What the heck has happened to my body? Who turned on the brittle switch? Why is it that just as my mind and emotional state are finally coming into a nice reasonable and comfortable existence, the shell and wrapping are starting to unravel? You might scoff; perhaps you don’t see my emotional or mental state as reasonable at all. And that’s fair, I guess. Or you may scoff; being older than I and annoyed at the thought of a spring chicken like myself stating that the ole body is failing. And that’s fair, I guess, too. But, it is what is; I speak the truth home slice. And in this situation, the shell has cracks, but the core…that core still longs to rock.
BODY BE GOOD
But surrounding that core, are the sad facts of body troubles. The neck. The always lingering right shoulder. New to the rotation, the left shoulder. Originally my left knee, then the right one, and now back to the left side. The last few days, I can barely walk on that left knee and certainly cannot bend it. Headaches, lower back pain, stiff joints, weird rashes, muscle spasms. Is there an experiment going on with my body I’m unaware of, and most likely failing? Has Ashton Kutcher been spotted in the neighborhood?
It would be sad, really, if it wasn’t so comical. How did I go from 19 to 84 in a span of just a couple of years? Or rather, is this what 36 feels like? If so, my good word; I have more than sympathy for those a bit older than I.
FEEL YOUNG INSIDE
I remember some years ago, when my Mom was in her 50’s, her telling me that she still felt 16 inside. I partially understood and partially had compassion for what she shared. At the same time, our folks always seem older to us, so my Mom ever being 16 is hard enough to place, let alone her feeling that way years away from it. But, as I’ve been blessed to live more years myself, I understand evermore what she meant, and how she felt. The way I feel on the inside doesn’t match how I feel most of the time on the outside. I guess that is part of the mystery of life, gaining experience, knowledge and emotional strength along the way as we tend to struggle and lose steam physically.
I have always said that I don’t mind getting older. And I don’t. I’m not a person that worries about any birthday in particular; 21, 30, or 40 upcoming. And I know myself well enough to believe I’ll feel the same at 50, 60, and so on. I feel that each birthday is a blessing; as none are guaranteed. So, how dare I feel bad about turning any age when I should be thankful? Believe it or not, I look forward to being 80 years old. I hope and pray I have that privilege.
I can never think beyond the blessing of such an age, to the specifics of who might be around to share life with me; there’s a strong possibility many people I love won’t be. And that’s harder to swallow than any bum knees or achy shoulders.
AS SIMPLE AS THE WEATHER
One thing that is true of me is that I rarely complain about the weather. If it’s cold, so be it. I grab a warm drink, throw on a blanket, and enjoy snuggling in and looking out into the world. If it’s rainy, I lie in bed and listen to the rain drops on the house. If the sun is shining, I embrace its glory and get outside as much as I can. Winter or summer, or anywhere in between, weather is what it is. We have no control of it. It really is a vivid reminder of how little any of us control. Some things are greater than any or all of us.
I guess I’ll learn to do the same with the aches and pains of an aging body. There is no real use in complaining about it. It’s part of life. Part of the equation of having more experience or more days with loved ones is that my body takes more wear and tear. I may not like the later part, but I don’t much have a choice. Now, to say that, I won’t be silly; I’ll fix what I can fix, and help what I can help, but beyond that I will let go. I will probably never physically feel the way I did 20 years ago. It is what it is. Or as my coworker tells me “there are pills for those aches and pains.”
CHANGING MY FILTER
When I was in first grade, I lost my best friend. She died very unexpectedly of an aneurism. When I was in high school, there were several unfortunate situations were classmates passed away. And after high school, more classmates were lost. My Aunt, who lost her battle with MS many years ago, lived most of her life in physical pain. She rarely complained. Those certainly aren’t memories to focus on with guilt or anguish, but rather perspective. Whenever I find myself complaining too much about this body ache, or another cold walk into work, I think of some of those folks. I wish they were still around. I’m thankful all of us are still around. I change the filter of my view….
But back to achy bodies, what a bitch, ay?