I’m going to grow old gracefully..
Let it all hang out. Including the laughs.
Hi. How are you? I am great! I am 44 years old. When I reached 40, there was a sense of achievement. Like reaching a really great part in the hill. An awesome view. No, it is not from the top. But a cool spot, like the half way point. Really high but not the peak. I have stopped to look around my life and say. “The view is pretty good from here.” I celebrated 40. I had made it. Made it to 40! I have two girls, several cats and a foster dog. (I think I buy a cat to fill that space of ‘I have so much love to give AND there is so much abandonment out there.”) Sitting, watching television and eating chocolates is not so satisfying. Well, it is. I love television, really...BUT I have a desire to help the furry needy. Hmmm my legs are half-shaved and I am thinking these furry friends need some of that love. I have shifted from self-indulgence to “giving”, and “sharing”. It is an age thing.
SO. In a world filled with Botox, fillers, plastic fantastic and abs like bricks I am choosing the other door. The one with faded paint and screeching hinges. But, OH. The view!
I have come into my own. There is a self acceptance. There is a strength. I am a mum. Five tummy scrunches in, to stomach exercises I realise I do not mind that I look like I have had children. Why? Because I have. Pretending I have not with ridiculous work-outs like ten scrunches is not ME. I have a small pot belly. Prone to extending to look like I am going to give birth to twins after a roast meal.. Cradling my full content belly is relaxing. I enjoy my curves. The feel, the way my kids hug me and it feels soft and comforting.
One feature of the famous or the just-look-famous that erks me the most is - the inability to enjoy a smile. Their laughing is contained because laughing causes wrinkles or the Botox is so tight they can not smile properly. What a loss! I love a good laugh, smiling at my kids, at life. Not restraining it. Are you kidding me. To be happy or hysterically laughing without actually using the facial muscles is missing out!
My shopping trip the other morning, amid chaos had me enjoying morning sunshine and glancing down to random prickly streaks on my white legs. Oh I had not shaven....properly. I had done...bits. I was NOT mortified.
Do not get me wrong. I am not giving up. My priorities have changed. My desire to look sooo much younger with a lunch order of lettuce leaf and dust is not there. I eat what I love. I do excercize occasionally. I work hard. I do not mind looking 44. I am more make-up free these days. I prefer getting my hands in the dirt, while gardening. Being barefoot is my favourite thing. No, Not at school pick up!
I enjoy aging. There is something about the stage where I AM the nurturer and provider. This is in my pot belly being rested on by my 10 year old. There is something about dancing in my kitchen and my oldest saying I look like a homeless person, can I stop. NO. I WILL DANCE AGAIN. Just as they did in Footloose.
There is a freedom in not worrying so much about myself, my look, my place. I have my place, it is self-acceptance. That is the place one has to find. Not the latest fashion or best of, it is the place of being good with yourself. A place that allows you to be...To work at helping and soulful stuff like “inside stuff” not the exterior. To look back and not miss or long for the previous chapters of my life. I was there. I stumbled through and now I am happily here. We are meant, I think to fufill that “time” with so much youth, ignorance, learning, fun, mistakes that we move forward, gladly! Progress!
I watched Family Ties awhile back and omg I am not Tina Yothers age, relating to her! I am the parents age, agreeing with their position and morale dilemma. How did that happen? When did I become the parents?
There is something liberating about not NOT CARING, but not trying to defy one’s human-ness. Hair in place? Smile non existent, belly flat, hairless body like an eggshell. No! All the opposite. The wind is in my way. I love to laugh. I am the funniest person I know! I feel the cringe in my bones some days. I catch the eye of a double-chinned, flustered looking mum in the clothing store. Oh that is me, in the mirror, I passed.
I find myself enjoying things I never used to. Garden magazines. Moving From The City To Country shows. Agreeing with the woman on the current affairs show. “No, the children should be home at that hour?” At what point do we shift from the childhood to adulthood? Oh, I know 18 is the recognised legal age. But mentally, emotionally when do we say “I got this.” Different for everyone I suppose.
Overall there is one word to sum it all up. Attitude. Having a good attitude about growing older. I have adopted that. Enjoy the journey and feel the feels. Wrinkles come and no they will not go. What can I say, “I’d rather be smiling. For real. Than not.”