Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Loosing Battle … By Clarice Theys

And now that the holiday is over for most of us, my mind wanders to another astonishing reality check which hit me during some festive moments! It hit me with such force and even though I thought I was well-prepared – given the fact that I’ve had to grow a thick skin since I’ve been writing for this paper - it was evident that it is not ‘thick’ enough …

My ‘moment of truth’ is something that most women and probably just as many men, think about every minute of the day … and no, it’s not sex … it’s stubborn, grey hair and wrinkles and many more unexplainable phenomena like when the delicate softness of age replaces the smooth, softness of your youthful skin and when the once proud, thin waist now becomes only a distant memory …

Though it’s been a while that I’ve noticed these unwelcome intruders on my skin – especially on my neck – it now feels as if my skin has given up, surrendering to time (a few decades) and lifestyle (love for sun and wind) to take its final tall and leave me naked with the scars …

I love my hair … they’re lush and bounty and I can style them in any way I want – frizzy and straight and yes, people don’t always recognize me - much to my amusement. But oh, are they needy and demanding? I must admit, I’m still a bit vain in that area so I religiously oblige to ‘color them grays’ every single month. But that part of my monthly involuntary routine is not the heaviest of them all … it’s the fragility of my skin and the vicious appearance of crow’s feet and the increasing centimeters above my navel that makes me grieve like a little child …

Slowly but surely the firmness of youth is making way for a more tender and fragile skin. It’s showing … and no matter how I try to whisk them away with expensive creams and jells, the reality is that it’s fading.

There’s no such thing as forever young … it’s gone … forever. Sometimes it makes me sad – just a little. I ask myself what is happening. I know I can always cover up the gray hair – also telling myself about my wisdom and the fact that they started to show very early – in my early twenties to be exact. I blame it (and truly believe it) on my genes. But how do I explain these unwanted, ugly lines on my neck?

The plot deepens … when I look down, the two rosy pink, little ones who always were so shapely; now look sad, pointing south and there’s nothing I can do! And so are the once-proud carriers of my jeans! The mirror is sadistic, looking relentlessly back to me and then, what seems to be the final straw, I saw the thighs and upper arms – so tired - hanging on to dear life … exhausted!

The charge came: “Why would a self-confessed couch potato have slender thighs and firm upper arms?”

I know the time has come. I have to accept this new me. No matter how young my heart may feel, the body is just allowing nature to take its course. No matter what creams and dyes I try, I just can’t win this battle.

Maturity brings acceptance. And the acceptance will bring forward wisdom and a deeper connection with the inner self and who I really am. I will still touch up the grey – still can’t give up on my mane; I’ll still put on the cream – I can definitely reduce the speed!

The sobering fact though, is that I am not my body. Deep in my heart I know, that although my body and beauty is fading, my spirit is rejuvenating all the time. I’m still learning new things and acquiring new skills and surrounding myself with youthful people in order to keep my mind challenged by their honesty and amazing discoveries. These days I look to things with different and child-like curiosity. I’ve become more grateful to life and embrace even the days without sun … I know what really counts, is who I am … and with that, I’m truly happy!

And on that note, let me go pick up those heavy weights – can definitely still do something to my lazy bum and schlap upper arms!!! Take charge, until next time … same day, same paper!