The ‘I’m Getting Old’ Myth

I’m getting old. It feels weird to look at my arms and see skin hanging off the muscle like wrinkled fabric. I still have really good muscles but the skin, OMG! The thighs are just as bad but I make it a point not to look at them.

Others my age cover their arms. I refuse. That’s part of the adjustment. How vain do I need to be? It’s a valid question. How vain do I need to be to continue to support the image of who I am, or an image of what I want others to believe I am?

We need to assimilate age, to accept it and become it. Otherwise we succumb to the impossible quest for eternal youth like Dolly Parton (71) or her counterpart old whatshisname Kenny Rogers (79)! They’ve been under the knife so many times that there probably isn’t an inch of flesh anywhere that hasn’t been sliced, pulled up, and tacked in place.

Dolly PartonKenny Rogers

And what are those glove thingy’s that Dolly’s wearing! Probably a distraction to camouflage really old hands!
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I’m on a rant, but I’m finished now. Don’t, however, tell me that getting old beats the alternative even though it does, so far. The 50’s ease us into the idea. Oh yeah, I have a laugh line here or an eye-wrinkle there, and oh yeah, I need bifocals. Then we’re 60. Things still aren’t too bad if the lights are low.
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But hold on to your perky tits, darlings, it’s a slippery slope from there!
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So here’s what I’m saying. If there’s too much identity linked to the packaging, getting old is going to be a very difficult, or a very expensive proposition. But if life gets richer, raunchier, and more succulent with each passing year, a subtle exchange occurs. We turn inside-out. I kid you not. The inner workings of the mind, our passions and dreams, become paramount and the carcass is just a vehicle to get us from point A to point B.
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Which behooves me to say, take good care of that carcass!
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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan Borchers
    Jun 07, 2014 @ 10:42:38

    Such important words of wisdom, packaged in a way that makes me grin and reminds me that the stuff on the outside is indeed too slippery to hold onto…..so, let the inner wisdom, raunch, and charm shine on! And this prayer is always helpful: “Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change, and wine to accept the things I can’t.” I’ll drink to that! 🙂

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  2. sageblessings
    Jun 07, 2014 @ 11:05:29

    Jan……wonderfully said. Speaking from a further advanced age, I will say it is good that it comes gently so we have the opportunity to incrementally adjust. I remind myself daily of all that my body continues to support and the joy and gratitude my spirit increasingly feels. That is one advantage of aging. And, yes, those faces that no longer look familiar due to surgeries……..yikes!

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  3. Shane McRae
    Jun 07, 2014 @ 17:54:15

    Well, lately I’ve had old age eye surgery. My arms are creepy crepey. I don’t recover from illness quickly. So … growing old is not for sissies. The flip side is that I’m more relaxed about the way I move through life. I’m mostly at ease with my friends and other relationships. And I’m trying to not be defined by my body and my arms. Sherry, you put a lovely slant on our changing bodies. You make me smile and feel better about myself. Thank you.

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  4. Lottie Nevin
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 01:30:03

    Very well said, Sherry. The thing that I find so worrying is the amount of young girls having cosmetic/plastic surgery – if they think they look ghastly in their early 20’s, imagine their horror when their bodies change after childbirth, middle age and afterwards! BTW, you look STUNNING, and so what if things are dangling and flopping about, you have a both a beautiful soul and outlook on life.

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  5. Kasprick KATHLEEN
    Jun 15, 2014 @ 11:42:39

    How grand to hear the words of acceptance. Or wisdom, if I may argue for that view. Everywhere I turn it seems are “work out” studios, women/men in strange lycra duds, bending, stretching, sweating. The fitness industry has become the new religion in the US. We are encouraged to wear devices which measure our every step, monitor our sleep, beep to tell us to move more, and do this while wearing tight fitting lulumon $90 tights. I think the end goal of this madness is to look better, yes, but also to live longer. Yikes. Really? Really? If we’re having concerns with our 60 or so year old bodies, let me give insight into what it looks like to be 94, the age of my mom. Bruises appear. Lots of bruises as skin is very thin. If we’re lucky we still have hair on our head, but it may be very different from our familiar strands. We may have problems with bowel and bladder function.
    which can surprise the heck out of us and others. Oh, grand surprise.. Hearing is impaired. We’ll have aches . Worse maybe, is that we won’t know how to do simple things. Hello, how does this TV, telephone, microwave, intercom, bathfaucet work?? We become what we never wanted to be: dependent on others. The beauty is still there. We can snooze when we want. We don’t have to eat stuff we don’t want to and can have a brownie (or brownies) for breakfast. We can say “I feel a tiny bit crabby today” and mean it. We can say, “I don’t know”. We can hum whenever and wherever we feel like humming. We can say, “I don’t want to go, with no excuse”. We can say “I love you” to everything we see, even a stray dog or cat. We can laugh aloud and when questionned respone, “Oh, I just had a funny thought” We, by living, become a totem in our families, a respected, beloved elder the truest Us. Authentic, wonderful, funny, living souls. Damn the body stuff, we’re here, alive, creating the legacy of life in this final stage.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Jun 16, 2014 @ 08:20:14

      How lovely to hear from you Kath, and thank you for sharing ‘the rest of the story’ as the aging process continues! I think it’s a good idea to live in the moment and let all of the rest just kind of creep up (as it will) without thinking too much about it in advance. I hope I’m the old lady who says “I love you,” to everything and hums to herself!

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      • Kasprick KATHLEEN
        Jun 16, 2014 @ 16:27:30

        Dear friend, I can almost assure you that you will hum and you will say “I love you to everything”. As for me, I’m starting this practice now.

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  6. writingforselfdiscovery
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 17:15:21

    It suits you. We should all start young!

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