Aging and Self-Acceptance

 

Today the California Central Coast was absolutely beautiful. An early morning fog was replaced by a breezy yet warm and sunny day. My husband and I took our usual hike up the hill near our home a bit early so we could enjoy the rest of the day. At the summit, I looked out across the Salinas Valley to the Monterey Bay coast some 30 miles away. After a short rest, we hiked down the other side of the mountain a couple of miles further, then turned and headed home.

Feeling rather good about myself, I changed into shorts and a tank top, grabbed a magazine, and went outside. Before sitting down on the lounge chair, I thought it would be a good time to practice a few yoga moves. After taking time to do a few easy stretches, I got on my hands and knees then settled into child’s pose. I spent a few moments in child’s pose, then returning to my hands and knees, I tucked my toes under and gently pushed my hips back coming into downward dog. The stretch felt wonderful. I relaxed my neck, opened my eyes and, OH MY GOD, I saw my bare upper legs from this position for the first time. They looked like a skinny, saggy, baggy pachyderm legs! Shocked, I dropped to my knees and slunk back to the security of child’s pose. ‘Holy crap, how can this be? When did my legs become my mother’s?’

After several minutes recovering in child’s pose, I gathered up to courage to come back into downward dog. Once again, I relaxed and opened my eyes. I examined the wrinkled half circles around the tops of my knees, the contours of the cellulite, the spider veins, and the crepe paper look of my skin. Then, I lovingly thanked my legs for carrying me up the hill this morning, making it possible for me to see all the way to the ocean and beyond.

I wrote that about seven years ago. It is as true today as it was then. Like most people my age, I struggle with the outward signs of aging. Physical limitations, loss of muscle tone, wrinkles, memory loss, and multiple trips to the restroom, plague me daily. But, I have found a certain beauty and freedom that comes with aging. Now, most days, when I see my reflection in the mirror, I send a little love and compassion to those lines that define who I am, where I’ve been and who I hope to become.

Laura Alaska Cruise Julu 2014

 

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Freedom

 

 

May I be happy.

May I gracefully accept the changes in my body

May I learn that my true self lies within this body.

 

P.S. I also thank my mom for her gift to me.

 

-Smiles are contagious; let’s start and epidemic-

12 thoughts on “Aging and Self-Acceptance

    • Hello Sheila. I always love hearing from you. I think we are all in this aging and self-acceptance thing together. It’s an everyday challenge to make peace with all the changes. Somedays it’s easier than others. Love you, miss you, and think of you often. Laura

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  1. California in September is one of its best months for mild weather and no fog on the coast. I had to giggle at your leg revelation. After dropping 30 pounds over the last 20 months, I will catch a glimpse of the saggy skin on my upper arms, and even though I work out consistently, that hanging skin is there to stay. Less weight means wrinkling skin, but I’m better off than being heavy! Darn those outward signs of aging, but in other cultures they are a mark of wisdom and respect. Very lovely post and so eloquently written!

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  2. It makes me happy to hear that you are appreciating your body. Are there lines and parts of your body that you may not love….probably, but keep in mind your children hold you in the highest regard. You are our beautiful fun mother. Those legs may not be 20 year old supermodel legs, but how many half marathons have they finished, how many hikes to amazing places have they done, or how many times have you walked down the most beautiful beaches in the world? You are beautiful, every laugh line, every smile line, spider vein, dimple, or part of you…inside and out. You are what we aspire to be like, you have have others following in your footsteps.
    I love you!

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    • Dear Darlynn,
      Thank you for your lovely response to my blog. I will cherish it always. When my confidence is waning, or feel I have not made a difference, I will draw comfort and strength from your words.
      I love you too.
      Tutu

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