CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I was reminded recently of a scene from "Roseanne," where Roseanne asks her mother how old she feels.
Her mother answers, "I'm 63 years old."
Roseanne argues that she knows her mother's age, but wonders how old she feels. Her mom says, "Sixty-three."
Roseanne keeps pushing her.
"What do you want me to say?" her mother asks, sounding exasperated.
Roseanne says, "That you feel 16, or 24, or 35. Just anything but 63."
Something about that scene caused it to stick with me, even though at the time the show aired, I was in my late 20s or early 30s. Years from genuinely bemoaning this business of aging.
I'm about to turn 46. And if someone were to ask, I feel 46.
Lately, I've been spending many of my weekends and evening hours with either a hammer or a paintbrush in my hand. Come the next morning, I feel the effects. Rubbery arm. Sore wrist. Achy shoulder. Nothing major. More like walking with a tiny pebble in your shoe.
That's how my 40s have been. Like walking with a pebble in my shoe.
I feel a kinship with battery-operated devices that have accidentally been left on for hours and with garments whose colors have faded from repeated washings.
To hear of a perfectly good car getting traded in for a new and flashier model feels somehow threatening on a personal level.
That's what the 40s have felt like to me. Faded, nubby, a little bit drained. But they've also felt softened and comfortable. Starting to relax and loosen in the places that have too long been tense.
Aging: It beats the alternative.
A few months back, a friend e-mailed a list she'd found called "Basic Truths" that I saved and have been adding to. Since part of this aging business has to do with acquiring and sharing wisdom, it seems appropriate to share a few morsels of knowledge.