Let me preface this story by sharing that I am an incurable optimist. My life’s journey would show that my resilience is respectable and my tenacity to overcome obstacles admirable (so say my friends). And when it comes to glass half full versus half empty, it’s half full all the way! However, in the last year or two, I find myself a little less optimistic about this whole aging thing. Specifically the radical changes that my body is experiencing. Where was the warning label for these changes? What changes you ask? Read on.
I remember when I was young my grandmother and older female family friends would say, “Appreciate your beauty now, once you hit 40, it’s all downhill from there!” Wow, thanks for those uplifting words. I want to be 40 now!
In retrospect, it’s interesting how vague they were as they never shared specifics, simply warnings about a woman’s aging. I often thought, “How bad could it be? And then it hit me, Aunt Monica.
She was very quiet and often sat in the back of the room watching others interact. When I was old enough, I decided to go over and try to strike up a conversation with her and then I saw them. There they were, screaming out to me, long black hairs protruding from her chin. It was like Medusas hair only on her chin. I thought to myself, “Can she not see those?” I suddenly realized that’s what my Grandmother meant, chin hair. When I asked my Grandmother she said, “That’s the least of your worries.” Once again she was vague. She didn’t elaborate, she provided no specifics. My hunch is she didn’t want to traumatize me at such a young age.
But alas, here I am, 52 years old. Though I’m healthy overall and still mostly optimistic, the words of my Grandmother and her friends have all come together. So, in honor of my Grandmother and her friends, and the facts they left out, here is my ODE TO AGING. (This material may not be suitable for any woman under 40, for obvious reasons).
Chin hairs and hot flashes, adult acne galore,
hair loss in places I’d not thought of before.
Joints that ache after menial tasks,
once again enjoying long, hot baths.
Sex drive poor, waistline no more,
memory is short, boobs need support.
Vision starts to fade, and hair starts to gray,
aging is hard sometimes downright unfair.
Best to just roll with the flow and color your hair.
So, is aging really all doom and gloom? I have to say, “No.” I find that my friends have never been more important to me, my creativity and confidence is at an all time high. I care less about what people think and care more about the difference I can make. My children are grown and they’re terrific adults, my time is my own and my future looks great. Although there’s no denying that the changes women go through as they age may not be fair, the truth is it’s all in how we greet them. I’ve learned in my 50-plus years, the more I fight something that’s inevitable, the less energy I have to address the things that really matter.
So as women, I believe there’s definitely more to celebrate than fear. I suppose if you’ve got the desire and cash, you can certainly pay to hold off nature’s plan, but in my humble estimation, I’d rather roll with the flow, do my best to have fun and know that in the end my Grandmother was spot on, “A few chin hairs are the least of your worries.” What do you think?
What about you?