Sunday, April 25, 2010
Close your eyes
and fast forward fifty years. That's me, you see, above, walking down the road to my house in southern Italy.
Having a child with uncontrolled seizures (oh, not this again, you sigh!) has been likened to having constant low-grade anxiety that peaks every now and then into full-blown crisis. That's the way I've been living for fifteen years, and it's taken its toll. I've exercised intermittently and know that I need to do it more. I've never smoked cigarettes or taken any drugs, and I rarely drink. I do love to eat, though, and married a chef. I used to be an effortlessly thin kind of person, the sort that people envy. But that was a long time ago -- a lllllllllllloooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg time
So despite the weighty things I must and do think about all the time, I also spend a fair amount of time thinking about other weighty things, literally weight and too much of it and how to lose it and why have I gained it and so on and so forth ad nauseum.
But this post is NOT about my weight, a most insufferable topic.
This post is about how age creeps up on you and startles you. You gain thirty-five pounds with your first child and then lose all but ten or so, and then the second child emerges and you're up twenty with the third and then you're nearing forty years old, and you've never exercised consistently in your life and you're screwed. Add into that the stress hormone cortisol that appears to be secreted in you all day long and you're trying, you're trying, to control your stress and meditate and exercise more and eat better and here you are, stuck in ad nauseum.
Age creeps up on you and startles you. You look in the rear view mirror of the car and notice a wrinkle above your nose that wasn't there yesterday, you swear. You glance in a mirror at a store and are dumbfounded at the sudden appearance of jowls that have overtaken the bottom part of your face. Where did these come from? you think, because they appeared to have just carved a spot for themselves like squatters in a tenement. And that leads me to the reason I am writing this post to begin with. This morning, as I peered at myself in the bathroom mirror, placing my contact lenses in, I practically gasped at the appearance of a very long, black hair laying on the middle of my nose, just below the bridge. I went to brush it off and realized simultaneously that it was sprouting from my face, at least 1/2 an inch long.
I had had a drink at a bar the night before with my friend D. He had said nothing about this hair (and he would have if he'd seen it; he would have been merciless) which meant that it had appeared overnight.and apparently grown while I slept, solo and voracious, an antennae.
I plucked it and thought of my Italian grandmother and the frightening hairs she grew out of her moles. I am morphing into my grandmother, I thought, which would explain the increasing solidity of my body and my unwavering physical strength. Knock on wood, but despite the years of fairly heavy stress, I don't have headaches (seemingly the common province of the chronically stressed) and I almost never get sick. I have a lot of upper body strength (my grandmother carried many, many bags of groceries through Manhattan, up and down flights of stairs, or so I've heard) and am just pretty damn strong, all around. I'm grateful for that.
So that's my Sunday sermon post. It's all I've got. I weigh too much but am surprisingly healthy. I sprouted a hair on my nose, far enough from but indicating the possibility of a uni-brow, lying latent, and I'm morphing into my grandmother.
Did I show you the house I'm walking to?