“I feel bad about my neck.” That Nora Ephron really had a way with words, didn’t she? I bought that book just because I loved the phraseology of that sentence. I gave it to my BFF, who, at the time, was more worried about her neck than I was.
After hearing about Nora Ephron’s passing, I listened to a radio interview with her. I believe it was done at about the time she wrote this book. And she said, “the thing is, you just never know what you’re going to see.” (referring to the aging process.) Man, again with the perfect words. Here’s some examples of what I “saw” this weekend.
- Friday afternoon at the gym: “Don’t look in the mirror. Don’t look in the mirror. Oh there you did it. You looked in the mirror. Oh well, these little boys will just have to get used to the fat old lady working out in their room.”
- Saturday morning, washing my face: “man, I look really youthful today. No makeup necessary.”
- Sunday morning, putting lipstick on in the car on the way to church: “OH MY GOSH. How many stinkin’ wrinkles can one person have on her face? Really, why do I have to have wrinkles on my CHEEKS? And wrinkles on the upper lip??? I never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. Its not fair.”
- Sunday noon, pre-swim in the dressing room: “Wow. Look how little I look. Why did I think I didn’t look good enough to get into this suit.”
I’m not kidding. That is what goes on in my head constantly.
I want to age gracefully. I think about it all the time. I think it is something that I have to actively work on. Working to accept the inevitable aging process. I look around at older women and think, who would I like to be like. One of the women I really admire is a woman who is one of the best cooks in our church. She loves good food as much as I do, and she gets great pleasure out of making beautiful delicious food and sharing it with others. She is not thin, but seems very active. I don’t think she has arthritis. And I was very surprised to learn that she was over 80 years old. I would like to be like her. She doesn’t seem tortured by her relationship with food.
Not long ago, my BFF and I were discussing the ‘hump’ and the bent back that some older women get. I think her mother had been worrying about that. The same day I saw a little older lady in the gym bathroom (key here–she was in the gym!) and she had a very pronounced bend in her back. Her face was extremely wrinkled. But she was fussing with her hair and her make-up and she had a sparkle in her eye that just wouldn’t quit. And I thought, that wouldn’t be so bad.
I also think that part of aging gracefully is NOT rehearsing all your aches and pains all the time. That said, I was SO HAPPY this morning when I checked out Karen’s blog, and she was talking about aches and stiffness. And I just laugh at the weekly conversations between my brother and I. Of course, all the aches and pains that we discuss are “sports injuries,” doncha know.
And you know, since I mentioned Nora Ephron, here is what I do every time I hear someone just died. I do the math. It is only 14 years until I reach the age Nora was at her death. FOURTEEN YEARS. I can remember 28 years ago like it was no time at all (I was in nursing school.) That’s what the math whiz in me does EVERY TIME. There’s no easy solution to that one. Except to live gracefully, and to appreciate every day as the gift that it is. And for me, to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth” (Colossians 3:2)
I don’t have a neat tidy ending to this subject. But it is one I think about a LOT. Maybe even more than my never-ending thought life about food and weight and such.
To be continued….