And so, it’s finally warming up here on the east coast. They’re calling for 60 degrees on Thursday and Friday, thank GOODNESS. As someone who’s typically a fan of winter, I’m ready to be done with it. So I’ll say this in the spirit of positive thinking:
Goodbye, my imaginary little Sherpa. Thanks to you and yours for doing such stellar work in keeping me on my feet as I attempted to clear without insult or injury the endless mountains of now dirty snow and the treacherous landmines of black ice. For those of you who want to know, to date, I am still standing…(but I make no promises).
Of course, the better weather brings an entirely stickier situation: Shedding clothes. No more bulky coats. No more heavy sweaters. No more tights or the cover up of fresh bodily flesh for the sake of keeping warm. Before we know it, we’ll all be required to once again bare it all…
Nah, let’s not even go there. I’m sure Mother Nature has at least one more really good one for us. Then, and only then, will I worry about dressing for Easter (the officially arrival of warm weather in my mind, even though I’m Jewish and don’t celebrate the occasion, although those bonnets do a nice job of deflecting away from the hips and thighs…).
Although, I am hoping that by the time Spring officially arrives, it won’t be a problem. Between the thyroid medication, supplements to treat adrenal stress, and the elimination of wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, caffeine, sugar, and taste (yes, that’s right, you read that), I should be ready for a second career in modeling by the end of April. (Stop laughing, seriously. Did you just snort?)
Delusion is so fun. Isn’t it?
Which leads me to my next question: Can you really be hot after 50?
I mean, here I am, busting my donkey to get in the best shape of my life, enjoying a deprivation festival that is not for the faint of heart, for one simple reason: To return to hotness.
Now I’ve heard all kinds of lofty stories for why people embark upon a journey of fitness. I don’t want to die from a heart attack like my father did at 55. I don’t want to succumb to the cancer my grandmother had, or the struggle with [insert disease] that my sister’s husband’s brother did ….I want more to spend as much time as possible with my children, have the energy to run and play with my grandchildren, teach all the little kids the value of good health…
You name them, the reasons why. I’ve seen and heard them all. And I certainly don’t want to diminish them – they’re all good stuff. But for me, the reason is not so lofty or complicated: I just want to be hot.
But if I get there—if I shed the pounds and learn to manage the tiny little lines that are starting to appear ever so subtly around my mouth and eyes—will it be worth it? When I was younger and lost weight, I could wear all the cool clothes, and it was great. I could be “hip” and “trendy” and there were no boundaries. Everything goes when you’re young. One feather earring. A tight pair of jeans with studs. A tee-shirt that says, “Bubba Joe’s Boardwalk Crabs”. But does it when you’re, gulp, not so much?
I don’t know why, suddenly, this has only recently dawned on me – it’s not necessarily news and I knew that it was coming. But the other day, it hit me hard: Next year, I’ll be 50. Granted, not until December of 2012, but still. I’m inching ever closer to that colonoscopy. To the half-century mark. It’s in eyesight. And I don’t like it. Not one bit.
I mean, what the what? I don’t feel like I could be almost 50. And I certainly don’t think I look the part—but then again, who looks in the mirror and says, ‘Yeah, I look 50, maybe even 55. No wait, 60.” No one. Not if they’re even remotely self preserving.
So the other day, I’m in the bathroom at work with one of my younger counterparts. As I examine the two new lines around my eyes, I blurt out, “Goodness, 50. Next year!”, chased by a deep sigh. (Sometimes, I forget there are other people around.) To which my colleague, who’s in her very early 30s, drops her jaw. And I think: There is a God.
“No WAY,” she says. “No way.”
I nearly got on my knees and genuflected at this response.
“Yes, ma’am, next year. Crazy, isn’t it? Just goes by like this.” And I snap my fingers.
“I can’t believe it,” she goes on. I think about putting her in my will.
“Thanks,” I say, smiling. “I pretty much exercise five times a week and stay vigilant to a diet of mostly cardboard. Anything without flavor and hard to get past your windpipe. That’s the secret to the fountain of youth!”
“I mean, I would have NEVER put you past, like, 41,” she says.
WHAT? I needed a moment. She couldn’t have said, “…late 30s?” Would it have killed her? Do I really look like someone in her 40s? I mean, SERIOUSLY?
I must have looked stunned, because she pulled her shirt down, told me to have a nice weekend, and scurried on out of the bathroom. Run, little Jezebel, I thought to myself.
The only thing that ever bathes me in relief after a situation like that one is that someday she too will look in some mirror and realize she’s almost 50 – if she’s lucky.
In the meantime, back in the car, I indulged in a few moments of crying over my impending senior citizen-ship, cursing everybody since birth who’s ever wronged me (what the heck, throw that in), and then got quickly coherent.
Here’s the thing: None of us can control the aging process. Well, non-surgically that is. Which leaves me with little choice but to either a) find a good cosmetic doctor and start selling beads on the side to pay for it or b) embrace it – climb that hill as gracefully as my good jeans and shaky self-esteem will allow.
Sure do wish I had a real Sherpa for that.
What do you think? Got any age-defying secrets to share? How do you plan to clear that hill? And do you think hip and trendy still apply to the almost-50-and-over set? Do tell. I’m listening.
Until next time!