This is my Mom. She is 75 years old. I look alot like her. I inherited her smallish, um…top, and her larger, well…bottom. I can’t do anything about either of those without surgery, and I haven’t really cared to anyway. I also have her freckles, her thick hair, her thin fingers, and her small feet. These traits were genetically passed on to me, without my control or consent or even knowledge until I hit puberty. I’m ok with that. I didn’t get her awesome skin. I feel a little cheated by this, as I think that should have been a consolation prize for the thighs. But…I digress.
My Mom has other traits, of course, that have been a little more negotiable and more in my control to adopt or leave behind. She’s great at baking bread and decorating cakes. I have the bread down…I don’t have the patience for the cakes. I like sewing too and I’m kind of good at it. She has a green thumb and grows a great vegetable garden every year. I…don’t. She was and is an excellent mother, and I’m trying my hardest to emulate that. She never finished college…but made sure I did, and took care of my daughter so I could go to graduate school. She was always DOING for her children, even when we became adults.
Then, one day, it occurred to me that my Mom was a PERSON. She has interests and personal goals and friends and…a life. Near about age 70, she decided to become a volunteer firefighter in her small community. She took classes, trained, practiced, and certified. Then, she decided to become an Emergency Medical Technician. More classes, training, practicing, tests, and certification. She wants to continue to move up in rank and is constantly learning and studying and practicing. She has a radio and a ready-pack, a key to the fire station, is a first responder and usually beats the ambulance to the scene, day or night, rain, snow, or sunshine. In the winter, this usually involves a hike in the snow about 1/2 mile just to get to her car.
But wait…it gets better. THIS year, her 75th, she has decided to complete a marathon. My sister and I am on her “team.” I’ve really NEVER had a desire to run a marathon, but I couldn’t wimp out on her!
So – why the brag-fest about my Mom? Because her attitude and approach to aging is worth knowing about! Listen up, women of the world:
STOP whining about your birthday. Stop complaining about your wrinkles, boobs, thighs, whatever. Put all of that ENERGY you are wasting by wishing you LOOKED different into BECOMING different. CHOOSE to keep working on who you are…what you know…what you can do…how you take care of yourself…how and who you love and serve. Choice is so powerful and truly the only thing we own. Your body is nothing but a conduit for your accomplishments and expressions of who you truly are. Keep it healthy and in a state of attractiveness so that it doesn’t limit your ability to progress, but remember that progression has nothing to do with the specifics of what you look like.
I have decided to adopt my Mom’s approach to aging. I can do that. I have a choice-attitudes are not genetic! I am almost 42 years old and not a bit sad about it! Of course, there are things about my body I would LOVE to change, given the magic wand or time machine. But since I have neither, I put my energy into creating experiences and relationships and love and little people. I try to take care of myself and stay in shape. If I wanted to, I could spend hours at the gym, pour over fashion magazines (or Pinterst fashion boards!), do headstands and lay upside down with egg whites on my face, etc., just to hopefully take a few years off.
I don’t have time for that.
And neither do you.