My dear longtime friend Gail once asked me,
“Did you ever think about how unfair it is that we had beauty in our youth
when we didn’t have the brains to go with it?”
I laughed at her question at that moment, but I’ve thought about it a lot since then.
As I reflect back, I had a great body when I was a teen. I proudly wore my Daisy Dukes, mini-skirts, and teeny bikinis.
I also smoked cigarettes and drank to excess. Yes, I did.
One day recently, I looked in the mirror and felt sadness.
Is that MY butt!?
Wow, I’m active and I’ve worked out my entire adult life. I eat well, also. But, I’m still sad about the body I presently have. I believe that seeing our bodies change seems to be similar to grieving, with the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Most days, I completely accept my loss, but suddenly a glance in the mirror can depress me.
Some people tell me I’m lucky to be in such good shape “for my age.”
I’m still mourning my “old” body, the perfect one I used to have with perky breasts and tight bottom. I used to lay down on my bed to zip up my jeans, but when I stood up there wasn’t even a muffin top. Now my stretch jeans give me a muffin top that I hide with a loose fitting longer top.
I have a SECRET muffin top!? Who am I kidding?
And, why am I writing this?
Because I think I’m not alone. I’m just saying what all of us over 50 years old are secretly saying to ourselves.
We have our S*** together with all this life experience by now. We’ve made ridiculous mistakes and learned from them. We are wiser now. We have more patience with ourselves and others. We’ve mellowed. We tend to be less judgmental. Compassion for others and forgiveness comes more easily. We have the strength of character, commitment, and fortitude. We know how to make things happen!
We’re pretty darn AWESOME actually.
Still, we miss our former bodies, whether it’s when we’re sitting, walking, running, swimming, dancing, yoga or having sex. And, we’re not always patient and compassionate with ourselves, as we’ve learned to be with others.
My older friends tell me to just get used to it because they’ve reached the stage of “Acceptance” and they say it’s a better place to be.
Is “acceptance” the true meaning of Aging Gracefully?
What do YOU think? I want to know!
What stage are you in?
Do you still mourn your former body or get frustrated with your present physical self?
What do YOU do to feel better about “looking your age?”
Does society put more pressure on women than men to look younger longer?
Or, do women do it to themselves?