So here’s a shock. I’m standing in the closet the other day, trying to figure out what I’m wearing (a frequent pastime for me). I’m wearing nothing but my underwear and as I glance down at myself and notice my legs, what occurs to me is, “Whose body is this?” When did my legs get to be this mottled, dimpled looking sort of texture? Heavens, I have old lady legs! And, of course, this is only the beginning. My body has many more tricks up its sleeve, speaking of which; I can now make a loud flapping noise using my left arm as a musical instrument, this mysterious flap of extra skin jiggling most attractively. Lovely.
I’ve already allowed my hair to go gray and I really don’t mind that, in fact I rather like it. What I do mind is the abundance of hair I’m starting to see on my face, not to mention the fact that I can’t see my face without the magnifying mirror. Ah yes, my body is aging right before my eyes (if I can look closely). It’s amazing and rather life changing. I look at myself somewhat differently. I’m an older woman now. My gosh, I felt like I was still in my forties, if not younger!
I’m still very healthy and robust; I walk, lift weights, and do yoga several times a week. I eat very well, so my body feels good (with the exception of my arthritic hands which we are not focusing on). All in all, my body is great, with this “aging” process happening.
Here in my second half of life, I wish to embrace this body, to deepen the relationship I have with myself through learning to read my body, noticing how my emotions impact my physical health and to just be conscious and mindful of what my body is telling me. I will also be careful to not judge or criticize when I notice changes but feel grateful of what these changes symbolize.
My legs look old—I am grateful that these legs have carried me so very far, through the completion of three marathons, through numerous miles of hiking and walking, and pacing with babies. They have done squats and yoga and climbed walls and pumped a swing. Thank you legs.
My arms are getting flabby—I am grateful for these arms that have lifted babies, carried my dying Irish setter to the car, lifted groceries, pulled weeds, stirred soup, folded clothes, typed papers, washed cars, hugged countless loving men, women, and children. They have waved hello and good bye and danced in the arms of a man. Thank you arms.
My face is changing, sprouting hairs—I am grateful for this face that I have grown to love because it is uniquely mine. The face that had freckles and a turned up nose, the face that got sunburned at the mention of sunshine, the face that has faced a sunrise with glee and a sunset with awe, a face that has kissed boo boos, been cried upon with joy and with sadness. I am grateful for this face.
My eyes have trouble seeing—I am grateful for these green eyes of mine. Whether I can see well to read or not, whether I can see well to drive or not, I can indeed see the glorious colors of Life around me, I see the faces and eyes of not only people I meet, but people I love, I see the magic of my grandbaby’s arrival and the dying breath of my kitty. I have seen foreign lands and fantastical sights here in the U.S. My eyes have seen and read many emotions in the eyes of others. I am grateful for these eyes.
This is my body, slightly different look, same wonderful functions.