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February 8, 2012 / lynnettedobberpuhl

Getting Better? Or Just Older?

Yesterday, aging in my world was having to straighten up carefully after bending over, because of the ever-so-slightly degenerating disc in my lower spine. Today it was lifting my eyelid (which has somehow become a bit ruched) so I could get my eyeliner where it belonged. Just the left one. This is the new normal? I asked my reflection in the mirror.

I don’t suppose anyone jumps up and down when these things start and says “Yes! Visible aging! Just what I always wanted!” On the other hand, what I am talking about is small change compared to problems some of my contemporaries are dealing with, and what I glimpse on the road ahead. When the boys were growing up, I knew people who said, “Oh, I couldn’t wait for the (whatever) stage to be over,” because they were really looking forward to engaging their kids at a higher level, or to when their kids became more independent. I have made a point of celebrating every one of their phases, even when I felt it was literally draining the life from me (middle school, my eternal nemesis!) Living and loving every stage my kids went through is a lesson I learned from being in kind of a rush to grow up. I was uncomfortable with myself as a teen (who isn’t?) and wanted to skip ahead to the independence and presumed confidence that came with adulthood. Looking at kids now, I feel I missed some opportunities trying to race through the awkwardness.

Every decade has brought its gifts. Confidence and comfort in my own (somewhat sagging) skin continues to build. I appreciate people and opportunities more, and value time like I never did in my youth. Living in gratitude does change everything. Well, except the aches and the reduced elasticity. It could always be worse. One of my favorite radio commercials (don’t remember the product, of course–memory lapses) announced, “Sometimes wisdom comes with age. Sometimes, age comes alone.” I hope the wisdom I am gaining offsets the memory lapses, etc. and that, as bits and pieces of my physical self start to corrode and crumble a bit, that some of the sharp edges on my personality also soften. I project it won’t be that many years before I fully reach the “shabby chic” stage. I just hope it won’t have completely gone out of fashion when I do.

What are the ups and downs of the age you are at?

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8 Comments

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  1. SusanWritesPrecise / Feb 8 2012 7:55 pm

    At what age does the shabby-chic thing hit? I’ll bet I’m there. The downs of being 52 are menopause and all the joys that accompany it; sagging skin, wrinkles, etc… wait til you get your first piece of AARP mail. What a kick in the teeth! I could go on, but it’s too depressing. The ups of being 52 are…unclear.

    • lynnettedobberpuhl / Feb 8 2012 8:47 pm

      I read that in the early fifties the brain experiences the most growth and change than it does at any time since adolescence. You are forming a whole new brain! Depending on how attached you are to the old one, that could be an up. I look forward to a little mental evolution, myself. Thanks for the support!

      • SusanWritesPrecise / Feb 8 2012 9:19 pm

        Are you serious? One can only hope! It would be a HUGE “up” to grow some new gray matter. Thanks for lifting my spirits!

      • lynnettedobberpuhl / Feb 9 2012 5:45 pm

        I am totally serious. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but I gave it to my sister. Your new brain will be different, as I recall, which can take some getting used to, but the point is to embrace it. Kerin, do you remember the name of the book?

  2. SusanWritesPrecise / Feb 8 2012 7:56 pm

    Forgot (of course!) to mention that your post is great. You always write well, though.

  3. Michele / Feb 11 2012 9:19 am

    I find that the joints in my left hand sometimes get stuck momentarily – the beginning of arthritis, I suppose? Not often, just enough to make me take notice that “this” is happening… I do, recently, feel like I’m finally figuring things out overall — I had a time period like that last summer, and then now just this last week. I don’t remember EVER feeling that way so strongly when I was younger. Overall, younger was a feeling of fighting the good fight, trying to battle through the day AS I was figuring things out, but never really getting there…Then spending time in a crumpled heap on occasion when the battle was too much … Oh wait, I did have a moment of that not too long ago… But to have the other end of the spectrum now helps a lot… Older is better, I think. Thanks for making me think about it and I like the thoughts you shared with Susan, too. Cool!

  4. crubin / Feb 12 2012 9:29 pm

    I loved this post, because I too have noticed my right eyelid is no longer perky and sprite like it used to be. It does make getting that eyeliner on a bit more difficult! But then again, the older I get, the less make-up I wear, so I guess it balances out.

    My husband and I marvel at how we have ended up now closer to 50 than 40. But as my step-father always says: It’s better than the alternative!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Appreciate it!

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