I decided to write this post because most people think I am WAY younger than I am.
Which is very nice.
However, it also perpetuates a tiny kind of lie that I am participating in, and would like to cease.
This feels risky to me, to share my honest thoughts and experience around my aging process, as I have not even processed them all internally yet. But I aim to practice what I preach.
You see, I really believe that genuine connection begins with sharing your story, your truth. So, in the service of bringing us all closer, I am taking a risk to share more of myself. I hope that it will make you more comfortable to share more of who you actually are with our community, too.
So I’ll go first….
Monday is my 48th birthday. When I was younger, I enjoyed, and sometimes even demanded, that everyone around me celebrate my birthday. My love language is gifts, so that was always nice. As I’ve aged, I come to believe that birthdays are a time to take stock, reflect, and celebrate myself.
So this year, I invite you in to my self-reflection – the good, the bad, the ugly – in hopes that we can all change our mindset about aging and learn to embrace the inevitable. With grace.
The best thing about pushing 50 is that I am MUCH MUCH more relaxed in my body, mind, and spirit. I love taking good care of myself, and judge myself much less than I used to. I wouldn’t trade my wisdom for less lines or more energy. I have a clarity about who I am and what’s true for me that is priceless.
Which is good, because some things that I used to take for granted have become luxuries in my life. Like good sleep. Now, I celebrate a night of uninterrupted sleep with a happy dance. Hormones and little aches and pains (mostly Zumba-driven) keep me from the deepest sleep on a regular basis. So I have learned to embrace the nap, and am thankful when I can take one.
Thank God for the cleanse! As I age, foods that my body used to process with ease now cause me actual pain and sleeplessness. Gluten, alcohol, sugar – now triggers for my body – are eaten sparingly. Or else I pay. Which I sometimes choose to do anyway. Because of my work teaching fitness classes, I believe I need to have all my energy available to me, and so I focus on eating clean as much as I can. But it amazes me how my body and my constitution have changed just in the past 3 years, since 45.
WAY before 48, the changes in my body started. I remember around 42, waking up one morning and seeing myself naked in the mirror and thinking, “who IS that?” It was like my body had changed overnight, into something softer, pudgier, and rounder overall. No matter what I did. Since then, because of my work with fitness classes and doing a regular cleanse, my body has pretty much stayed the same in terms of appearance.
AND I wear a Brazilian bikini, judgment be damned! I love that I have learned that from the Brazilian women – everyone here wears bikinis, regardless of age, shape, or size. (Well, I was at the beach this weekend, and DID see some one piece bathing suits, but then again Brazilians sadly are getting larger overall too.)
The one thing I have not made peace with and don’t have clarity about is my face, which is starting to show signs of aging. Blessed with good genes, I have very few lines, but over the past couple of years my eyelids have started to droop. Hardly noticeable to others (or at least that’s what they tell me), it has become very noticeable to me.
Photos, mirrors – I notice it. AND I notice that I think it’s NOT GOOD. Sometimes I lift the skin at my forehead to see what it might look like with a face lift. And I DO think it looks better.
Am I THAT attached to how I look?
Apparently so. And then the questions come.
Would I ever do a face lift?
I’ve never had surgery, save removal of my wisdom teeth, so would I go under for vanity?
I know it’s only going to get worse, and that doing something now would be the best idea. But what about being authentic? Would that mean I am a fake?
What I’d really like is to age gracefully, to embrace the slow march of time. To become more radiant, from the inside out. I am actually not afraid of dying, but it seems that I am not so okay with all of the aging process.
Maybe it’s a process of acceptance. Some big things, some little things along the way. And learning to walk the fine line between resisting what WILL happen and making the effort to be my best.
So, for this year, I decide to try to accept this new, emerging me. Older, wiser, and droopier in places, for sure.
To be honest, I have no idea how you’ll respond to this…I never do. I HOPE that you take this opportunity to share something of yourself here, too.
Here’s to being yourself and inspiring others to do the same!