It is already March. By now I thought I would be sporting my new body casually around the house. The great moment when I go outside and people who haven’t seen me in a while would be all: “Wow! Look at you!” And I would be very nonchalant as though it was no big deal. As though we all knew that I wouldn’t remain out of shape for long. As though I hadn’t spent the last two months tracking everything that went into my mouth and sweating out a bucket of water every morning on my bike. As though the other carcass I’ve been dragging around was just an anomaly. A five year anomaly. Well really a thirty year anomaly with brief glimpses of an alternate version of myself breaking through from time to time, with less and less frequency and requiring more and more effort.
But I am still me. I have lost about sixteen pounds and two inches around my waste, but I’m not the goddess I thought I would be. If anything, I am finding less and less goddess and much more crone. On a good day, I say I’m okay with that. I’m fine with the wheel of time moving, I’ve had my day of youth and am trying to embrace my years of wisdom. On an average day, I am not okay with it and I’m working hard with smoke and mirrors in the form of creams and water to delay the aging process. On a bad day I look at my fingers and think, “Really? Hands can wrinkle? WTF?” There are not enough creams, hair dye, water or collagen in the world to stop the aging, the movement of time forward and the reshifting of my skin on my bones. It’s as though my skin just doesn’t remember how to be anymore, or it is just tired. But, I’m only fifty three so I’m hoping that my skin at least can find a comfortable place to lay on my body and not just give up entirely.
I am a solution driven person. Oh, I can wallow with the best of them. I enjoy a good self pity party when I get frustrated or sad. But it is too boring of a state to live in, and I hate whining in general, so I can’t have it be my inner voice for a long period of time. Give me the nasty, mean me any day of the week over that. However, since menopause my go to solutions set off another host of problems. Take drinking water for example. Time tested way to get and stay healthy, not to mention boost weight loss and is great for your skin. And if you are me, leads you to spending quite a good amount of time peeing, all day and night every day and night. So, I do continue to drink water and I am up every two hours at night. I continue to drink water and constantly find myself cutting walks short so that I can get home. I should probably see someone, and I will when life is less crazy. Or coloring my hair, that can be a self confidence booster. Although for some reason I am still shocked by how much gray is actually on my head. Anyway, sometime around menopause my hair started to thin in certain places. At first I thought it was due to one drunken night, some wine and some tweezers. But as it appears to be happening to other people around my age, and that happened at least two years ago, I am left with the conclusion that it is in fact a natural part of aging. Add the gray hair and a very pale scalp and those areas that are thin can look like bald spots. Not super large, not a lot , but that doesn’t matter to me. So color right? It helps alleviate the translucent effect that my hairdresser talked about and it covers the gray. Except it sometimes leave the impression of dyed scalp instead. I am a fifty three year old woman with a comb over.
If I am honest with myself, I know that these and other experiences are only going to progress. My hair is not going to stop being gray, although I am told it probably won’t keep thinning. My skin is not going to snap back into a twenty or hey even forty year old form. My bladder, well, that is something I just can’t think about right now. Maybe, out of everything that can be helped. So what? So do I allow myself to become, to be thought of as less of a person because I am not the magazine cover? Because my body has the audacity to age? Although, that is the loud message from society that we are given, that I have absorbed so thoroughly. I can easily see you as lovely and important, as a person in your own right regardless of the shape and size. But for me, my own self image, my body screams lazy and failure. An outward exclamation mark of the person I am. A sign post listing my litany of failures as a human. For years I have lived with the idea that I don’t deserve certain aspects of life, of joy because of the way I look. I have held off doing things, trying new things and even saying things because I felt I didn’t have the right to it. And, because this is about honesty, I have to wonder if I have dismissed another’s perspective, idea or even pain because of how they look.
So dig, dig deeper into why this is. I know that there are plenty of messages from media, from the world in general to reinforce this. But other people seem to get past it. Why is there this need to constantly work on the way the package looks, not the health, but the appearance? Yes, eating well and exercising are important to health. But if I am honest with myself it isn’t about that. That is a side benny. So is it because I believe that who I am, the parts that can’t be summed up in skin, hair, nails and weight is so deeply flawed that it needs a perfect host? Or is it because that I don’t know how to be perfect inside, that I see myself with such deep imperfections, damaged from the start really, that working on the outside is a diversion. Some measurable way to feel better about the person inside I could never fix.
In the beginning of the year, my New Year’s resolution was to accept myself, to stop fixing myself because I was tired of seeing myself as broken. I don’t think it is that easy. So, there it is. Well, that’s enough wallowing for this week. This whining is getting on my nerves.