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I have a 25 year old mind in a 65 year old body and IT SUCKS!!

—Jeanne

I used to think that I understood these “words of wisdom” my mother uttered some 25+ years ago.  Well, now that I just turned 59 yesterday, I’m finally beginning to get it.

My mom was a vibrant, alive woman.  She was the only one of six children to leave home and strike out on her own when that just wasn’t done.  She did many things that were ahead of the times she lived in.  She was a pilot during WWII, ferrying planes for the war effort.  She was an “older mother,” having her children starting when she was 30.

As I grew up and watched her grow older, I heard her frustration with aging and its effects on her body.  It wasn’t that she was so much worried about her looks, as her ability to function, and she grew up in a time not known for its dedication to good nutrition and exercise. Nevertheless, she kept going.  She would try things just to see if she could do them - like reupholster furniture, knock down a wall, build a room, travel overseas on her own.

Now, I find myself in a similar mental place.  I have that 25 year old mind, but can see and feel  my body's deterioration.  I work out every day (almost, anyway) to keep functioning.  And yet, I notice the little things that just don't work as well - the knee that's stiff in the morning when I get up, etc.  The small age spots.  There is a sadness to this, to be the bystander watching it happen to me, knowing that there's nothing I can do to stop or reverse it.  I don't have the financial ability to undergo the surgeon's knife and, I will paraphrase the French saying, a woman of 25 has her face due to genes; a woman of 55 has the face she deserves.

Growing up in the “boomer generation” left people my age thinking we could have and do it all and that there wasn’t much that could stop us from going where we wanted to go.  My challenge, as I see it, is not to give in or up to the changes that are happening, but to gracefully accept them and continue on with life.

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