I want to grow old(er) gracefully, curiously, perhaps watchfully, responding with reactions like, “Hmmmm, that’s an interesting new addition,” and “That was sure a crazy yoga tree pose sway,” and ”What a captivating movement my body just used to adjust to that bend.”
I don’t want to become a woman who agonizes as each new spot crawls onto her neck, another new bump puffs onto her upper cheek bone, and a new row of wrinkles wind up beneath and to the right of her left nose nostril. Instead, I want to welcome these facial accumulations.
I don’t want to become a woman who, when she gathers a whim to balance in public, doesn’t. I want to be always willing to walk foot to toe along the sidewalk curbs. I want to lose all self-consciousness when I stumble and falls out of eagle at yoga.
But, I’m curious. Is it obvious from these descriptions that I am actually extremely aware of these growths and small balance challenges? That perhaps I’m not completely accepting?
Well, phooey, I accept that too. Indeed, I accept the un-acceptance.
It is complicated. Our culture encourages us to deny humans age. It encourages us to cover it, color it, drape it, and conceal it.
I want to grow old this way because I want to enjoy becoming my older self. I want to join that group of humans who carry a that %$&#-it attitude. I want to ride (not coast) along a relaxing road to aging rather than cover or deny these spots, grey hairs, and bumps, and imbalances.
Ahhhhhh, but I also want to age with fun and frivolousness. Kind of like that lady who wants to wear purple when she grows old. http://www.barbados.org/poetry/wheniam.htm
I’ve never been afraid to wear purple while I am young (I am still young right?), but I can be quite serious.
So as this birthday approaches, and no, it’s not a big one, I plan to steal a page from my mother-in-law’s 2001 New Year’s Resolutions and “Live More Gregariously.” And my mom’s 80th birthday wisdom words, “Say it, and then wait.”
Am I allowed? Would it be permitted to behave a bit loud and flamboyant?
“Of course” and “Why not?” When others shout out and draw attention to themselves, I’m either jealous, or I want to cheer them on. And life is the best when I want the latter and can smile authentically from the inside out that they are saying it and living it brightly and rightly. I want to follow Marianne Williamson’s advice in her speech about our deepest fear. http://explorersfoundation.org/glyphery/122.html
So here’s to living it up and aging this month, and in the year to come.
Here’s a question. Young, old, and, in the middle, do you notice yourself aging? And if so, how do you do it?