Sunday, January 24
At Peace with Time
Do you remember those days when you were in grade school (elementary school for all you younger readers) when the hours would seem to drag by ever so slowly? Time itself seemed to stand still? Then you graduated from high school and the minutes seemed to fly by like nobody's business?! And to amp that up a bit, you get married and have children right away. As you witness the exponential growth of your child, that itself becomes more of a tangible marker of how fast the days, months and years truly do march on.
None of us will live forever on this earth. None of us will hold onto our youthful radiance as much as any one of us might like. In fact, it is fleeting. Fleeting? We have all heard that saying, Beauty is only skin deep. For I myself, have seen some of the most beautiful people, then when I had the opportunity to witness their personality and attitude towards mankind my eyes readjusted and saw them more clearly - ugly, morally repugnant, repulsive. Then I have seen some that our culture would not give a second glance, to be some of the most beautiful people I have ever met.
Once I hit the big 40 I started to notice much change in my appearance. Looser skin. Wrinkles. Age spots. More gray hair. All of which are temporal. I can say without much reservation that I am at peace with most of this. To some degree I am even at peace with my gray hair, I once let all of my beautiful auburn hair dye grow out to reveal all of the shinny silver strands that hid beneath. I may be embarking that again soon.... but for now I am back to enjoying the deep browns in my hair. Do I want to be youthful? Mmmm. I think as a near 50 year old woman, I don't seek to be youthful. I seek to be energetic, fruitful and at peace with the stage of life I am in. I seek to be healthy, wise and useful. I seek to be active and always growing. I seek to be involved and I seek friendships with people of all ages. I learned a lesson from a dear lady years ago... having friends who are not only in our age group, but also a bit younger than us will help to "keep" our minds young.
We (as a culture) are constantly taking selfies. Is there anything wrong with taking photos of ourselves, no, I am not saying that at all. But we have become a culture where everything revolves around staying youthful, being youthful and in the meantime discarding older people as obsolete. No wonder a large number of those starting to see aging show up on their physical bodies are scrambling to attain youth at whatever cost.
It is strange as I think back over my childhood. My dearest aunt was pretty lively. She was always smiling and always a blessing to be in the presence of. Oh how I have missed her. It has been almost 25 years since she passed and I can not recall a moment of her discussing her weight, her aging, or her failing body. She was one of the most beautiful people I knew. The same goes for my grandmothers - I do not recall either of my grandmothers fussing over their silver adorned heads, their ages spots or even the first wrinkle on their faces. I like it that way. I hope I am able to carry on as they did in their aging years, gracefully.
Strange as it is, even though my body is showing signs of age, I find myself at most peace with who I am. I am sure for me, that has just come with maturity. Am I unhappy from time to time with my body because my pants fit to tightly...yes. But as a whole, I am at peace with where time has taken me.