These last couple of weeks have been all about hospitals, doctor's office visits and coming to terms with illness and aging. Both involve lots of … [Read More...]
These last couple of weeks have been all about hospitals, doctor’s office visits and coming to terms with illness and aging. Both involve lots of compromise and acceptance.
Having lived the past fifty-two years reasonably content with myself and my body my brain is having a hard time accepting this new reality.
I’ve done everything right, I’m a vegetarian, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. When it is nice outside I walk 5km daily and in the winter I try to hit the treadmill a couple times a week with a bit of weight lifting thrown in for good measure. I do fifteen minutes of yoga before bed and fifteen minutes of stretches before I get out of bed.
I’ve held up my end of the equation, why is my body not doing its part?
Wake up body!!!
Why Acceptance Is So Difficult
My family physician had a very frank conversation with me yesterday about acceptance and it wasn’t easy for me to hear. I am firmly attached to how I define myself and everything that is transpiring now isn’t part of that definition.
As we age our choices diminish and it is difficult to accept.
My Doctor pointed out that we can choose to be happy and accepting or we can choose to be angry and sad. How we react to the situation isn’t going to change it. Although I can do my best to help my body ultimately it is doing its own thing and I’m just along for the ride.
The Doctor insisted my brain is the magical instrument controlling how well I cope. Suffering, trauma and pain can be filtered through our brain to do less damage. Tapping into the healing and coping capabilities of my mind is my newest task. Meditation has become a priority.
I’ve been repeating this quote under my breath a few times a day…
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”Mark Twain
There are more tests to be done and I am still clinging to the hope that this will just require a slight shift in consciousness rather than an entirely new definition of self.
This unforeseen sidestep has reminded me of my weaknesses and all I’ve yet to understand about aging. I need to learn to accept the things I cannot change while staying positive about what I can change. Focusing on the negative gets me nowhere. People learn to cope, they adapt, they keep putting one foot in front of the other even when they’d rather bury themselves in a mountain of blankets and sleep the rest of their days away.
One thing I learned from my botched surgery and subsequent trauma is that,
acceptance comes when we have no other choice
nothing lasts forever.
How do you manage to stay positive when difficult challenges beyond your control come your way?
Have you seen Christie Brinkley lately?
In case you missed it here she is at the tender age of sixty-five. And no, that’s not a typo, she is sixty-five years old.
Doesn’t she look like every other sixty-five year old person you know?
There is no doubt that she looks incredible. I have to remind myself that it is her job to look good. It was her job when she was a supermodel and it’s still her job today. I am delighted that she is able to age so incredibly well and disappointed that I have such unrealistic expectations to live up to. Who else can attain this level of anti-aging aside from Benjamin Button?
I understand that celebrities are a breed unto their own but one can’t help but feel the pressure to strive for the unachievable. Physical appearance in our social media driven society tops all. The person with the best looking corpse wins.
One would think that as we grow older we learn to accept our physical changes but all around me I see that isn’t the case.
Powerful, rich industries thrive off of our fear of aging and desire to look young.
At fifty-two I am not immune to the pressure and false hope of trying to hold onto what I once had.
I’ve suffered through horrendous photo facials and had Botox injections on my forehead in an effort to keep the area between my brows relatively crevice free. The last time I Botoxed was over fifteen months ago so I’m currently Botox free. Now I’m relying on my bangs to hide the area in question.
Society’s unrealistic expectations on female aging are setting me up for failure.
I know it is impossible to achieve.
I didn’t look like Christie Brinkley when I was twenty and I certainly shouldn’t expect to look like her at sixty-five. Instead, I need to focus on actions which help me move forward and improve my life as I age, not just the way I look.