Getting Old Ain't For Sissy's
My mom always tells me my grandma used to say "getting old ain't for sissy's" and now I'm at the age where I'm pretty sure I know what she meant. It's true; getting old isn't an easy thing - physically or mentality - and we are lucky if we ride through our 40's, 50's, 60's (and beyond) with minimal bumps to our exterior and interior . But, in some ways isn't that the point??? Don't the bumps, scrapes, lines, wrinkles, greys, pounds, and aches tell some really great stories? Wouldn't it be something if we all agreed to be comfortable and confident at any age because of what we've come through instead of what we are being compared to?
Seriously, I live a life that is beyond my belief and anything I deserve. My blessings surpass anything I could have imagined for myself and am grateful I'm grounded knowing where and who they divinely come from. They aren't to be wasted or minimized; because they are truly a gift. I have an incredible history with stories I could tell around a fire pit for hours; possibly days, some of them are less than attractive about decisions I've made and some of them will make you laugh even if you weren't there. My story includes people who love me endlessly and who hopefully feel my love permeate their hearts regardless if I'm with or without them physically. I've had great moments of triumph and devastating times of defeat - all helping me grow a little more into the person I am destined to be. I've pushed my body to the brink more times than I can count and have been amazed every time its gone beyond what I believed it could. I've felt hurt in my heart and my also in my bones, but some how its always finds a way to dissipate over time. I've been in killer shape and, honestly, a few times in my life I've been a less than healthy shape. I've carried many emotions with me on behalf of loved ones, friends, community, and complete strangers. I've traveled the world and with every experience I build a memory book in my mind. I've smiled more times than I've cried - much more. I've lived a life that no one could have predicted or created. I am blessed...and I'm older.
I'm sure you have a list of blessings you could create and when you are through might say "What a good life I've had" or "Wow, I've overcome so many things to bring me here today." With all this goodness when we look to the past, I wonder how come we aren't just as excited for present and future? I know physically we probably ache a little more, weigh a little more, and forget a little more -- but isn't that just a sign of a good life?
What if we stopped thinking about the wrinkles, the dimples, the comparisons from ourselves 20 years ago; and start loving our aging parts as they tell our story of what once was and evolved into today? They are like lines on a map telling you where you've been and where else you might decide to go. Getting older may seem like you are moving towards the end of a life, but I think its more about moving into MORE life. I like the idea of being healthy and doing what I can to maintain my level of wonder high and achievable. So, I don't think we ever stop striving for health - but while we are on that journey, what if we loved every part of ourselves?
What about this -- sit and think about all the times you've overcame something in life or check out your Facebook photos to remember the highlights of things you've accomplished. Create a list - something you can always come back to when you need that extra reminder you are perfectly you! I'm thinking of making a pact with my girlfriends, who I talk with most about this, and eliminating the expectations of being something more than exactly who we are today - emotionally and physically. Giving each other permission to spend this moment without a wish to be something different, look somehow enhanced, or desire for time to turn back a few decades. Let's eliminate the negative self talk and mountains of aging awareness that piles on itself and grows exponentially. We have earned our time to be comfortable and confident. Some have given birth, raised a family, dominated in a career, been a faithful wife, cherished being a girlfriend, provided friendship to many, and so much more.
*Some reminders of who I am, what I've done, who I've been with, and what I've accomplished...more to come!
I guess the point isn't about NOT doing the things you want to do to feel better and look better. The real test is being confident in yourself through it all. So; buy the dress, get the Botox, ride the peloton, take care of your skin, fix what you think needs attention -- but don't ever feel like who you are right now in this moment isn't enough. You are always enough. Let's find peace with our aging body and mind, because its been with us the entire time and is the reason we all have a really great story!
*dedicated to someone I love very much.