I guess some people do age gracefully like, Lena Horn, Cher, Betty White and most men do, in fact some of them get better with age. But some of us, who don’t have the means to get tucks here and there and spend hours in a spa, we are left to ‘aging gracefully’. What in hell does that mean, gracefully? Graceful: means elegant and beautiful, poised and dignified. Aging for me, so far, and I’ve only just begun, is lack of beauty. I should be grateful for that? I think I could handle aging gracefully is if I don’t look in the mirror. But that will make plucking those hairs out my chin a wee bit difficult and don’t forget the hair above and below my lips too. Now this is, if you can actually see those hairs on the bottom of your chin. Hell I can barely see the hairs on a piece of chicken and I can bring that right up to my eyes. If that hair was allowed to grow wild, then I’ll be aging scary, very far from graceful.
I remember when I was younger and celebrities were getting face lifts, tummy tucks and what not. I couldn’t understand it. I said I would never do such a thing. Look at Joan River, she looks better than me and she’s old enough to be my mother.
I figured, that as long as I take care of myself, eat right, exercise regularly, lose those extra pounds, I would grow old gracefully. But every week I would convince myself I’ll start next week but next week always just came too quickly. Just like this getting old shit. When did it happen? When did next week become too late? It seems like I woke up one morning and everything started sagging. My cheeks are below my jaw line. I have this extra chin and let’s not mention the boobs. They flop all over the place, the only time I feel life in them is when I get them smashed in the mammogram machine.
I got sick, maybe that accelerated my aging process. Lupus reared its ugly head and put me in a three year flare. I say three years because that’s how long I was on steroids. I gained one hundred pounds on top of the fifty I was trying to lose.
Back when I was in my late twenties, this a woman I worked with was doing Jenny Craig and losing the weight quickly, she was well off and she would buy clothes every week to show off her new body. One day she said, ‘well at least I look good in my clothes.’ I had no idea what she was talking about. Well now I know what she was talking about. All that extra skin has nowhere to go. I guess our grandmothers knew what they were doing wearing those totally uncomfortable, I refused to wear girdles. I wish I did wear them, and I just may start if I lose enough weight just to help smooth out the extra skin. So I can look good in my clothes. I know one thing if I ever make love again in my life it will have to be in the dark for sure.
I lost my chin because my neck grew huge. My belly is bigger than a nine months pregnant woman carrying eight babies. Then the icing on the top, my thighs started to pop out. Looks like breast growing on the inside of my legs. Oh it’s ugly.
I was going to rehabilitation for my osteoarthritis; I was getting heat on my back, a message then work out with weights. That felt good, so I watched my diet and hoped I would tone up. I lost sixty pounds. I am proud of myself; the problem is this extra skin isn’t going anywhere. That means now I want those tucks and lifts I thought were crazy. I know first of all I can’t afford those snips and clips to be removed, in addition to my health issues being a red flag. But I really would love for my belly to be sucked in, with my thighs, cut those extra titties off my back and, those as Oprah called them, the wings under my arms.
If I take a collection will anyone donate?
I tell you one thing, no matter how much you convince yourself you’re going to age gracefully you won’t be ready when you find yourself waking up and looking at that old person in the mirror. Time seemed to have just roll on past and disappeared. I always thought I had plenty of time to do the things I wanted to accomplish. I remember being young and oh so wise and I declare, life is short, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to be taught. Silly me I didn’t listen to my own words. The fact of the matter is I lived the life I lived. I have regrets, who doesn’t? I’ve had fun doing things that were risky. I experimented with drugs and sex. I did things I’m not proud of. But I did help build a company I work for,when I was running three of the branch offices, I tripled its revenue and I’m very proud of that. That was also a learning experience for me that I would like to share with the young adults in the corporate world. No matter how good you are there is always someone better. The company can get rid of you without a second thought, and bring someone in to do the same job for less money. Or like in my case, someone can sabotage you and steal your job. But remember they can’t steal it if you protect it. Don’t ever take your eye off the prize, always stay aware of what people are doing around you. It’s sad but true that you can’t trust anyone.
Now that I shared a little of my wisdom, another thing age gives us older folks. Insight to what we thought we knew when we were younger, to what we know to be true, now that we are older. If there is reincarnation like I discussed in my previous essay, I pray I have the wisdom I have now.
Growing old is a gift, I’ve lost friends and family much too soon. We know not what our fate is. It is a waste of time to moan and groan about the things I lost, the things I won’t have or do. I do have today, to make of it the best I can. I won’t allow anyone to steal my joy. I am the best I can be, all I have to do is believe it.
Giving up is not an option. There were times that I thought life was not worth living, but woke up the next day to realize there is HOPE! Hope is a part of our bounty we can cash in at anytime. Hoping is the will all gets better, hoping that I will learn from those trials and tribulations and endure another day. With pray hope is possible, because God hears all and knows all. He may not answer us when we want an answer, but He is always right on time.
Human am I, who seeks happiness, which today means peace of mind. It might have meant something else yesterday and it may still mean something else tomorrow. I don’t have the answers, and I don’t know anyone that is living and breathing today that does have the answer to make me happy, give me peace of mind to make my little world around me stress free. But I know the answer is within me, somewhere.
Everyone has unsolicited advice, that may sound good at the time but it may not always be the solution to heal me. So as I age, I age on my own terms. If gravity pulls me down, I’ll ask the Lord to hold me up.
My life might not have been all that I wanted. But it was sure more than I expected. There is no blame, no reason why thing worked out the way they did. I lived for the moment and that made for an interesting life. I’ve loved and been loved. I’ve meet and got to know really great people and had I had another life I may have missed out on some wonderful experiences.
I am getting old; I’m not dead and tomorrow is another day like Annie said, ‘the sun will come out.’ So I guess to age gracefully is to do so without complaining, to age with dignity, to be classy and refined. So yes, I can do that. I can age gracefully.