>The things we tell ourselves

>I’m hydrating. With water. Isn’t that what we call having a glass of water now? Oh, I’m in such a thoughtful mood about the things we tell ourselves as I prepare to say farewell to my uterus and other such parts on Thursday. I suppose all this “moving into another stage” thinking has caused me to look at the toll that forty plus years has done. Pleased with some things, hating others (don’t get me started on howa tummy tuck SHOULD be a mandatory part of a hysterectomy.)

I tell myself I’ve earned my wrinkles. It’s so new millennium…accepting the aging process, earning our stripes, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. And yet, we see in magazines the actresses in their forties who show not a crease or gray hair. They’re hot mammas, having babies last week and hitting the gym by noon the day. Or, they’re “cougars” and loving it up with some luscious twenty-two year old with delicious abs and visible hip bones.

What to believe? I tell myself I really have earned my wrinkles. Mostly, they’re from years of neglect as a child raised on the beach without sunscreen. A number have been earned recently from caring for a father with Alzheimer’s. Then there are the having one teen and one soon to be teen wrinkles…I believe it’s more of a chasm in between the brows as opposed to a wrinkle. Having said that, when I washed my face just moments ago, I noticed the texture resembled the heels of my feet and I felt deflated and desperate for a facial (secretly yearning for thousands of dollars of laser surgery on my skin.) I tell myself I don’t have the time and the money. It’s a story. I could make time. I could find the money. I tell myself I’ll get to it after the holidays. There’s always later.

I guess I’m like most “regular” women who vacillate between accepting this interesting process called “maturity” and wanting to shred the newest issue of Glamour at the grocery store, proclaiming how Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston are more beautiful now than ever. Sexier. Younger.

Ugh. Profanity.

In the end, I feel I’m moving into a really sacred place as I bid my organs good-bye. They served me well, and the party is over. No more babies. And as I reflect on a dinner date that my husband and I had with a couple our age last Friday, I tear up at the thought of how vulnerable we all were. In our twenties, we would have never shared private fears, past tragedies, and secret worries after only a handful of times together. The image has been shed for many of us. We’re learning the beauty of inner strength and support. We’re telling ourselves the truth and not dwelling in the narcissism and fear. It really is a magical time.

While I would gladly skip through Safeway during the “recovery phase” of laser surgery, proclaiming, “Wait
’till you see how great I’ll look in six months!”, I must admit that I’ve never had so many deep, loving relationships now that I’m older, somewhat wiser, and a lot more transparent. In saying “ta-ta” to a part of my youth, I embrace the change, knowing that my tribe of friends will be there with me through the hot flashes, “character lines”, and imperfect skin. We probably won’t be cougars and we may not be the new twenty, but we must keep remind ourselves that we’ve got a niche on happiness: love and acceptance…okay, AND an occasional facial and dreams of a magic wrinkle cream!

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