. Chris told him to say 29. I honestly don't care how old I look. When I feel healthy and rested, I usually look better than when I'm sickly and tired. My 91-year-old grandmother is beautiful to me, and she looks every day of her 91 years.
Grey Hair - The last 12 months have brought a plethora of grey hair. I now use an all-over hair color prior to adding any highlights or lowlights. This bothers me more than I thought it would. My maternal grandmother, referred to as Grandmother, had a head of white hair by the time she was 50. It looked great on her, but I'm not feeling it. Funny how that works. She died 19 years ago and is deeply missed.
Toddler Child - I adore this little boy. He'll be four in September. His personality remains fiery, although he's behaving more civilized on occasion. I feel 43, sometimes older, parenting a toddler. Naturally, I have no regrets about the choice to add another child to our tribe. I simply underestimated the level of physical and mental fatigue I would experience.
Changing Perspective - Fewer issues are black-and-white to me like they once were, and a handful have earned a definitive spot in my mind. I find myself accepting, understanding and respecting intelligent arguments on both sides of an issue. Sometimes I think it's empathy to a fault. In a 20 year period I can recall being neutral on an issue, then leaning right, then a little left, then a lot left, then finding neutral again. If my perspective isn't challenged, I'm either on too safe of a road, or I'm asleep at the wheel.
Core Character - I don't think I'm radically different than who I was as a child, a teenager, or young adult. I don't think many of us change radically. We may soften or sharpen, become more educated, or not, endure unique life experiences that might eliminate or create judgments, but I think most of us remain fundamentally the same at our innermost part.
Facebook - Hated it. Now I love it. Reconnecting with people I probably never would have otherwise as well as connecting with new friends, has had it's head-bobbing-so-now-what-do-we-talk-about? moments. As time goes on, those moments bother me less because the pieces of gold that surface as I pan are worth all of the who-the-hell-are-you? moments. For me, it's been a gift.
This past year, via my Facebook experience and even writing this silly blog, I've learned that I am who I was, and I am who I will always be. Life experiences have thankfully altered my perspective, but not my core character. Old friends can see through life's sediment to the enduring parts. New friends will learn what old friends have known. It's humbling, refreshing, and comforting to see that under the layers of strata we all develop, is the same spirit that arrived at inception and will likely remain until the end.