on to more serious topics

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I have minimal energy today and have to assume it’s the 34 degree weather outside. The house is hot and stuffy and I feel like I’m moving through molasses. We have to keep the windows, at least on the south side, closed all day. The UV film is doing a grand job of reflecting much of the heat and glare, but these days I feel quite claustrophobic if I can’t have a window open and feel air passing over my skin.

I suppose we could go down to the beach and cool off in the lake, like we did last night, but we all seem to be satisfied to be indoors doing as little as possible. If we get the promised thunderstorm tonight, I will be out there getting wet!

I have some topics I’d like to write seriously about, to make a change from small talk and knitting. If I can get my brain cells to co-operate, I’ll tackle one today and the others later. (I even fell asleep on the sofa at lunchtime, I felt so tired.) I’ll start with the easiest for now.

One of the things I often wonder about is why women put on weight in different places. What I mean is, one of my friends has put on weight over the last couple of years, but it’s all around her middle. She’s an “apple” – her legs are as slim as ever. I, however, put on weight/keep it on around my thigh area – I’m a “pear.” Now why would there be two such different body types? Are we descended from two very different genetic types? Why wouldn’t we just put on weight evenly all over? Actually, since I continued to put on weight, it has distributed itself all over my body eventually, working its way up and down from the aforementioned thigh area. Now that I am making a concerted effort to eat less, it will be interesting to see what shrinks first! If only it would NOT be my boobs!!

Another thing I have been curious about is how our bodies change as we age. I have a senior friend who writes a column for the local newspaper and she thinks that someone should write a book called, “What to Expect when You’re Aging,” similar to the format of “What to Expect when You’re Expecting!”

I will be celebrating my 50th birthday this month – yes, really celebrating, I have actually organised a party on the beach and invited a ton of friends. In the summer, we tend to show off more skin and notice what’s going on with our bodies when the winter sweaters come off. Being on the beach, surrounded by people in varying states of undress, gives you a chance to see the immense range of human bodies. The skin of a 20 year old, smooth and peachy, is so different from mine with its age spots and cellulite, which again is so different from the 80 year old grandmother with all her saggy lumpy bits. But it’s all good.

It’s taken me nearly 50 years, but I am finally learning that the body that we inhabit in this lifetime is just our “earthsuit.” Yes, it’s important to feed it well, keep it healthy and strong, because it is the vehicle for our soul, but the way it looks is nowhere near as important as the movies and magazines would have us think.

Most of the time now, I look at my body, or check in with how it feels, and feel comfortable and happy. It’s ironic that my butt is 1.5 times the size it was when I was 20 but I don’t have a problem with it any more! Occasionally I’ll catch sight of my upper arm, looking a little dangly (what is it with that upper arm thing that suddenly hits in our forties?), or look down at my legs that look like the surface of the moon, and as soon as the old negative thought starts to form I’ll nip it in the bud. It really doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts.

 

 

 

 

3 responses »

  1. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how your point of view changes as you age? Before you knew me, in another life time, I was this skinny, scrawny little thing that weighed about 120 lbs soaking wet (after my 3rd child). I thought that body would last me forever. Well, it’s still here, hidden, and, as you know, a few extra pounds have found their way around my middle (I guess I’m a bit of an apple myself). I’m having to learn to accept the way I am now. I feel good physically. I’m healthy apart from a bit of high blood pressure but my body has changed. It’s harder for me to accept my body as it is right now than it is for John to accept and love me as I am now. This is something we need to let our daughters know… that their young bodies will age as ours have and as our mothers and grandmothers have before us. Youth is fleeting. We’re changing from the maiden to the crone. I keep reminding myself that, as older women, we are the keepers of wisdom, the ones whose responsibility it is to make sure the younger women receive that wisdom and that helps ease the twinge of shock and horror (is that REALLY me??) every time I look in the mirror.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Ev. We definitely need to spread the word that looks are not as important as wisdom! And my birthday is on the 24th.

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