I’m getting older. I can tell because whenever I get up after sitting for a while, everything is stiff. It takes a moment for my hips to loosen up and my back to work out its kinks.
My clothes don’t fit the way they used to. I have to labor more to pull up my jeans after a shower; I used to be able to pull them off and on without unbuttoning them. Now they are a little snug around the waist and the hips.
I can’t see my collarbone anymore. I have a full bosom with natural cleavage. My body as a whole is still somewhat proportioned, but I’ve noticed my broadening shoulders and expanding waistline. I can now pinch more than an inch…or two…or three.
I value dressing comfortably. I still like to look nice, but not at the expense of losing my breath because everything is squeezing the life out of me. I prefer sneakers because I’m a walker and my feet are too tender for heels.
Sex is still great, better in fact, but I don’t require it often. It’s OK if I only have it twice a week–maybe even once. I’m getting older, I prefer quality over quantity.
My husband has found himself experiencing the same symptoms. We ask each other and ourselves: Is it OK to be OK with it? We wonder if we can rest in the changes. Resisting them is futile, after all. We can fight all we want but we are still getting older, nothing will ever change that.
But the reality is people fight against aging all the time. They don’t believe they are like fine wine that gets better with age; they believe, rather, they are more like the grapes that make the wine. The war against aging is prevalent across all media outlets. Pharmaceutical companies, beauty experts, and plastic surgeons make a fortune off people’s fear of aging.
People starve themselves to fight against the waxing flesh associated with a waning metabolism, then ingest all kinds of supplements to make up for what they deny themselves from natural foods. They spend more time than they want to working out in the gym all because they are afraid to “go gently into that goodnight”.
But there’s a difference between succumbing to a wave and riding it. Life ends when you give up on it, but if you embrace the inevitable, you have an opportunity to live fully and make it count. Resisting it only results in wasting precious time, energy…and more youth.
The blessing for me is my husband and I are at the same place at the same time. We both desire to ride the wave and grow old gracefully. It is a scary thing to suspect that while you are riding the wave, your spouse decided to enlist and fight the war against aging. How can you be comfortable with gaining a little weight and less sex when your spouse is seeking younger, slimmer models of you to shield himself from the truth he sees in you?
So the courage to ride the wave to shore is a blessing not to take for granted. And to have someone to ride the wave with you is a gift from God.