Eleven Days. That’s all that is left of “Being” 59 years of age. I feel as tho I “should” feel like an old relic…on my way out to the green pastures of retirement. A wrinkled up prune of a thing….a dried up little raisin with clothes on. I remember when I was a lil ragamuffin and when I found somebody out who was “forty” or more…I would run for cover. Now things are different. For me. For you. I can honestly say that I took my God given natural beauty ,so graciously bestowed upon me…for granted when I was “Younger Than Springtime”. I don’t mean that in an egocentrical manner.I’m not an “All that ..look at me …kinda girl”,by any means… I was just lucky enough to always be the tanned, nut brown maiden,flat tummied,almond shaped~ hazel eyed girl with my Mama’s gorgeous legs to boot! One of my sisters always told me I got Mama’s beautiful feet too! I really loved my body! Always. I was the lucky one! It was and still is a respectful,happy,love. Altho now…I must say…”things” DO seem to go SOUTH!” No matter how much I exercise…for the last five years,the tummy is NOT FLAT….the thighs are NOT smooth and sleek….they dare to have some of the “C” word in them, and the face….well…it HAS aged …especially in the last SIX MONTHS! The grey in my hair?? It grows OVERNITE! I think as I approach this big birthday there is grief and sadness about my “Youth” being behind me now. I never wanted to hear the “D” word when I was getting divorced and I notice that lately,I cringe any time anyone mentions…”Ah yes! I remember when I was young….” I think I will stay in that river in Egypt called denial for just a tad longer! Two years ago, I finally broke down and allowed myself to join AARP!
Athletics was something I loved my whole life,and my body was always there to see me thru. Now I have a NEW body…sort of. Why do those jeans fit sooooo differently? What happened? Where did I go??? Why is there “more of me????” I am learning to “Embrace and Accept”…or at least I am SUPPOSE to be learning that! “When I was young”…and in my twenties and KNEW all there was to know….I had a crazie Bicycle accident on the freeway in Marin County California. I fell on my face over the handle bars onto the awaiting concrete in rush hour traffiic. My face melted away into nerve endings and much worse. Plastic surgery was looking inevitable for this scared little” know it all.” A week long fast and alot of faith and vitamins restored my very thankful face and body to it’s nature girl glory. Music and Movement …for me…oh and OF COURSE….sprinkled in with lots of LOVE ….are the key ingredients to keeping my body happy. Especially these last few years. If I havent gone for a long walk, to the gym or to yoga….I end up trying to Pry myself out of bed in the morning. If I have moved around the day or nite before…I am a spry lil spring chicken!
Now here I am. I am both ecstatic to embrace this new era of my life as well as scared and sad to leave the decade of the fifties….and turn myself and my life over to an unknown canvas.The sixties, or as I like to call it …. turning “sexty”.It is unchartered territory for me no matter what anyone proclaims. I haven’t done it yet. It’s like when you are pregnant and you never know what REALLY happens til you experience it yourself :Live and in Color! I like to call it turning “sexty” instead of sixty because I want to feel SEXY…until Im at least ninety! There are few things more passionate to me then walking down the street and feeling GOOD about ME! Who I AM inside and OUT! It’s contagious and it’s exciting and I firmly believe that doesn’t have to EVER leave us!
I look at Mya Angelou on the OWN network and my eyes trickle down with love tears, because she is SO FULL of LIFE, and her empathetic deep felt love for the world is so emminent in her gorgeous ageless face and big huge smile and knowing wisdoms that she recites with that ageless velvety voice…as if she is Mrs. Shakespeare herself! She is stunning and Queenly Magnificent in her 80’s! I can TOTALLY see her out on the dance floor livin it up to the max. Why not? That’s what I say!
I was at the movie theater at twilight time last week and we were standing in line waiting to purchase our tickets. My clever friend asked what the age was for “senior discount” …I cringed…”Please don’t call on me!” Isn’t there a better word than “Senior?” …Old Timer?….an Elder….? Nope. There is just no great word for it…yet there is so much wisdom living inside us “Elders” right? I mean we have been on the planet a LONG TIME! Well I abruptly changed my tune when I found out I could get a substantial discount…and I immediately chimed in that I was very close to turning 60. The woman next to me who honestly “looked” much older than me…about fell out of her shoes staring wide~eyed at me. And then fell silent. This happens to me alot. What does this mean? Do I look too old or too young for the part? I just don’t know how I am suppose to LOOK at “Sexty”, but I’m really hoping reality spares me from the dried up raisin with clothes on routine… All I can tell you is how I feel.
I feel more “at peace” with myself then ever before. Five months ago I gave away most of my treasured belongings…packed up my life in a 5 x 7 ft. pod, and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast and I have become more “authentic” than ever as a result. I love better. And More: without as much judgement and control. My way or the highway…has pleasantly melted away for the most part. “Do unto others as you would have them …do unto you.” was always my Mama” s mantra. I do my best to live my life that way now. When I see …as I did yesterday…a woman struggling, physically,with her weight of the world, her heart on her sleeve,yet dressed in the beautiful colours of the rainbow…her eyes bright jewels of light….a glimmer of hope from a stranger that may help her thru the oncoming nite ….may change her life …kind of woman: Well…I gave her my best. I told her how beautiful she looked(and she did!) and that she made my day with her colour filled attire and beauty. Her eyes filled up fierce,with appreciation and surprise as she bowed forward with such appreciation in those eyes… with immediate self love ,dignity and glory of the hopes of tomorrows that had been lying dormant in her self loathing. She couldn’t say a word to me and so we stood in the moment of sacred silence. Two strangers. Instant “forever friends” never to glimpse eachother again…but touched eachother in ways unspoken by both. This is what I look for now.
I still look in the mirror too! I look and I wonder what do I see? I see my beautiful Mama. I see my gorgeous sisters.I see my imperfections. I see my young,full of hope nieces and nephews. I see my wise,kind,old soul of a son..my Dakoda. I see the painful scars of love ..the secrets I’ve kept hidden. I see the Mis Takes. I see the little girl standing in her Daddys big loafers against the old treasured Buick in the early 1950’s. I see old treasured photographs and warm memories of love. I see my brothers…my lovers,my friends,my Kindermusik Families. I see Hope. And Faith. I see Music and Song. I see the unforgiveable events of my life melt in to forgiveness.I see Love. Self Love. I have finally landed in the safe sanctuary of my own Soul. I have come Home to myself. The Good..The Bad…and The Ugly. I embrace it all now and I am grateful. Grateful. And Sexty!