Oh I hear, ya, all of you 'older' people....I know, I know...
It started with the crackling of my neck and spine, which sounds like a zipper being pulled up, one of those super-chunky plastic sport zips with the big teeth. *crrrrick* The official term for it is 'crepitus', which sounds a lot more like 'crap, it's crushed' or something. All of my joints crack now, and I guess if I were to have personal entrance music, that would be it: the sound of a thousand bowls of Rice Krispies all being filled with milk, all at once. Thankfully, I've never had surgery on any of my really important joints, but it IS annoying to have most of my movements accompanied by a symphony of biological noises.
I'm moving incredibly slowly today. And I'm tired.
Usually I don't feel any different than I did way back when I was young(er) and indestructible. Apparently today is the payback for all the hours-long dance classes and grueling rehearsals, throwing myself around, staying up all night, drinking too much, not eating. There are probably only a finite number of floor slides, falls, and overreaching leaps that a body can take. I was too busy pushing the limits of my physical self to try to remember that my body was an instrument or a temple.
Today the temple looks like I've been worshipping at the altar of Too Much Chocolate, Not Enough Working Out.
When I do work out, my right hip complains loudly, and it sounds much like the joint is being disassembled and then reassembled...a loud *THUNK* and the ligaments slip over the ball of the joint, and then *THUNK* as it slips back. For that, I can blame three pregnancies, and not so much excessive dancing. I think.
My husband has had five knee surgeries. I can't really complain too much, because even when I have a day of pain, at least I can still walk and get around and do what I need to do. When HE has a bad knee day, he can barely walk.
I'm trying to learn to age gracefully, because it's what I want to do and because I think accepting the inevitable is sometimes far more healthy than trying to fight it every step of the way. I can't really relate to those women who have all kinds of plastic surgery done to remove wrinkles and lift and tuck this or that. After a while I doubt they even look or feel *real* anymore. I can't grasp why anyone would artificially tan themselves and end up looking not like a bronze goddess, but like an old handbag. My single concession to vanity in my aging process is hair color, because at almost-41, my hair is more than 50% grey, and I am not ready to give up my hair color. The beauty of it is, though, that the excessive grey gives me beautiful natural-looking highlights when I color, without doing anything special besides slapping the coloring goop on.
I wish I could lose weight easily, though. I realize I would have to exercise to a level I don't know if I can manage, OR stop eating anything that is any good, or soul-filling, in order to get down to a weight I can honestly say I like.
So I waver between significant bouts of terrible insecurity about myself on this journey of getting older, and moments of true self-acceptance in which I am happy with the reflection that gazes back at me in my mirror.
Since time is going to march on regardless of what I do or do not do, or what I think about any of it, I suppose the healthier, happier path would be to extend those moments of self-acceptance into days and weeks and years.