At what point did my body start betraying me?
I used to be able to party until dawn, get home just in time to shower, change my clothes and go to work. Yeah, I’d be hung over as hell, but I could do it!
Now, I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing!
I get pissy if someone wants to have a “late” meeting or dinner, say, 8 or 9pm? I’d think, “What the hell? I’m on my way to a bubble bath and my comfy jammies by then!”
If I have a few too many cocktails with the girls, I suffer for 2 or 3 days; dragging ass, headache, etc.
What happened to that care-free party girl I was when I was in my 20’s?
I stumble to the bathroom mirror in the morning and groggily look at my reflection. What I think in my mind’s eye, is not what is looking back at me! Who is that old woman I see standing in my backwards-looking bathroom?
Upon closer inspection of the face looking back at me, are there really more lines around the eyes today than there was yesterday? Sigh… it does indeed appear to be so.
And what the hell is with those brown spots? They call them “Sun spots”. Now just because I used to cover myself in baby oil and cook my skin to a crisp doesn’t mean I should have these damned spots now, does it?
And then there’s my hair…… I used to color my hair for fun, trying different shades of red or brown; I’ve even been a blonde once. Now… I’m guessing I’m about 50% grey. Men can have a bit of grey around the edges and it’s sexy; not so with women. My white “fringe” is getting more and more pronounced all the time.
I’ve come to appreciate mellow music. I now like (gasp!) Country music, I also like a lot of the stuff that was put out in the 40’s and 50’s. Singers like Etta James, Nat King Cole and others like them. I can now enjoy blues and smooth jazz is nice too.
Janis Joplin, please forgive me, but I just can’t bring myself to listen to your music anymore! Have my ears become more sensitive?
Living alone and aging has its own challenges. You have to be creative about opening that pickle jar or rearranging the furniture. I have to seriously think about doing the Heimlich maneuver on myself if I choke on one of my many damned pills I seem to have to take every day now. And perish the thought of climbing a ladder alone. There would be no one there to pick up the pieces if I fell off!
My God, when the hell did we all start taking supplements for everything? When I was a kid, my mother refused to buy vitamins, because she said we got all the vitamins we needed from the food we ate. Now I take an aspirin a day, just in case I have a heart attack. I take glucosamine to stave off arthritis, which runs in my family. I take fish oil for my brain. No one wants Alzheimer’s! I also take a daily vitamin in case the food I eat won’t do.
In my mind’s eye, I still see a vibrant 30-something woman, instead of one that is over 60. My brain still tries to tell me that “yes you can still dance all night…if you had the notion to.” But my body has betrayed me. My feet are screaming for me to take off those beautiful, but painful high heels. My head is splitting from the too too loud music. And all I really want, is to be snuggled up on my couch with my feet up on the coffee table relaxing with a mind numbing episode of Survivor.
The aches and pains are a little more noticeable these days and the lines on my face a bit easier to see.
So if you are out one night tearing up the town and an older woman is sitting at her table with her shoes off, just smile. She may be out to prove a point to herself or to relive a memory. Either way, when she carries her shoes and herself home, barefoot, she will have just a few more smile lines to share.
Copyright (C) 2022 Penny Wilson
*The above is slightly revised from its 2014’s original version