It is no easy thing to age. It is ridiculous what a pain it is to shop, because of my eye sight, or really the lack of it up close. The glasses go on to read a label or to look at a price. The glasses come off to see the shelf or rack in front of me. Do you keep them on your head? Tuck them into your shirt? Hold them? I had fabulous vision my first forty years. What happened? I am the person with readers all over the house, in the car, in my purse, at work, and I’ve found a way to double up my readers and my sunglasses. Yes, I wear both at the same time. It’s pretty spiffy.
Then there are the aches and pains. Now, I know from working with many women over forty, that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And I want you to know that is very comforting [sarcasm]. But, WOW! My feet hurt, my back gets out of alignment, my knees and hips ache, my neck and shoulder get out of whack, and to top it all off, I have this kidney disorder that has one rule when it comes to drugs. No ibuprofen: the one thing that takes away my aches. The injustice of it all!
Bette Davis famously said that getting older isn’t for sissies. I agree!
Getting older isn’t for sissies. Yet, we have been selected to represent. So let’s do it with some chutzpah!
Sometimes I think I am really lucky, because I got to a very low point when I was still young. I don’t have some over-romantic vision of youth in my head. My younger years were filled with a lot of pain and suffering, because I had no idea who I was. I had no identity of my own and no understanding of my worth as a human being. My choices reflected that. (But I did have tighter skin and good vision back then, and the only thing I needed ibuprofen for was cramps and hangovers.)
Now, at 49 I have a goal to be at peace with my aging body. I hope to be someone who encourages others to do the same. I really believe walking and strength training are key factors in this. They are the two things that I can do that make me feel empowered to conquer anything. They keep me rooted in the knowledge that I am doing what I can to age well.
As many of you know, my mom died when she was 52 and she spent her last ten years in a wheelchair. She could not walk or stand. But before she lost her ability to stand on her own, she would push herself up with her arms and stand, trying to balance, as long as she could. She was embracing what she could do, and empowering herself to practice it. I’ll have that picture of her strength and determination with me forever. [thank you, Mom!]
We all have that spirit in us. No matter what the circumstances, we can embrace what we can do. We are empowered to practice it.
I may have weird elbow skin wrinkles, but I can lift weights like wonder woman with these arms. They are strong.
I may be losing my eyesight, but I am developing great vision for my life and its purpose. I am radically blessed.
And yes, things hurt and it’s a real pain. But I have decided that I will make peace with this pain, like I have with my past. That is the way to freedom. That is how I want to age…with amazing grace. And some Tylenol.