The real beauty of Ageing
The Real Beauty of Ageing
On Thursday afternoon my husband and I, accompanied by our 2 ‘Elderbull’ Staffordshire Bull Terriers decided on a mid-week jaunt to one of our favourite spots. It’s a quiet and secluded little beach up near the beautiful shores of Port Stephens.
The Clinic had been reasonably quiet during the week and with the Weather, glorious and inviting; we decided to take advantage of our hard worked for early-enforced semi-retirement.
As I’d been pottering around home, I decided to simply throw on some shoes, grab the dogs and head towards our destination. This for me is rare and I guess it is one of the benefits of now residing in a town where almost no one knows you, there’s absolutely no pressure to look a certain way or be made up, just in case you happen to run into someone you know from your previous life. That’s a godsend and a blessing all in one, but it’s also a subject for another blog.
Shortly after arriving at our secret spot, we ambled down onto the pristine white sand. We were very surprised that it was blowing an absolute gale, as opposed to being quiet and calm back home, only 30 minutes away.
Looking down the stretch of sand, we appeared to have the whole beach to ourselves and with that; I indulged in a little reckless behaviour. Behaviour that I normally don’t carry out without weighing up the precautions. I let my old boy Stafford off his lead, as this beach is a lead-free dog beach. Normally, I don’t let ‘Big Dewy’ off even at assigned lead-free beaches, more for his safety than others. Being a Stafford and a big one at that, as his name implies, if a young bouncy dog approaches in a manner he doesn’t like, he can be a bit tetchy.
So, as we sat back enjoying the amazing vista of blue and teal, tinged with golden hues, we happened to hear a car roar into the car park with gay abandon, followed by distinctive girly giggling.
I looked to see where ‘Big Dew’ was and turned my head back to spy a young, hard-bodied goddess alight from that car with only a very teeny see through G String on. Other than that, she was au natural in her birth suit.
Now, here’s where things get remarkable. This beautiful firm young Goddess bounced onto the Beach right in front of us with an equally stunning Photographer in tow. At first, I was a little shocked at the sight of this model striding in all her glory onto that white sand, which to be truthful paled into nothingness against her firm toned torso and flowing flaxen mane. If you happen to be wondering, I’m as straight as the proverbial die, but with age have come to appreciate the human form in ways which were previously foreign to me, probably best explained in this blog, in fact.
It took me a few minutes to come to the self realisation that instead of feeling threatened or reverting to my normal
modus operandi of immediately comparing myself to this young woman and wishing that I had a ‘better’ and ‘slimmer’ body, that I actually sat in awe of her confidence and willingness to strut her stuff. I also understood as a 50+ woman
the dedication and effort that amazing torso would have required.
Suddenly, without even a hint of warning, our big boy Stafford decided to take a personal liking to this gifted young woman in the form of licking off her fake tan and inspecting her birth suit with his sandy wet nose.
Yes, that’s right, slowly, methodically, licking off the coconut goodness so lovingly applied for the photo shoot. To say I was a little embarrassed might be understating the obvious, but for my poor better half, aka hubby, it was almost ‘Kubrickian’ in nature. Not knowing where to look, attempting to grab the dog, flesh flying here, there and well, everywhere. It was a scene straight out of an old 80’s flick. Hilarious yet cringe-worthy. Yes, very 80’s in hindsight.
All jokes aside, here’s the real thing. Here’s the real bona fide beauty that comes with age.
For the very first time in 40 years, I felt no need to compare myself to this young woman. I felt completely comfortable in who I am, and the body I now have. I have to be honest, it absolutely shocked me, but the part that really surprised me to my inner foundation was that I had no issue or no pang of insecurity while my husband admired this beauty. This was a revelation. An authentic and rarely experienced real revelation.
You see, I believe that for many women, and let me preface this by saying, not all women, but many, we are conditioned from a very young age that beauty in others is something to be feared, that beauty in others can sometimes equate to a predator of sorts. In fact, often, we are told to stay away from ‘beautiful’ friends because they might just take a fancy to your man! I can now see how utterly stupid and counterproductive this type of thinking is and was.
Not only does that type of thinking allude to the fact that most men are nothing but dingbat womanisers’ it’s a form of feminine patriarchy, which promotes undesirable masculine behaviour, such as believing that the prettiest and slimmest woman, is the one who gets the guy and while sometimes that can be true, let’s face it, few people are bestowed with physical perfection beyond that of personal preference.
As I sat on the old partially broken felled tree, it finally dawned on me, like that moment when you accidentally swallow a fly, you know it’s awful, you know that fly’s gone right on down deep inside, but you also know that there’s nothing you can do about it. You simply have to accept what is. You have to invest in the new you. The new you, that doesn’t feel any need to compete, the new you that is grateful for a still functioning body. Albeit, a pretty wrecked and ravaged body, but a functioning body, nonetheless.
That afternoon and several times since, I’ve felt a sense of weightlessness, like a huge dark cloud has been banished, banished into oblivion. Much like the need to compare and ultimately invalidate my own gifts, by comparing those gifts, to the gifts of others.
Today, I’m mostly glad. I’m so glad that I can finally just be, unencumbered by the need for a firmer, slimmer, more supple body. I am also immensely grateful for what my body has gifted me over the years. The amazing and wonder-full blessing of children, the ability to do mostly what I want, to move my limbs at will, the ability to love and nurture others with the power of touch. To finally see and behold true beauty in others, through the glorious five senses.
These things my friends, these are the real beauty of ageing. No comparison. Self Acceptance and Gratitude for what is, and of course a body that has a story to tell, unique, amazing and all mine!
I kind of dig this 50’s gig.