One of the courses I am taking this semester is about the processes of aging. It terrifies me. Because my intended degree is in Human Development, I have to learn about all the stages of life. And because I work in a medical clinic, I see so much about aging that upsets me. I had a man bring his glasses to me today and ask if he could use his own frame instead of buying a new one. In a show of defeat he explained that he wasn't sure how long he'd need them, hinting that he was not well. He hadn't realized that the glasses he'd handed me were his over-the-counter reading glasses, and after several verbalized memory lapses, he cursed his age. He was barely able to get up from his chair because it did not have arms. He looked on the verge of tears as he left, despite my trying to cheer him. I feel old. Most of the things I am learning about in my class are already starting to happen for me. I am fairly sure I am going into peri menopause the way things are shifting for me. I have been so irritable and sleep patterns are whacky, I think I even got a few hot flashes last week. Plus, one of the signs of the beginning is a seemingly sudden weight gain, particularly around the hips. I have always been big around the waist, but the size of the tire around my hips seemed to double in like, 2 weeks time! Most of what I am reading has a positive disclaimer that an active lifestyle helps combat so many of the issues I'm afraid of. Did you know that high blood pressure leads to loss of white matter in the brain (white matter helps you maintain your memory)?! I didn't! Losing my mind/memory is something I am afraid of, so this gives me a new reason to keep my blood pressure in check.
Saturday night I was taking a bath and noticed it was suddenly easier to shave my legs, it felt like there was less stomach in the way. I felt so good, almost relieved that things are going the right direction again. Today as I was walking around at work, my lower body felt like it was finally supporting me with muscles again, instead of overtaxing my hip tendons. What a great feeling that was. I needed to know that I could change again, that I am strong enough, smart enough and determined enough. I don't have false hope of having the body of a fitness model or even of flat abs, this time I think it's more about attempting to age gracefully. I haven't been doing much to help that process until recently, but I'm not going down without a fight!