Category Archives: Perspective

Slip-sliding along

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All the preparation in the world will do nothing to lessen the silent explosion that descends upon us the only way time knows how to travel. Defying lasers, cat gut and high end facial abrasion, gravity descends in subtle waves and full-on attack, claiming new territory by the minute.

I began mental preparation when I was 59; a lot of good that did.  By 62, I was in a quiet state of panic.  By 65, denial had become impossible to sustain, even on good days.

I would like to say I made the transition from bud to fading blossom gracefully, but I cannot.  I never judge another woman’s choice for surgical intervention; it simply wasn’t for me.  I’m an old nurse; saving things is what I am trained to do.

Also I am a collector and admirer of junk and antiques, finding comfort in well-worn patinas boasting generous use.  I love chipped paint and rust, and admire the simplicity of unsophisticated lines and primitive art.

I patch, re-purpose and restore, but never refinish.

So treating myself differently than I would an old crate made no sense no matter how much time I spent standing in profile in front of the mirror pulling a cascading chin back to a more flattering pre-menopausal position.

I wrung my hands for years fearing the great evolution would morph my lovely pear into an awkward apple, feeling as if that day would strike like a bolt of lightning, or like a tragedy at sea, the captain of a sinking ship lost to sharks in uncharted sea.

But if anything, passage was silent and endearing as I fell in love with the soft, loose texture of my own skin, and the pinkness of my scalp shining like new planet in an unexplored galaxy of snowy hair. And I was oddly amused by the sound of my voice, the way it creaked like sore knees around words spoken more slowly and with less certainty than before.

Like a memory of the chair I rocked my babies in, I can see our history in my hands.  And I like that.  A lot.  So now I am between a walker and heels.  I never hold my stomach in.  Hate Spanx and the likes.  Wouldn’t wear one even if it was a gift.

In my sewing studio I have a photo gallery of women who inspired me in life.  They have all passed away now, but I see them in my face every day, with my glasses on, of course.  And I want to be like them.  Graceful, full of joy and palpable peace,

a mischievous spark shining in my eyes as I creep toward 70.

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uncomfortable truth…

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I tend to wear hope out from overuse.  At some point you have to back away from the tiny picture in front of your eyes to understand everything isn’t always visible from where you’re standing

tooth fairy.

The tooth fairy never existed; someone just loved you enough to keep your innocence alive as long as possible.  I’ve heard people compare the elderly to children; maybe that’s where my inexplicable reliance on hope comes from.  Sometimes I forget some things are just meant to be, no matter how distasteful.

For me, everything turns into rainbow soup.

When I wake up in Never-land, I enjoy myself because I’m not really thinking about the absurdity of it all.  I go with it so I don’t mess it up.  But some days, for no obvious reason, I wake up on the other side of the party, and everything turns from balloons and confetti to something less joyous.

90% of the time I can figure out why.  It happened this morning.  I had a bad dream, one of those about people you love, and the difficulties they experience. For half of the day gloom persisted, so I knew there was more to it than a dream.  So I let myself go down the dark rabbit hole and found the problem.

inner child 3

I’m honest with myself, and I know enough to respect the fact that deep down inside I’m still a child afraid no one will love me.  When I make promises, I keep them; but not everyone does.  The little girl in my heart forgets that from time to time, and when something happens that keeps her from believing in the tooth fairy, she gets sad until she connects enough dots to be okay with letting the issue go.

Someone broke a promise to me.  Not once, but four times.  It’s time to let it all go.  It’s time to move on.  It’s time to quit making excuses.

Being honest with myself always makes a huge difference.  It lifts the burden.  I’m not responsible for others, only for myself.  And I am woman of my word.  I have to be because the child inside is counting on me; and I would do most anything to keep innocence alive in this harsh world.  And I love myself enough to try.

aunt bea thoughtful

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