People & Places 

Clara Garcia
News-Bulletin editor/publisher

Getting older isn’t that fun, despite what I thought when I was a teenager. Heck, I knew everything when I was that age. Didn’t you?  

I vividly remember when I was a youngster how much I wanted to be an adult. I figured I could do what I wanted to do, go whereever I wanted, eat whatever I wanted. 

My mom would always tell me to not be in such a hurry to grow up — that being a grown up is not all that it’s cracked up to be. That piece of advice — along with a myriad of other reasons — is yet another reason why my mom was the smartest person in the world.  

When I was 13, I couldn’t wait to be 16 so could get behind the wheel. When I was 16, I couldn’t wait to be 18 to start college and begin autonomy from my parents. 

It’s a never-ending cycle with more responsibility and actually less independence as we get older.  

The older we get, the more bills we have to pay. The more things we have, the more we have to work to pay for those said things. I remember my mom telling me to enjoy my childhood while looking forward to the future as an adult.  

I, like my mom, told my own daughter these same things. Today, she feels the same way, asking me when being an adult will ever be fun.  

I tell her (in an urgingly kind of way) the most fun she’ll ever have is when she has children of her own. I’m not wrong. Parents often talk fondly about re-living their childhood, vicariously, through their children for a reason — because it was an uncomplicated and enjoyable part of their lives. 

Yes, being an adult carries a lot of pressures and stresses that children just don’t see. They just see what they think are the fun things grown-ups get to do.  

In the past couple of years — after I turned 50 — I realized that yes, I am old. OK, maybe not old, but older. I catch myself talking about things I would have never even thought about when in my 20s or 30s. Many of my conversations with my siblings, who are now all older than 50, are about our health issues, our various procedures, our medications and our aches and pains.  

The older we get, the wiser we are but, at the same time, we are also experiencing life in a much different way.  

Even though I’ve had cataract surgery in both eyes, I’m still constantly looking for the multiple pairs of drugstore magnifying glasses that are scattered everywhere.  

The floor seems a little farther away than it had been before. I think to myself, “Is picking up that penny really worth it?” 

Watching television with closed captioning helps my relationship with my husband because I don’t have to constantly ask him, “What did they say?” 

Something happens to us around 50. We change in ways that only come with age. Our moods improve and, even though I might complain about getting older, I’m a lot more happy than I was when I was worrying about my children, my bills and my every-day life.  

Many of us had no idea what we were trying to do when we were younger, but I sure as heck spent a lot of time and energy trying to do it. Now, I have a sense of accomplishment about what I was able to achieve — personally and professionally — and no one can take that away from me.  

As we all grow older, life certainly changes and so do we. The greatest change I’ve had to deal with in the past couple of years is losing the two people who had the most influence on my life — my mom in October and my dad nearly three years ago.  

While it’s been difficult to mourn and adjust to life without my parents, I make time to honor them by remembering how I loved them and how they loved me. 

In speaking to my siblings and others who have recently lost their parents, it’s more than just missing them, it’s a feeling of emptiness, numbness and a bit of abandonment. I know at first, I felt kind of like an orphan.  

At times, I’ve felt I’ve lost my foundation. They’ve been there for me through everything — good and bad. It’s hard when I have news to share and they’re not here to listen.   

As time goes by, we experience a number of major life changes, including career transitions, children leaving home, physical and health challenges — and even coping with the loss of loved ones. 

With challenge comes resilience, and I’m grateful for most everything, including the passion I have for my work, the experiences I’ve had and the people in my life who constantly nourish my spirit. 

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.