Sunday, January 8, 2012

Old Bags of Bones

I laughed so hard reading Susannah Bianchi's article in the latest issue of More magazine. Susannah talks about what it's like to be a woman of a certain age. Here is a brief excerpt, just to give you a taste:
Just when I got my brows under control, my jaw began to sag. I was stunned. What about all those upward-facing dogs I do, or the series of facial exercises (which, I'll admit, look more like tics) I perform, without fail, every day on the bus? [ . . . ] I did what any other hysterical, hormonally challenged 50-year-old would do: I became possessed. I spent most of my time in front of the mirror on a reconnaissance mission, waiting for the other jaw to drop. Out of nowhere, I seemed to have little satchels under my eyes, and laugh lines when I wasn't laughing. Add these to the occasional hot flash and a vagina as dry as a bran muffin, and I'll show you a weepy woman up on a ledge. I thought of all the ways I could handle aging without actually going under the knife. I could become a recluse like Greta Garbo, buying my groceries at the all-night Food Emporium, or just pack up and move to Japan, where they respect the elderly. ~ 'How George Clooney Saved My Self-Esteem', More, January 2012 ~
You will need to read the whole piece to know how George saved Susannah . . .

I can relate to Susannah's moments in front of the mirror. Not that I spend too much time there. But, yes, I too have had my share of surprises this past year. A few months ago, my previously smooth chin started to show some uncharacteristic bumpiness. Worried about cancer, I rushed to the dermatologist and was told to not worry. "It is just part of aging. Your skin is sagging unevenly, that's what's creating the dimple in your chin". More recently, my left knee has been acting out. A scan revealed a torn meniscus, worn knee cap, and a bit of arthritis. Yes, there is no mistaking the downward slide taken by this body that I call 'mine'.  This body is increasingly feeling like an old bag of bones in need of more and more maintenance. 

Not a big deal really. 

Of course, I have my practice to thank for this relative ease with what is objectively a rather unpleasant process. Without the understanding, and the acceptance of the true nature of this human life, and of impermanence, who knows how I would react?

How do you feel about aging?

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