While I was on the treadmill at the gym yesterday, a middle-aged mom and her teenage daughter walked past me on their way to the elliptical machines. Honestly, I didn’t realize the girl was a teenager at first–I’d thought she was in her early twenties. But I realized she was still a teenager when I saw the back of the T-shirt she was wearing: the shirt had the name of her high school and a giant “’08″ emblazoned in blue on the back–meaning that, unless she was wearing someone else’s shirt, and I can’t imagine someone purposefully wearing a t-shirt proudly declaring somebody else’s graduation date, she’s a freshman in high school right now.
I wasn’t bother by this realization because this girl looked older than she did. I wasn’t bothered by the thought that I have a daughter who will be that age in eleven years. I wasn’t even bothered by the realization that I was ogling a fourteen-year-old, oh no.
No, what truly bothered me about the experience was grasping the fact that this girl will be graduating from high school twenty years after I did (Pine Forest High School, (Pensacola, Florida) Class of ’88, baby!).
I don’t feel old, I swear I don’t. I don’t really feel that much different than I did in my mid-twenties, albeit more comfortable in my own skin. But sometimes I get these bits of circumstantial evidence that point to the fact that I am, indeed, getting old. And the thing is–it’s only going to get more and more pronounced as my daughters do that whole growing up thing.
And just to prove that yes, I do have a point for telling you this: the whole incident just refers back to the whole “making the most of the time you’re here” concept with which I seem to be getting slapped in the face over and over and over again recently. As the immortal Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”