Wednesday 9 August 2017

This is 37

Hi friends! I wrote the following a few months ago in the hopes of having it published.
Nobody wanted it, so I'm publishing it here 😁
That's the beauty of having your own blog lol!

It all started when I opened my camera phone. I wanted to take a picture of my dog, who was rolled up by my feet, looking so #cute! Instead of seeing corgi goodness, I stared at my own face. Duh! The curse of the selfie-camera strikes again! Before I had time to change the setting, I saw something shocking: My chins. Yes, plural. Seemingly overnight, my formerly single chin had invited a couple of friends over. I stared at my reflection in dismay, when I noticed something else: One of the chins had a pet. An impressively long, black, wiry hair snaked its way merrily along my jawline. I shrieked, threw the phone down, and rushed to the bathroom to get rid of the sucker. 

This was just the beginning. Ever since I turned 37 a few months ago, more and more unsettling things have happened to my body. Take yesterday for example: I woke up, stretched, and after scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes (okay, ten minutes), I threw the covers off and jumped out of bed. Well, that was the plan. I tried to jump out of bed, but I seemed to have lost control over my left leg. I looked down to ensure that it was still attached to my body, when I detected another surprise: Where I used to have a knee, I now had a balloon. Overnight, my knee had swollen up to three times its normal size. Why? Because I had been doing some light wall painting the day before. Apparently, climbing up and down a ladder repeatedly was suddenly too much for my aging joints. Instead of starting the day with a gentle yoga session as planned, I spent the day on the couch, icing my propped-up knee and contemplating the aging process. 

This isn’t supposed to be happening yet. Is it? I thought I’m in my so-called prime. During my twenties, I battled a severe case of adult acne, had lingering baby fat, over-plucked eyebrows, and a series of unfortunate hair cuts. Hitting the big 3-0 was a relief. My acne disappeared, the baby fat was replaced by firm(ish) muscles, and my eyebrows grew thicker. Even my decade-long hair crisis seemed to be resolved, thanks to the trend of messy: Messy buns, messy ponytails and messy braids were my salvation. 
Now it seems like the few precious years of good hair days and zero aches and pains are nothing but a distant memory. Remember the days when you could get away with three hours of sleep and still look fresh as a daisy (well, a daisy with pimples, in my case)? Me, neither. 
The pony-sized bags under my eyes will tell the world the tale of a wild night, i.e. any night where I had less than seven hours of sleep. No amount of concealer can hide those bad boys. 

I was prepared for the grey hair, the wrinkles, even the bat wings. After all, it’s part of the natural aging process, and I’m not planning on making Botox and face lifts a part of my beauty routine. To each their own, and being ‘natural’ is my jam. 
But I was completely unprepared for the chins. And the rogue hair that’s suddenly sprouting in unexpected places. The chins are not the only breeding ground, oh no. I have two words for you: Ear hair. Not inside the ear (sweet Jesus, does that come next?), but on top of the ear. Disturbing. 
I might be able to learn to live with the surprise appearances of random hair (it is almost as satisfying to plug rebellious hair as it is to squeeze pimples), but what really irks me are the unexpected aches and pains. Balloon Knee is not a singular event. 

There is also Knotty Back, which regularly gets hard and painful from innocuous activities such as sitting too long on my desk, doing a couple of plank poses, or walking my small dog. My anti-authoritarian approach in raising her resulted in less than stellar leash-walking manners. She pulls, and my back starts to seize up. Nobody wins. 
Sometimes, I wake up with Sore Neck. Want to know what made my neck sore? Sleeping. Yes, as I’m getting older, even sleeping hurts. Who can I complain to about this? 

Other body parts that make themselves known from time to time: My right wrist, my back teeth, and an insistent rash on my lower back (I say lower back in polite company, but I mean butt crack. Sorry for the mental image). 
It’s almost as if they want to say hi, to let me know that they’re still around. You might say I’m becoming more aware of my body as time passes, because of all the stabby and twingy reminders. 

I have also noticed that wounds don’t heal as fast as they used to. I’m not the clumsiest person you have ever met, but clumsy enough. Mediocre clumsiness is what I would call it. That means that nicks inflicted with my razor (still, after all these years), scratches, burns (walking with a hot cup of tea is dangerous), and mosquito bites that I couldn’t resist scratching until they bleed, don’t heal without leaving a trace. They all leave traces in the form of little scars, tiny reminders that slowly form an interesting pattern on my legs. 

The irony about aging is that despite the scars, cellulite, embarrassing rashes, chin hair and the losing battle with a slowing metabolism, I’m more appreciative and grateful for my body than ever before. I didn’t know how good I had it when I was in my teens, hiding my tight tush under oversized sweaters, because I was convinced that my ass was enormous. Oh, how little I knew. 
It’s unfair that we don’t know what we have until we lose it, but it seems to be a rite of passage every woman has to go through in order to grow up. 

The universe definitely has a sense of humour.

xoxo Miriam

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  1. I think this is great! It is so true that our insecure teenage selves really did not appreciate what they had. Thank goodness we get wiser with time.

    1. Being more at peace with yourself is such a precious gift, I gladly pay the price of chin hair and cellulite!

  2. Don't forget the line on your face from sleeping face down on your pillow that doesn't disappear until 3:00 PM!

    1. Haha omg, YES! I know those lines only too well. Was there really a time in our lives where the lines magically disappeared after a few minutes? I can't remember. ;-)

  3. Hindsight is always 20/20. Getting older can be rough...but what is the alternative? That's what I ask myself whenever I get annoyed about certain things anyway!

    1. Oh, aging beats the alternative by a mile! I gladly take the wrinkles and silver hair in exchange for a calm mind and happy outlook on life! :-)


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