Aging Gracefully

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Aging gracefully

Aging gracefully…Psshhh, yeah right!

Remember that cheer at the football game way back when from the squad? Cheerleading, pep…whatever it was at your school. I was never one of those called to that specific task but I did love school spirit (I actually ran the pep rallies).

Do you remember the words, “my back aches, my skirt’s too tight, my hips shake from left to right…”? Twenty-five years on from that time and I can tell you that more than my back hurts.

EVERYTHING is too tight. And if only it was just my hips shaking from left to right!

Seriously though, can I get an AMEN?! 

Somehow, cellulite is at the height of productivity. To lose a pound let alone twenty and keep it off feels impossible. So is it really worth giving up that purchase of calypso crunch cookies from Publix? I mean for the LOVE of sanity…and quick bursts of energy apparently! I haven’t been consuming tea or coffee. But I do have Swiss Miss on tap. Did I mention SUGAR?! It’s funny because normally I don’t even like sugary things much. I normally don’t consume it due to dislike, not my figure. 

What’s changed you ask?

Deranged laughter

I’m 41 and I have a very healthy cherubic 9-month old who is most happily breastfed. The science of my body somehow (this also happened with my firstborn) requires it to hold on to every pound gained in pregnancy and to maintain it with sugary treats whilst I breastfeed my young.

 

The fatigue is in no short supply. Be it age, be it life.

Don’t think about telling me it’s the sugary treats. I’m feeling older than my years and it’s because I’m running on a 20-something’s alcohol consumed bar-hopping schedule with a healthy and teething cherub to show for it. Then I have a busy work and home schedule that just adds to the chaos! I’m laughing like a deranged person in my HEAD at the moment because my body and FACE are apparently too tired to cooperate with my brain and true intentions! Hahahahahaaaa!

I’ve got natural “highlights” the color of an arctic region. 

Depending on which way you comb it determines whether it’s in a “barely there” or “Girl, get some color on that!” state. I try to laugh about it, and I do most of the time. But the dark circles and smudged mascara do a wonderful job of giving it a real moment to pop and shine…only the way silvery hair can against a dark backdrop of hair that no longer wishes to be tamed and isn’t sure if it will see the light of day tomorrow.

Aging gracefully. Those pesky gray hairs

Let me be clear. I am not unhappy with myself.  

Do I wish I had the body I did before I got pregnant? Yes. Am I killing myself trying to get it back at the moment? NO FREAKING WAY!

If I don’t show myself the grace, who will? Should I color my hair? Maybe. Though I’m not one to go to the hairdresser let alone color my hair. The maintenance of that is more than I’m willing to take on. I joke about getting different wigs (Have you seen the selection these days? Don’t discount them from consideration ladies!) for different days of the week and giving them a name and a persona to go with it!

aging gracefully. a silver siren

It sounds novel, but do I want to add that many new roles to my already role-filled life?

A friend told me, recently, that I’m allowed an extra grace period because I’m older (and I add wiser, lol). I agree with her. More than that I think that even if I was a 26-year-old (praise Jesus that time has come and gone) I deserve the extra grace period. No offense to the twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings for that matter.

Every decade has its moment of enlightenment. Enjoy each to its fullest and be willing to embrace the next phase when it comes along. 

The hormonal, psychological, and physical changes of women through each decade, let alone with pregnancies and other numerous factors like lack of sleep and stress are not quantifiable. That’s why it isn’t spoken about openly or exists in any avenue of real consideration. Human nature has a tendency to bury that which we do not understand properly and make it taboo to talk about. Well sorry to those too traumatized by nature’s blazing glory! And if you need it in clearer terms, that is WOMEN!

I’m ready to own it. 

I think I may just go ahead and do a very pronounced gray coloring of the front of my hair. Create a new style for myself. I will not fret about the extra weight for a few more months until my little itty bitty turns one. Then I will embrace the two years it will probably take to exercise and eat well and get back to where I want to be. The body will no longer seek the sugar. It will be much easier.

I will live in the spirit of my grandmother, born on Bastille Day, who wished to one day frolic through the streets of Paris naked whilst drinking champagne!

Aging gracefully. Elderly woman dancing

I too will frolic, but in a crochet dress at a rave, in Ibiza, a few paces away from my grandchildren. My hair instead will be white and have a streak of color in the front. I will be dancing gingerly on a table with a glass of bubbly in my hands. I will be hyping up the DJ. Everyone will know my name. I will in turn cook large family meals and snuggle little baby grands. I will attend church on a Sunday and continue to volunteer in my community. With each decade I will embrace what works and reinvent the rest.

I will age with dignity and grace. On my terms.

As the phoenix rises in a blaze of glory, so shall I.

Every. Single. Time.

 

P.S. Of course I FORGOT to mention what I refer to as ‘memory impaired’…Go figure!

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Bianca Bain Villegas arrived to Pensacola in 2015 and readily embraced the local culture and history. She and her husband feel genuinely grateful for the opportunity to raise their two young daughters here. Originally from Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, her Caribbean heritage and worldly ideology imparted to her by her parents and extended family, largely influence the outlook she has on parenting, life and the experiences that they afford. Having family and friends that live around the world and having completed her education in London and Madrid, only furthers her love of travel, different cultures and the need to have a deeper understanding of it all. Locally, you can find Bianca actively participating in historic preservation, neighborhood action, or service in the community through civic engagement. Her belief is that nurturing a community is as important as the families we choose to raise in our homes - we get back what we put out.

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