I don’t take a lot of baths. The whole idea of a bath sounds great and then I get in there and I’m like, I should be doing something else with this time, like writing or cleaning or working out, or or or.
It isn’t that I can’t relax, but relaxation for me is also a scheduled thing. I have to schedule everything because my time is so tight, even time to stretch and relax. And in the bath, I often feel I’m just wasting time while looking at my body and feeling disappointed.
I know I’m doing a lot better physically than a lot of people at 46. Believe me, I am grateful for my general good health, and that the problems I have are ones I can largely deal with. I can walk, occasionally run, sometimes for a long while, jump, keep up with my five year old when we have dance parties, sometimes even still go across the floor in a dance class and not look like a galumphing whale. I deal with the back pain of the separated vertebrae, the GI problems I’ve lived with for longer than I lived without them.
But I admit, this aging thing is hard on me. It isn’t so much the stretch marks, which I’ve lived with since I exploded from bony, underweight, boy-shaped, and flat chested into a curvy chick with huge boobs in the space of one year. (I was 15. A boy at my pool asked me at the beginning of the summer if I’d had a baby over the winter, or what. It hurt.) And then there’s the spider veins, which I’ve also had forever and which are genetic. I was calculating last night in the bath that I probably ran more than 120 miles over the course of the winter, if I had to guess, and now I have more spider veins than ever, including on my feet. But I’m not going to stop running. If my grandmother was any indication, even a life of basic inactivity for the last 40 years of your life doesn’t prevent them from showing up, so I may as well do what I want. And then there are the deep grooves under my eyes, and the new lines on my forehead. I always told myself I would “age gracefully” and wouldn’t even consider doing anything but embracing the change as I went along. But now that it’s really happening, I can see why people run out and get fillers and peels and nips and tucks. I just want everything to look the way it did. But I know it never can again. And the costs would be astronomical, to get everything fixed up that I want to fix up.
In some ways, I feel like I look and feel better than I have in years. I rock what I have and feel proud of the work I’ve done to stay in relatively good shape, even though much more work remains to be done. But nights like last night, staring at the reality floating on the edge of the bath water, I just felt tired and old.
I leave for Los Angeles very, very, very early on Sunday. I haven’t flown in a long time, and calculating all the costs on top of the ticket that it now costs to travel, it’s really become very expensive. The baggage fees both ways, the airport parking, getting a drink on the plane, which I’m going to have to do, regardless of the early hour, in order to not cry and feel gripped with terror the *entire* flight, and hopefully just for part of it.
I hope I get an understanding and kind seat mate.
Bones crawled in again with me last night, claiming he was “very, very, very scared” in his room. Which is a load of crap. When you are very scared, you don’t also manage to remember to grab your blankie and your stuffed camel-horse to bring into Mom’s room, but I haven’t had the heart to put him back in his bed the last two nights. We both need the snuggles.
This morning, when the alarm went off, I just took a few quiet minutes and stared at him, stroking his hair softly and feeling the smoothness of the skin on his little arm, as he continued to snooze. He is my miracle, for sure. I will be safe on this flight, and on the return flight, because I have to. He needs me.
OLD school video right here, yeah, baby: