When do we truly know we shouldn't do something?  Does that self-enlightened moment occur in one fell swoop, like a hawk picking off his prey in a single fluid motion?  Or does the epiphany process lend itself to full fruition by reason and thought?  I wonder if there are people who lack both of those trains of thought. 

My mom used to tell us three girls when we were kids that if she ever got old and lost her mind (runs in our family!) to put her in a home and feed her marshmallows.  Why marshmallows, I don't know other than it signified soft, easy to feed to someone and that she probably wouldn't know the difference between a marshmallow and a t-bone steak at that point.

Aging is a strange process.  So is parenting.  The similarity and familiarity in both of those processes is that it unfolds before you.  Books can be written and read, but nothing prepares you for those journeys other than living them and feeling your way through them.  In that context it is exhilarating and daring and spontaneous.

I saw this sign recently.  It made me laugh and connected to that uh-huh spot deep inside....

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body,
but rather to slide in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, "WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Even as I typed it I smiled with acknowledgement that someone wrote what I think!  Life is a ride - hang on!

So back to when do you know you shouldn't do something any longer?  I pondered that this week as I put on my bikini at age almost 46.  I mean really, is it time to hang up the strings and cover up?  Do I see myself correctly?  Am I clinging to the last bit of youth like we do to the few warm days in October in the Midwest? 

I understand my mom's funny comment to us as kids.  We might, as we age, lose the ability - not from Alzheimer's or dementia necessarily, to let go and embrace the next stage.  I saw quite a few women this week that should not be wearing a bikini any longer or maybe should have never worn one.  I asked my husband if he would really tell me if I needed to put away my pink or black bikini if I hit the age wall.  He assured me he would.

Really?  Would he say, "Honey, your hotter days are behind you.  I like to "imagine" what's under your clothes so the more clothes the better."  He laughed at my train of thought.

My hair is fairly long for someone my age.  Does it look ok like this any more?  I don't want to be one of those people who cling to youth trying to be younger than I am.  I have made fun of that category of people most of my life.  Am I now one?   Are these my last few days of warmth in the October of life?  Maybe, but I might just ignore it!  Come to think of it, I think I'm gonna slide into death in any way shape and form I desire - in my black bikini, wrinkles and all!

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