Musings & Threads. This is Getting Old.
This is Getting Old.
Aging is a fact and there’s no getting around it. But when I started to notice the signs for myself, I also found myself buying into the magic of those eternal youth potions, the miracle creams that would take me back to my salad days. Gimme, gimme, gimme. And there went my money, winking at me and waving goodbye as it flew out the window.
Why, I asked myself, did aging spin my head around when I knew that I was no longer, as the saying goes, a spring chicken. And why was I being so damn hard on myself ? Why did I think wrinkles meant it’s all over? And shouldn’t I, fairly enlightened woman that I am, react with more self-compassion?
Well, yes. Instead my immediate response was a desire to cover all the mirrors, combined with a large measure of fear and doubt. It became a private conversation with myself, about a myth that’s so, so self destructive. It was the worst of times, not the best.
But I’m smart, if not always wise, and for a grown woman with a life-time of experience, it didn’t take me forever to drop the self-consciousness. Let me be clear: aging is tough. It was hard, hard work at the beginning and it’s hard work as my years increase, so fast, too fast. We are all so fragile. And compassion for oneself is hard-won.
So here I am in my seventh decade, standing on my soapbox, talking to anyone who will listen. Aging isn’t the worst thing that can happen, not joyfully accepting where I am in my life is. My wrinkles, crows feet, laugh lines, frown lines, they tell the story of my life. They’re a testimonial to everything I’ve done. They’re my roadmap, my memories. They’e not my enemy and aging isn’t the monster - it’s another part of the progression of life.
My wrinkles are badges of courage, they’re my rites of passage. I’ve let go of what isn’t important, I lean towards being happy, strong, kind. I accept the imperfections and smile, it all seems so silly to me now.
I’ve had youth, middle age, and now, older age. Considering the alternative, I count every blessing. There are so, so many. Especially the fact that I’m still here.
"Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been." David Bowie