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Maybe we instinctively know that our bodies are fragile. And from the beginning, we crave distance from the pain and suffering of others. But as a child, I did not realize I could give pain to someone else if I looked away from their suffering. 

Maybe I found my way into nursing to better understand that very personal reaction and to acknowledge, to be more open. I believe that each of us, no matter the shape of our body, the losses or problems we might live with, that we deserves the acknowledgement of living as a whole human being. And I have learned not to run and open doors for the handicapped, unless explicitly asked to do so. Once, I did approach a blind man, telling him that the usual entrance to the mall was blocked by decorations. He whirled on me, told me he knew exactly where he was going. I had invaded his space. In that particular situation, I was wrong.


A scary question that makes me acutely aware of the health I do have, yet the attributes I don’t have. The women peering out from catalogs, magazines, television and the internet have perfect skin, defined arms and legs, breathtaking décolletage, slim stomachs, firm breasts and buttocks, incredible flowing hair, just sexy everything.  How can I be happy with my aging self when the world around me has raised the bar to unattainable heights? Well, I can be happy. I can love and care for myself and be grateful for my health.


In my attractive twenties, the bar stated by our culture, just wasn’t that high. I wore ordinary bras. I believe everyone did. I can’t even remember the nondescript panties. And if you did shop Fredericks of Hollywood, you were close to being a slut, though there was the trousseau lingerie you received at wedding showers—considered totally acceptable by your girlfriends, but Grandma and Aunt Harriet? They might have a seizure now. I mean, why do we have to look like we all work in a bordello? Give me a break. I’m aging, becoming obsessed with how to encase my sagging anatomy. What’s a girl to do?

I guess to just get over it. Take the sad trip to (VS) Victoria Secret (are they still around) or some other lingerie department. We have all been there: standing in the dressing room totally naked, looking at sagging breasts, and for some, baby-making tummies, and for others, I-like-desserts-too-much tummies. You check out the fine wrinkles in your knees and the occasional spider-vein, and either cry or just keep sighing as the fluorescent light transforms your skin into a lovely grey, and the tilt of the light reveals every flaw in your face. (Advice: don’t ever bend your face over your mirror—gravity will allow you to see where you’ll be at 90, sans Botox. HELP!!! )


So you stifle the urge to break the full-length mirror, telling yourself: stay cool.  You suck everything in and try on THE BRA. At VS it’s called the “I feel sexy bra,” though you don’t. Because this is the sad trip, the one you take when your husband fails to realize what you went through throwing a surprise party for him. Or your longtime boyfriend was absolutely joyous when he was   transferred to Australia; or your husband seems too preoccupied with football, a sport you could care less about. But no mater what it is, you’re familiar with the drill.

But truly, our bodies, though sometimes thought to be secondary, will always be important to us. And it is not simply HOW WE LOOK, but how we feel. Routine physicals are necessary to make sure we are healthy. A good diet and getting the sleep and rest that we need is essential. So is eliminating stress when possible.

Today, people in medicine are constantly researching, discovering new medications and procedures to improve life, cure disease, provide mobility to people who are handicapped from birth or from accidents. It has always been about living in the body, caring for that body. But today–in so many ways–that task is enlightened and aided by research and knowledge. Thus we strive to care for our bodies, to maintain them–and our minds–to appreciate the lives we’ve been given. Watch your diet, exercise, get regular checkups…and remember to enjoy the body you have today. Life is about change…but you, me…we know that.  


9 Responses

  1. Lately, it seems everyone around me is sick or their loved one is suffering with something. Truly scary. Even more reason to take care of our fragile, precious bodies.

  2. All of this is so true. I was just on a trip and the amount of products and shapewear I’ve seen people use is crazy. I always considered myself low maintenance, but even I have added things into my routine I’d never have thought about even 5 years ago!

    1. Hi Mel. I think a good bra is the best. When we choose clothing that works for our age and needs, nothing much else to
      worry about. I agree with your CRAZY remarks. Simple is best. In so many things. Thanks for reading.

  3. I have managed to avoid needed medications, and I spend 360 days a year without wearing a bra, never any shapewear, and mostly no shoes. I don’t take excellent care of my body (I could put on tennis shoes more often and walk or work out), but I think my body appreciates its freedoms.

    1. Pennie I LOVE THIS. You are truly living in your body. But it is also all about the genes, right? I inherited breasts that require
      support. One of my daughters did not. It is all about the gene pool and how things come through our DNA. But I LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

      Bravo, Beth

  4. I loved this. Too many of us take our bodies for granted in our youth and abuse them. I didn’t abuse mine with alcohol or drugs but I didn’t go to doctors, either, until I got pregnant in my late 30’s. That was my wake up call. And you remind me of the joke about rosebuds and hanging baskets. I can’t remember it, though, except it’s R rated and, as a big chested woman, I thought it was so funny. But I embrace aging, or I try to. I lost several friends in their 50’s (two to cancer, one to needing an organ transplant she never got to the top of the list for) and my childhood best friend (cancer) at 63. That friend had a saying during her cancer journey, saying “The best part of waking up is waking up” and it’s oh so true. Alana ramblinwitham

    1. Thanks, Alan. I’ve been fortunate in my health, have had weird things like LOW BLOOD SUGAR. My family laughs that I come up
      with stuff nobody know about. LIFE IS A GIFT. Thanks for your post.

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