A while ago I sifted through some photos. One in particular reflected two beautiful young women, tanned unblemished skin, hair and make up done and dressed in stunning clothes. I gaze on this photo, how absolutely gorgeous they are. How much they have ahead of them, being able to do and acquire whatever they desire in life. They are my daughters. Whilst looking at these photos, I saw my life at that point and I envied them.
Natural changes that have occurred within me and within my family as the years pass. I openly admit that I have the desire to have the youthfulness and beauty as my girls do back again and yes I did get a microscopic twang of jealousy, is this uncommon? On the other hand, is it simply that I didn’t want my ‘babies’ to grow up?
(This is the time I ask you to grab that glass of wine for l have immersed into the deep and meaningful for a bit). The body as we know it is the vehicle for conveying the first undeniable awareness of no longer being youthful. One can be youthful on the inside and think the same way as we did when we were younger, but the outside casing that what is visible is the sign that we are no longer young.
We resist our ageing for as long as humanly possible, was I was overly concerned with the concept of turning fifty the ‘mid way’ point in my life? (Assuming I live to 100) Yes l was. The realisation that over the next thirty or forty years would bring impending frailty, dependence on others and morbidly the final outcome the end of my life. (God where is THIS coming from? Bear with me it shouldn’t lighten up soon). We consider fifty in fact to be the half way mark, the loss of youth and the onset of ‘change of life’ which also brings the loss of reproductivity, (not that that part worried me to any great extent). I dearly would have loved to have a third child, but in hindsight wondered if my nerves or lack of tolerance would have coped with having another!
In early 1994 I was detected with Endometriosis, it was asked of me by my gynecologist that while I was having a cauterization would I want to have my tubes tied. John my ex husband (oh and by the way names have been changed to protect the innocent - obviously for a reason l thought necessary but for the life of me at this point can’t understand why) was happy with having two girls, but inside I knew I would have liked a chance of having another child. I remember lying in the hospital bed deeply upset as the reality of not being able to bare any more children struck me. I don’t know why I didn’t mention it to John at the time, to let him how I truly felt about it, but I cried as I lay on that hospital bed. lt seemed surreal that the hospital that I gave birth to both my babies was the place where I also ceased to have any more.
Do I ‘feel’ 58 (some days I do) but how should 58 feel? The changes in my body have become more and more evident as the years pass. In the old scale I am five foot five and a half (the half an inch I always regarded as highly important). My weight over the years has fluctuated anywhere from sixty-four kilos to fifty-six kilos. Trying to maintain one’s weight at a certain level is extremely difficult, and more so as you get older. For a long time the only exercise I did apart from housework was walking, then I hit the gym signing up each year for 3 years and I turned into quite the gym junkie until the dreaded injuries started.
Firstly the hamstring strain and the quad muscles that were so tight they were could snap like an elastic band (according to my physiotherapist). No sooner had l healed from that my left elbow started playing up, so no weights for a month. Then there are the shin splints, the heels aching from jogging too much or over doing my quest for a toned fit body. Apart from the slight set backs the benefits have been my ‘fat back’ diminishing (slightly), my legs got a little more toned and I re-acquainted my body to a waistline…but now no more gym, I think the junkie part of me went a little overboard, now I am back to walking on the treadmill at home (oops did I mention now and then only?)
So yes, though the body goes through so many changes, as long as I remain young at heart, young in mind, I think I'll be okay.