New Year’s Eve. Another year gone. Another year on the horizon. Life is full of unexpected joys and tragedies. Blahblahblah …
I won’t bore you with yet another post about another year ending. I’m not trying to trivialize time or memories here, I’m simply not the type of person who dwells on the past. What’s done is done. I tend to look more toward the future – in fact, too much so. I am usually so focused on the future that I forget the past.
And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Hence, this blog. 🙂
Though I have no intentions of writing a deep, meaningful post (as if I’m capable of that anyway) about how it’s so important to savor every waking moment we have on this Earth (and it truly IS important), I would like to share what’s uppermost on my mind: my body and how it’s aging.
How narcissistic of me, I know. But really, when your body betrays you and you have pain, pain that you can never quite get rid of no matter what you do, no matter how much medication you take (which I don’t, normally), or what position you try, it’s hard to think of anything else. It’s so hard to distract yourself, or fool yourself, into thinking or doing anything else.
Like right now. I’m sitting here and I’m semi-comfortable. It hurts less if I sit. But the pain is there, just beyond my reach and occasionally, a ripple travels down my back and pools into the base of my spine and I not only see stars, I see their moons, too. And my head feels like it’s floating just above my shoulders, like a balloon bobbing above a distracted toddler who barely has a hold of the string.
But then it passes and my vision clears and I’m granted a slight physical reprieve until the next ripple rips through me.
I’m an old woman. Oh wait, that’s already been established. But I’m FEELING like an old woman today. I’m hobbling. I’m unable to walk upright. And I’m spontaneously jerking in response to my body trying to tell me to get off my feet and rest.
*snort* As if THAT was going to happen.
It’s embarrassing. And it disturbs me when I see the look of concern cross my children’s faces when they see mom acting like she just got electrified every few steps. But I’m not stopping. I don’t stop for anyone or anything and that includes a little (okay, a lot) physical discomfort. For those just joining us, my back has betrayed me.
It does this periodically though I like to fool myself into thinking I have this aging body under control, alas, it occasionally rebels against me. It’s rebelling now and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I let it get me down – literally.
However, I AM so very, very, thankful that I work at home and can grit my teeth and swallow my humiliation in private as opposed to working outside the home. I’m so very, very thankful that I have a husband who supports what I do and is okay with me staying home and doing it. Enduring this physical discomfort is hell out in public.
And I know this. Because I’ve endured this when I did work outside the home. Because when my back went out, I didn’t call into work sick. I didn’t take the time to feel sorry for myself. I simply ignored it and went about my business and waited until I got home to collapse into a painful coma.
I’m very stubborn, if you haven’t picked up on that by now. *grin* I’m a pretty easy-going, fair-minded individual when it comes to my family and the people around me. I even have (some) sympathy for the pain of others. But when it comes to me, to my own body, I have no patience for my own weakness. In fact, it just disgusts me. I have no idea why I’m like this, but like this I am.
I was craving Krispy Kreme donuts this morning. I was craving them so badly that my mouth actually watered thinking about them. (Like now, for instance). But I hadn’t taken a shower yet so I thought, “I’ll take a shower and then make a donut run.”
Until I stripped off all of my clothes and looked at myself in the mirror.
Now we all know when it comes to looking at ourselves naked there’s the glance and then there’s the look. Most days, I’m distracted, thinking about my day, thinking about what I need to do next, what’s for dinner, yaddayaddayadda and when I strip down I glance at my body, not really seeing it.
But then, like today, there are days when I’m forced to pay attention to my body and I really take a gander at this lump of flesh I like to call home.
I am not fat. I am not skinny. I’m … gropeable, if that’s even a word. My husband has a little something to hang onto, let’s put it that way. When I sit, I have a roll. In fact, I’m a perfect pear shape when I sit down. My torso stays intact, the bottom half of my body sort of spreads out and pools, like a teaspoon of oil on a hot skillet.
It’s not exactly nasty, but I won’t be modeling for Victoria’s Secret anytime soon.
I’ve always been a bit bottom heavy – genetics. I can get my torso in pretty good shape with minimal effort, but my hips and abdomen take A LOT more work. And even then, it’s never really “in shape.”
It took me years, and countless hours of working out and tubs full of sweat to finally figure out this is just how I’m built. I can tone, I can improve, but I can not change what I am.
I stood there, critically giving my body the once over and tried to look past society’s definition of beauty and find my own beauty; the beauty that is uniquely my own.
For example, the weird/cute/strange bump on my tailbone. A bump that probably shouldn’t be there but has been there ever since I fell off a six-foot ladder and landed squarely on my back.
Or how about the fingers of bleached out, stretched out skin that curl and embrace either hip or the sagging, wrinkled skin just under my belly button, or the dimples in my arse, just under the roundness of my buttocks – all battle scar reminders of bearing two children.
Or the curious little pouch of skin just above the area where my pubic bone meets my thigh bones and has just appeared in the past few years.
As I stood in front of the mirror this morning and analyzed every possible angle, I concluded that my body is … rather nice even with all of my flaws. It’s average. It’s been a good home to me over the years. Sure, there have been times it’s broken down (like now) or needed a tune up (like after I had children), but overall, it’s been good to me.
It’s disease free. It houses healthy organs. It cradles a strong heart. It safely gets me through each day. So what that it gives me the occasional ache and pain – when compared to so many people who are in serious physical trouble, what I’m feeling is inconsequential. The least I can do is grin and bear it.
The thought of so many people who have SERIOUS problems with their bodies, the thought of these poor people is what gets me through these uncomfortable days. So I have sinus problems, so I have back problems, so my digestive system is flawed, so what? At least I don’t have AIDS. Or cancer. At least I can see, hear and touch my loved ones. At least I have organs that function and never fail me.
And that’s the sorts of things I think about at the beginning of a new year. The fact that I have my health and that though my body is imperfect and occasionally gives me problems? I thank God for my health and I thank God for the health of my family.
The new year will begin. I will get over this back pain. And life will go on.