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Here’s another one of my pieces from “Writing the Gorgeous Shipwreck of Middle Age. This was a promote to the question “When will I experience middle age?”

I find it in people’s eyes: The disregard and discrediting. “Oh, she’s just an old woman. What does she know?”

I hear it in the laments of my mother as she stretches the wrinkles on her face, and now me wanting to do the same.

I feel it in my hands, these days more like my grandmother’s and less like mine.

I detect it in my grandchildren, seeing me not as a vibrant woman, but an old woman who can’t join them on the trampoline.

I sense it in my co-workers, viewing me with skepticism off-put by my quirky speech, and confidence, honed from years of experience.

I experience it after hours of cooking, shifting from one foot to the other to ease the discomfort.

I find it in the obituaries I like to scan, my age now closer to those who typically pass.

I know it when I realized I’m the last of a generation with no heirs to follow in my footsteps.