Aging is a funny thing. Not laugh out loud funny…freaky funny. And as my speed train gets closer and closer to the big X0 mark, I’ve started to notice the “funny” a little more…like those funny little lines they call “laugh lines” and crow’s feet, or how my once full cheeks, that morphed into a more chiseled high cheek bone look (ooooh Christy Turlington) in my mid-20’s, are now just a couple of deflated balloons…speaking of which…NO, I will NOT go there but you know what I’m talking about…shh! Gravity it’s entirely your fault!!!
The seasons are turning and although I can still hold onto summer a little bit longer (read: loose summer dresses, tanks and flip flops), the reality is that I’m going to have to try and squeeze myself into last year’s skinny jeans…which incidentally, are the year’s before too-tight skinny jeans and I’m really not looking forward to an in-your-face I-told-you-so from my muffin top, thank you very much. Unless it comes with muffins…mmmm…warm, blueberry muffins…..or I could shell out and buy a new pair but since I refuse to upsize, I’m just going to find myself in the exact, same squished predicament.
At any rate, this time of year continues to mark a time of beginnings (or endings?) – like the start of a new school year – despite the fact that I’ve been out of school for a decade and a half! Somehow, I still haven’t grown out of that back to school/end of summer feeling…
Now that I think about it, with all this hindsight and wisdom that comes with age, going back to school at the end of every summer was probably more of a trauma than a “beginning”. I mean, if I break it all down, after loafing around all summer – hanging out by the pool working on my tan (these were the days of baby oil, Coppertone no. 2, and boom boxes not skin cancer or 60 SPF and iPods), not having to worry about grades and homework, or whether I’d get asked to this dance or that – it was back to the grind.
The look of utter glee (akin to the Joker’s smile) on my parents’ faces when they would remind me that tomorrow the fun would end, that tomorrow there was school, that tomorrow I had to be responsible, get up, get dressed and go get good grades in order to not totally screw up my chances at a successful life. Yay. Back to school. And now, back to work. To this day I absolutely abhor Sundays…
But it is this responsibility that fuels my view of beginnings and planning for success. And what could be more appropriate than resolutions when it comes to making plans: this year I will get that new job or promotion, this year I’m going to lose that nagging 7 lbs already, this year I’m going to plan that great South American adventure! As an aside, who doesn’t want to go to Rio? Carnivale? To see the sugar loaf mountain and the giant Jesus? To be surrounded by warm breezes and hot, Brazilian paixão?? (trans: passion in Portuguese). Ahhhh…Ipanema….
I digress…as far as resolutions are concerned…mine start grand but practicality takes over and besides taking one’s health into one’s own hands is important…don’t we have more to lose at this stage? OK, real reason? They have to get done and arranging doctor’s appointments and checkups are easier than exercise and diet. There. I admit it. And I’m just not satisfied with the attitude of those of my parents’ generation: 2 Tylenols and a good night sleep are not a good enough RX for me…particularly given my tendency towards hypochondriasis (real word, I swear!) and Googling!!
Speaking of which…I had a spot…on my back…a nagging, little, brown spot. I could’ve sworn it wasn’t there a couple of months ago. I worked myself up to the point where I asked the 7 year old what he thought of the spot…
Me: Can you take a look at this?
7 year old: What? It’s your back.
Me: THIS! This SPOT on my back.
7 year old: You have spots on your face.
Me: [IRRITATED] NOT my face!! Forget my face. And besides, those are cute freckles…well, no, not that one…or that one…oh my God, is that an age spot??? NEVERMIND THAT!!! This one, on my back. [Trying to reach over, angling to point out the spot while trying maneuvering in between two mirrors]
7 year old: Oh. It’s a spot. A brown spot.
Me: Does it look weird to you?
7 year old: Huh? I’m hungry. When’s dinner?
And like I said, I know me…hypochondriasis. Sometimes I get worked up for no legitimate reason. Like, oh my goodness, I’ve had a headache for three days, is it a tumour? Or, oh my goodness, I can’t feel my arm, am I having a heart attack?! But while I think all of these things, somewhere deep down, I think I know that I’m overreacting – a particular gift of mine, I’m told…particularly by Mr. Niceguy.
So how do you think it all went down when the brown spot was diagnosed as a little bit unusual? Or a little bit odd? And perhaps a good idea to remove? OH BOY. And typical me, I discover that all of a sudden I’ve grown really attached to that brown spot. I realize it means more to me than I thought…like I’m that brown spot…I’m a little bit unusual, a little bit odd…I’m not worth removing, am I?
A good friend of mine who has a knack for speaking the truth and being utterly genuine – even though you wouldn’t think it at first glance given his extremely stylish exterior – once gave me probably one of the most real analogies about oneself during trying times…and in this case, during times of utter, full blown, hypochondria,
it’s like being a rolled up tube of toothpaste and ‘they’ squeeze out the last drop of you by pushing out what’s left with their thumb through your neck.
Graphic. And true, although we were talking about the proverbial “man”, “job”, etc. That’s exactly how it felt…squeezed, used to the last drop. Unappreciated. Ready to be tossed aside. A blemished model (as in car, not supermodel…)
And now, post (minor, minor) surgery I wait for this wound to heal. Now I will have yet another scar of undeniable aging. Though perhaps I should view it more like progress? An opportunity? It’s knocking…so I’m going to open that door. After all, isn’t it better to just toss that old tube of toothpaste, pay the 4 bucks and get something new and shiny? And who knows, I may even change the flavour this time.