On Aging

April 29, 2017 017My sister and I often marvel at how age seems to have crept up on us. Both in our fifties now, our hair is peppered with grey (hers shows less because she is the youngest – and blonde; mine only shows at the roots when I get careless, because I have been colouring my hair for years now). And of course, there are the myriad wrinkles and saggy bits that neither of us had in our twenties, thirties or even forties. We stare at one another; comparing our increasing imperfections, and we muse about how it was only yesterday that we were walking home together after school from swim practice, completely unaware and unappreciative of our youthful, perfect skin.

There are all these parts that hurt now: we are both painfully aware of our knees, our ankles, our lower backs and our necks. We exercise, not to look great, but to feel great; to strengthen our bodies for the onslaught of aging that still lies ahead. At this stage in our lives, sitting cross-legged on the floor is an invitation for every muscle you own to contract in protest when you (most inelegantly, by the way) try to stand up. Sometimes, when my back is really hurting, I carry around an orthopaedic cushion to sit on. I even take it to the movies with me. And the relief it affords my lower back overrides any embarrassment at being seen in public carrying such an ‘old-person’ contraption around. I often smile to myself that I wouldn’t have been caught dead in public with such a horror in my twenties.

The best thing about aging is how your self-image shifts and somehow grows kinder; more loving. I look at pictures of me as a young woman and all I recall feeling about myself at the time was unattractive. Now with an objective – and much kinder – eye, I look at those photos and I see how wrong I was. I was no runway model, but I was far lovelier that I ever knew.

I look at myself in the mirror today and I see the grey roots; the saggy bits; the wrinkles; the extra pounds that are so much harder to get rid of now. But I also see wisdom, peace, acceptance, a lifetime of experience and a lifetime of mistakes that I have learned from. I see courage and understanding and… a softness that wasn’t there before; I’m sure of it.

At this age, it’s not really about beauty anymore, which is ironic, because I have never felt so beautiful…

Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com

Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

28 thoughts on “On Aging”

  1. When I turned 21 I was married with two kids. When 29 hit I didn’t want to leave my bed. Now in my late 30’s I appreciate a whole lot more and a lot more understanding and patient. Wisdom comes with time. Great post that’s beautifully written.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am now in my late 60’s and find that I must fight myself in order to stay healthy and feel better. I find that ironic as I was an athlete in my younger years and, though I complained, it was not an option to sit in a chair for more than an hour! I love your words about loving. I try to do that everyday. Sometimes it is just like “exercise”. Maybe I will do it tomorrow. And then I realize that is the very thing that keeps me from loving this changing structure in which I reside! Thank you for reminding me of the love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sending the link! And yes, you are absolutely right: I have known young people who were incredibly wise and I have known some foolish old people too 😊 In my own case, age has been a true blessing: it has simply taken me this long to figure things out, I guess. And I LOVE being past all the pressures that we face today to ‘look’ a certain way. I do take care of myself but for much better reasons than I used to. I really enjoyed your perspective…thanks for sharing 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are plenty of negatives and positives to aging, but it’s inevitable so you have to age gracefully, without Botox or any of these other things women do. I do still color my hair, but not for much longer…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great post! Hope you can hear me cheering from my chair knowing I will groan a bit when I get up to fix a dinner of fish and veggies, as recommended by the Dr. so I can watch my weight. I’ve been watching it for years, it hasn’t changed. For her hope springs eternal I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

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