The realization has been slowly coming upon me that I am entering into another phase of my life. Yeah, I guess the midlife crisis thing was a pretty blatant indicator, but that was more psychological and emotional, with a little spiritual thrown in for good measure. This is more physical/spiritual, accompanied by a quiet voice telling me to make some changes.
It began with my hair. The stress sparked by T-Bear’s diagnosis last May inspired a noticeable amount of my hair to begin departing without being replaced. I’m not balding by any stretch, but when your husband says something about “getting thinner on top”, that qualifies as noticeable. So, about a week ago I finally realized it was time for a slight alteration in hairstyle. Nothing drastic (goodness knows, I don’t do drastic hair), just letting it be more itself when it’s down, more sweeping back than propping up on top and framing on the sides; alternated with wearing it “up” like mature women used to do. It places a subtle emphasis on my face, but for the first time in my life I’m comfortable with that. I’m “old enough” now I can let go another layer of vanity and be content with my own comfortably aging face. I don’t have to try to look young and pretty; I can look seasoned and mature. I wouldn’t mind getting permanent false eyelashes, though.
Next came my own physical care. Starting an exercise program (that was a drastic change from my former self), dutifully taking vitamins and calcium each morning and evening, and making all those health-related appointments that I’d been putting off for too long. Today was my first visit to my new chiropractor (she’s absolutely fabulous, by the way) to begin tending to long-ignored “my back sucks” issues. And, per Dr. B’s orders, wearing shoes all day (arrrrgh!) to help with my significant alignment issues. I have always been a barefoot-and-sandals gal, and get incredibly irritable when my feet get too hot (which they invariably do whenever I am wearing closed shoes, even in winter). As I was standing there in front of the X-ray machine, she pointed at my incredibly cute summer sandals and said (with her endearing Jersey attitude), “Those have got to go.” Flat feet need support. I guess it’s time I start investing in and wearing “good” shoes. She wanted me to give up dairy, too. I snorted at her.
The most recent step, also today: trifocals. Yeah, really. I’m going to be wearing trifocals. I have resisted and resented wearing glasses since my first pair in my early twenties. I rejected out of hand the very concept of bifocals at my last visit to Dr. W eighteen months ago, opting for two separate pair of glasses instead, which I only wear when absolutely necessary. Now, I’m not only going for the single-pair-sees-all version, I’ve added another “focal” to the mix. The clincher is, I’ll have to wear them all the time for at least two weeks for my eyes to adjust to them. Nifty. Just in time for the holidays.
But, I guess in reality that wasn’t really the most recent step. It’s two in the morning and I’m wide awake composing a blog entry. Again. Dr. B suggested that my insomnia might be a hormonal issue. I suggested spousal snoring and other environmental impediments might have more to do with it. But, waking up about an hour ago because I was too hot, again, and terribly thirsty, again, reminded me of how often I wake up too hot, throw off the covers, fall asleep, wake up too cold, pull up the covers, fall asleep, wake up too hot….you get the picture. Hormones. Hmmmm. I might have to look into that.
So, here I am. Aging. Trying to do it gracefully. Trying to initiate change to stay one step ahead of the process, or at least not get bowled over by it. Compulsively tugging at that single obnoxious, oversized, very coarse hair that has sprouted out of my chin and which I’ve not been able to pluck because some young whippersnapper “borrowed” my tweezers and failed to return them. Hey, aren’t I supposed to be doing this “maturing woman” thing after the kids are grown and out from under foot? Ah, well. “Mindful” ageing may be a bit of a challenge for me, having a full house and all, but I’ll do my best. Younger Next Year For Women was a huge start (thank you Chris and Harry). I think a refresher of French Women For All Seasons will be up next, and let’s see where that takes me (maybe it’ll take me shopping…heehee). Regardless, I’m actually really okay with all of this. At least for today. And, probably tomorrow, too.
I’ve always felt sort of like the mythical version of Merlin who was born 100 years old and aged “backwards” through mortal time. I’ve always felt spiritually far older than my years, and have carried around this idea that perhaps around middle age my body and my spirit might begin to match up. Maybe the time has come when I’ll begin to start feeling “my age” in a really great way.