notquiteold

Gracefully Aging – With Resistance

Bodies

I had a beach day yesterday.

I love the beach, but my joy of the beach has always been mingled with overwhelming worry. Worry about my body.

I’ve written many times about my self-consciousness on the beach.

When I was a teenager, I worried about how skinny I was. I cannot think now of anything more moronic.  But such is adolescence.   Girls with breasts and hips hate them. Girls without desire them.

And my adult years – I’ll admit to more than forty of them – have been filled with every other kind of worry. On top of worrying that my breasts were too small, now my stomach was too big, my thighs were too dimpled, my hair too flat, my shoulders too sloped, my ankles too thick.

And I can go on and on. I felt every one of my flaws was on display in the bright sunshine. And I had thousands of flaws  – in my mind.

What did I like about myself?  My brain. But it was in a very imperfect casing – in my mind.

Over the last two years, my husband and I have put in a lot of effort into getting healthy.

And looking better has helped me like my body a little. For the first time in years, I didn’t feel horrible in my bathing suit.

But something else extraordinary happened at the beach yesterday.

Way more extraordinary than liking my body.

I liked everyone’s body!

Not being obsessed with my own flaws caused me to notice how great all our bodies all.  ALL OF THEM.

The big ones, the little ones, the dark ones, the pale ones, the hairy ones, the bald ones, the skinny ones, the fat ones, the tall ones, the short ones, the young ones, the old ones.

All those bodies were amazing, doing amazing things.

Our remote ancestors probably crawled along that same beach eons ago, but evolution did a fantastic job. The human body is perfect.

Those bodies could swim, and splash, and run through the sand, and stroll along the water’s edge, and eat sandwiches, and throw frisbees, and build sandcastles, and read books, and holler at their kids, and kiss, and collect seashells, and carry huge coolers, and feed seagulls, and sleep.

I even saw one old lady having a happy squirt-gun fight with a kid probably seventy years younger. And they both could pull the trigger, and they both could duck, and they both could laugh.

How much does shape matter, when you can do all that?

beachsquirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Comments

  1. Great post. Bodies old or new, we always act our shoe size, not our age…… it’s more fun!

  2. I love this post!

  3. Love this romp ~ you clinched it! T

    • Evolution got it right. Our bodies are fantastic – all of them.

  4. This is a scream so why don’t we just enjoy each other and forget the little things like packaging? Time change us. We change with with time. Accept. it but also spread the word. :-D >3

    • I love watching kids on the beach. But I love watching old people too. I know I’ll be there before long, and I will enjoy sunny my old bones.

      • Sun on the bones is magic. I haven’t been to a beach in eons. Even then I didn’t see too many people we call old in their fine beachwear. :-(

  5. Bottom line: either accept our “temple” as it is, or not. Can’t do much about it, except eat healthy. (I try not to look at myself in the mirror!) Ha.

    • I think one of the best side effects of my weight loss is the loss of self-consciousness. Now that I feel better and look better, I can finally forget about it.

  6. There is so much focus on body image & having the perfect everything. I think if we spent much more of that energy focussing on being healthy, we would all be so much better off!

    • Our bodies are amazing, and we either hate them or take them for granted. Once in a while, we should celebrate them.

      • Agreed! We should celebrate them often!

    • If only we could snap our finger and make our bodies like they were 30 years ago – if only I was able to snap my finger! :-)

      • Ha! This made me laugh! Keep practising, you might just get it!

        • Yes, I will have to keep practising. Oh darn! Broke my finger nail. This is not easy.

  7. Wonderful! :) MJ

  8. When I realized I could walk and bounce my grandson all at the same time even with the broken one I have.

    Loved this one my friend.

  9. Good for you! Admittedly, I don’t feel at all good about my body but I haven’t let it keep me from the beach. I try to stay covered as much as possible and when it’s not possible, I just have to accept that I am what I am, and that’s that.

  10. Yep, I get what you’re saying about bodies. I have a love/somewhat dislike relationship with mine. It’s funny but naked, people look a whole lot better – all sorts of people.

  11. I had a wonderful cuddle with my 5 month old Grandniece last sunday. Every one was trying to settle her and when I took her she just snuggled into my “soft” bits and went to sleep…for a long time. It was the first time I ever appreciated being bigger than I want to be.

  12. Jon

    It would be a much nicer world if we all understood this.

  13. This is such a good point. I’m still not appearing in public in a bathing suit, but I need to appreciate more all the fantastic things this body can do.

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