Goodbye To All That

March 23rd, 2014


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There are a lot of articles about 50 being the new 40, 60 being the new 50, and 70 being the new 60. Although when 60 became something to aim for eludes me. Older people are doing yoga, starting businesses after they retire, getting their resumes and bodies in shape, traveling to Croatia and Bali and Easter Island. I’m doing my part to keep up appearances (I’m working the Sephora red lipstick that seems to have been made out of auto body paint and crushed cochineal bugs even for trips to Whole Foods), but it occurred to me while I was in slow-flow yoga that there are things I’ve let go of without really noticing. For instance, I no longer do shoulder stands. One day I had a vision of hairline fractures in my spine and that was my last plow or shoulder stand. Is that cowardice? Maybe, but I let go of losing face in front of my teacher or myself if I took a child’s pose instead. I’d rather work on balancing in Tree or Warrior One, poses that are likely to be of more use to a klutz like me than a shoulder stand or a head stand. I’ve also let go of the idea that I will travel everywhere before I die. Chances are I won’t see the island of Hydra or Kyoto in cherry blossom season or the Northern Lights in Norway. Partly because of money and partly because I don’t have the will to fill up a bucket list and march through it like Sherman through Georgia. I’ve have no desire to “do” a country as if I were picking it up in a bar and taking it back to my hotel for a one-night stand of rough sex and sightseeing.  I’ve also given up my beloved high heels after breaking my ankle in Paris, falling on my ass on a Chicago street and tripping head-on into a glass door in NYC. I miss my highest heels like hell. In flats, I look short and matronly, while in heels I felt elongated and elegant; but I’ve had to admit that while I was just as vulnerable and clumsy  at 40, it takes me longer to heal now.  I hope my soul is ageless even when my feet are slipping into Birkenstocks (make mine silver), splurging on Ancient Greek-brand sandals or metaphorically kicking ass in biker boots.  On bad days, this seems like a list of loss because we are not allowed to admit to weakness when we get older in case we appear to be irrelevant. In case we will no longer be taken seriously. In case people think our brains are as soft as our biceps. But at other times, I just feel grateful that I don’t have to get up every day and gird myself to be a soldier in the war on aging along with Jane Fonda and Suzanne Somers. Here’s my body that likes to sleep late, have a sugar in its latte and walk briskly rather than run. Here are the wrinkles that are badges of the battles I’ve waged and won or the ones I’ve lost but survived. Go me!

3 Responses to “Goodbye To All That”

  1. Amey Warder says:

    This is wonderful. Thankful for the experience of age and accepting it with grace, it seems so natural to me. My father passed away Monday. He was a wonderful father and man and I am thankful for the love he gave me, always. We must gather soon and visit.
    Xo Amey

  2. Jennifer says:

    Reading this made me feel as though I was wrapped in the warmth of a comforting hug. Thank you.

  3. Debby Carroll says:

    This morning I submitted my first essay to Skirt! and as I do so many things, (unfortunately for me all too often) I started looking into the background of the publication after hitting Send. I’ve been reading Skirt for a long time but never had any reason to look any more deeply into it. But, figuring perhaps I should know more in case my essay ends up published, I somehow landed on your blog. Now I can’t stop reading it. I just had to say how much I’m enjoying it. You had me at silver Birkenstocks. At 61, I teeter (almost literally as well as metaphorically) between loving my heels and feeling superficial and non-feminist for still thinking they make look sexy. (not to mention still wanting to occasionally look sexy) Love your voice. There aren’t that many voices my age-ish out there in the blogosphere that don’t just focus on the joys of being grandmotherly. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some grandson, but there needs to be more to my life than that! Thanks!

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