January is my birthday month. This is no ordinary birthday. This will be my 50th, and oh, the lessons I’ve learned.
They say that once you reach a certain age, you just don’t give a crap. I hoped that wasn’t true. I didn’t ever want to get to an age in which I didn’t care about my appearance, my weight, makeup, hair, etc. Alas. It is indeed true. For me, aging has brought a myriad of major health issues and with that comes exhaustion. Exhaustion makes blush and mascara seem like full stage makeup. Long hair seems silly, since it will just be in a hat or headband, or clip or whatever. A bra feels like resistance training. Jeans feel like a prison.
If I’m showered, my teeth are brushed and my shirt has no stains and matches my leggings, I feel absolutely glamorous!
But I don’t think this is what that means, either. When I say that I just don’t give a crap, I mean that I don’t care what other people think of me. It’s not necessarily about my appearance, or that other people just don’t matter to me. It’s that by now, I’ve forced my demons into the light, and realized that mine aren’t any bigger or uglier than anyone else’s.
Let me elaborate. I’ve learned that when I do something dumb, acknowledging it, admitting it, and accepting responsibility for it, take away most of the sting. It also earns the respect of those whom I may have hurt or those who have their own demons that they’re struggling to keep in the dark.
I’ve learned the meaning of the Latin phrase, “Si Vis Amari, Ama.” If you want to be loved, love. Love freely and generously, with no expectations. This doesn’t mean that one should become a door mat. It means letting people know that they matter to you. It means listening and hearing. Forgiveness costs us nothing unless we place expectations on it, and that’s not really forgiveness. That’s a business transaction.
I’ve learned that if people love me, it doesn’t matter what I weigh or what I make, or what I do for a living. On my worst days, they have shown me love so bright, it was almost blinding.
So, when someone gives me the stink-eye when they see my wide bottom in my mobility scooter, it barely registers. I’m human, so I notice, but I don’t dwell on it. I know who I am. I know I am loved. The opinion of some judgmental stranger has no affect on me. I just think about how painful that person’s life must be to find satisfaction in judging someone whose circumstances they know nothing about.
But that’s not what that saying about a reaching a certain age and not giving a crap means, either. At my age, menopause is revving up, and with hormone changes come a whole new set of issues, not the least of which is constipation. They mean it when they say that when you reach a certain age, you just don’t give a crap because YOU LITERALLY CANNOT POOP! And trying too hard can causes hemorrhoids! (I’ve named mine Elmer.) Therefore, menopause is also, literally, a pain in the ass!
Happy New Year!