Monday, February 17, 2014
The season when things start to fall
Anyone else having trouble getting older? I mean there's no problem doing it. In fact I come by it quite easily. I just don't like it is all.
It's a new sensation for me. This knee jerk reaction of inner loathing about getting older. I remember being in my 30's and not minding the aging process one little bit. Indeed I couldn't imagine a day when I would mind it! In fact I quite liked the part where as the years passed I found myself getting wiser and making fewer mistakes. I was wiser than I was in my 20's, and the little stuff didn't quite matter as much. And the big stuff came into full focus. My 30's were divine.
But then I rounded the corner into the next decade. My 40's. Things started falling lower, over, and/or off. The colors of parts of my body changed. Last week I discovered my first...
you may want to sit down for this...
I mean skin protruding from another part of my skin where once there was none. I honestly never thought that type of thing was going to happen to me. It feels like an insult.
While brushing Tess's hair one morning recently, she looked in the mirror and fell silent as she studied my face. That kind of stuff is never going anywhere good. She then asked me what that white stuff in my hair was. It's what happens when I haven't been to the salon for 6 weeks, deary! But don't you worry your sweet little heart. Nothing magic-in-a-box can't fix. And then there yesterday Jude asked me why my teeth were yellow. Children are horribly honest barometers to the aging process.
And I find myself obsessing about it... a bit. Okay a lot. Things seem to be sagging lower. Falling off. There are divots, wrinkles and lines where they hadn't been before. Things are growing where things never grew, like spots. It ain't pretty. About a year ago, something truly earth shattering happened. Earth shattering to me at least. My vision started to change. Literally one morning I woke up, and found that I had to pull the print an inch or two back to get the words in focus. Oh great! Another reminder of how many things still need to be done and how little time there is to get them all done in. I mean I have some major character flaws, and it's gonna take time to correct them! Do I still have the time I need? Once I assumed I did. Now I'm not so sure.
Then there's the pain. My body is starting to ache and creek in ways that it never did before. The soles of my feet. Get out of town... why in the world would the soles on one's feet hurt on a regular basis? Getting up off the floor doesn't happen as quickly as it once did. Getting out of bed in the morning... oh let's not even go there.
But for all the visual and physical reminders, what really bothers me most about the aging process is in my soul. It's the lost opportunities and diminished time to accomplish it all. And that makes me savor the here and now even more. Mimi has been sick. She fell asleep in my lap, and I could have moved her to her bed, but I just let her lay there and soaked her in. Damned be the dust bunny staring at me. Making care packages for Sunny has become one of my new favorite time suckers. Dishes to be done and laundry to fold, and I find myself choosing to write little love notes to my girl who has flown the nest. Dance parties have taking on a whole new urgency. "Me time" has become a priority instead of a luxury. And squeezing Papa some OJ in the morning is a pleasure rather than an obligation.
I used to have the skin of a goddess. It was kinda my thing. My skin in my 20s and 30s was smooth and blemish free. But with this new season my skin, my badge of honor, is now getting marked up with lines, spots, divots, creases, discoloration... need I go on. My knee jerk reaction... well I know it's wrong. To sulk and feel sorry for myself. But I challenge myself to see the wrinkles and the sun spots and even that horrible skin tag differently. A new type of badge of honor. I'm choosing to look at them as medals from season well spent. Reminders for a person, for this person, that every single year and every moment in every day is a precious treasure... a treasure that this season is proving is not limitless.
Soak 'em in girls.
Love 'em and squeeze 'em tighter and more often.
Take pride in the hard seasons that you've overcome.
Take baths more often.
Walk more slowly on your walk.
Smile at all the lessons you've learned the hard way along the path.
That kind of stuff is contagious in your homes. Your children feel it and love themselves a bit more when they are surrounded by it. Your husband fell in love with and married that woman. And when he sees her, he falls in love a little bit more each time.
Love yourself in the process, even when it's hard and even when you fail. Because really, you totally ROCK!
The years pass far too quickly. The seasons start to roll by at lightning speed the older I get, and I can not image how fast it will be going when I get to the next season of life.
But for now, I will live it up.