In two months I will turn 61.
Recently I noticed my body mass changing. My underarms have loose skin. My butt flattened and I have what’s called crinkly skin overall. My face doesn’t have laugh lines, it’s wrinkled, plain and simple. I know the hair on my head is grey but since I’ve been coloring it for decades, I don’t how much. Occasionally a grey hair turns up on my eyebrow and I pluck it, along with the ones sprouting from my chin.
It’s all part of growing older and I can go one of two ways:
- Freak out and try to cream, pluck, dye, exercise my way back to youth… or
- Appreciate my body exactly the way it is.
I choose door number two.
My body is in pretty good shape considering all the things I’ve done to it over the years. In my twenties, I experimented with recreational drugs and drank my share of kamikazes; I worked too much, didn’t get enough sleep for most of my adult life, I worried way too much about things that never happened, I ate junk food and not enough vegetables (even when I called myself a vegetarian); then I got cancer (and survived that bitch) in my fifties, I got enough radiation (to kill the cancer) to light up a city block for at least a month …and my body endured it all! It didn’t even complain!
My heart still beats 24/7. My lungs breathe 24/7. I don’t have diabetes or any of the other health issues many other people have at my age. My immune system works good. I rarely got the flu or caught colds for most of my life. I did get the chicken pox, mumps and measles when I was a kid, but back then it was part of growing up. I remember my mom sending me over to play with the neighbor kid who had the measles, so “I would get that over with.”
My body looks so different from even a year ago. It’s like all the changes happened overnight, but I know it didn’t. Inside, I still feel 30 something, okay, not 30 but at least 50ish. I don’t have the stamina to stay out late or dance for hours anymore, but I learned to enjoy other things; like sunsets, walking my dogs, or watching a funny movie.
I appreciate my life more. And that includes my physical body because without it I’d scare a lot of people. Have you watched the movie the Invisible Man? I’m just sayin’.
Too many women my age freak out and get upset about the way they look, especially those who had amazing bodies in their younger years (I wasn’t one of those women. I was always skinny, not athletic, just “Twiggy” skinny). Reading those so-called women’s magazines don’t help. Their full of ads telling us to stay young! Fight aging with this cream or some over priced laser surgery. Its like we’re being told it’s not normal to age and we should fight it at every turn. I admit, I scared myself for a minute or two when I took a good look at my naked body in the mirror, but then I really thought about how amazing all of our bodies are. Most of us put ourselves through the ringer more than once in our lifetime and our bodies keep going. It’s like we’re all Energizer Bunnies! We keep going and going!
Instead of fretting about getting older, I will appreciate being alive. I will continue to feed my body nourishing foods, exercise (yoga, dance, and walk), meditate, sleep when my body asks me to and listen to my inner guidance. I will love myself exactly as I am.
In order for me to remember to appreciate my beautiful body, I re-read some books by Louise Hay that I bought when I was going through cancer treatment. Her books helped me a great deal back then and reminded me to include my spiritual self, in order to heal all the parts of me I call Inge.
The following video is from the website, SoundCloud and is one of Louise’s meditations I listen to almost daily.
So the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself how much you love yourself and thank your body for always being there for you.