Older

For the sake of this post, I am borrowing Doc Brown’s DeLorean. (It’s a time machine, kids)

*Blasts back to 1981 aged 11*

Puberty starts with a bang, literally. It’s bonfire night, I presume I’m dying, Ma thrusts a sanitary towel the size of Wales through the bathroom door saying “stick this in your knickers, dear!”

*Fast forward to 1983 aged 13*

I inform my dad,  “I’ll NEVER leave you! I’ll NEVER get married!! I HATE boys!!!” (except Duran Duran)

*fast forward four years to 1987 aged 17*

Gets married.

*fast forward to 1988*

Is handed a howling bundle of joy by an extremely cranky midwife with staffing issues. I am smitten, (with baby not midwife)

*fast forwards to August 1992 aged 21*

Cantankerous old biddy of a midwife (been delivering babies since the 1800’s) thrusts a sleepy bundle of joy in my arms. Smitten again.

*fast forwards to June 2009 aged 38*

Limps into labour ward looking like Alice Cooper. Within a couple of hours I am descended on by theatre staff who unceremoniously prepare me for an emergency C Section.

The 9lbs 7 oz bundle is extracted from my mangled womb and promptly pees on the nurse. For a third time, I am smitten.

*fast forwards to 2009 aged 39*

Gynecological consultant (male) cheerfully informs me that he is going into retirement, as are my ovaries. I am menopausal. I manage to refrain from lamping him one.  I’m only 39! In my prime, aren’t I?

*fast forwards a year 2010*

Tries to look on the bright side of being 40 and menopausal by thinking of all the money I’ll save on not having to buy sanitary towels.

*fast forwards to 2012*

Post menopausal –  ovaries have officially retired.

*fast forwards a year 2013*

Pelvic floor surrenders.

*rewinds back to August 1992 – maternity hospital*

Pleads to have a couple of stitches put in.

*fast forwards back to 2012*

Craves comfortable shoes, ruched tops  and Alan Titchmarsh.

Orders Tena Lady’s by the pallet load.

Displays erratic psychotic behaviour.

Forgets stuff.

Mourns youth.

*fast forwards to 2014*

Acceptance.

This has been my reproductive life and now it’s officially over. Kaput. Knackered. Finito.

Initially miffed that my eggs are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, I soon reminded myself that I have three wonderful children and am lucky to have had the privilege, many don’t.

My journey has brought me to a place where I finally like who I am.

I look at this photo of 16 year old me and realise that I didn’t like myself very much. I mean, just look at my body language. Am I handcuffed?

I was 16! Why wasn’t draped across the sand in my bikini?

I suppose it’s something that I wasn’t wearing my cardi…

The hair is hideous but I only have the one chin and, what’s that, a belly button?

I haven’t seen that SOB in five years!!

Scan0026

Note the white skirt. Must have been THE holiday where I wasn’t on my period!

So now I’m middle-aged.

I have a wibbly bum, rogue nose hair and boobs which look like a couple of deflated airbags (if airbags came in Borrower size)

Oh, and I dribble when I laugh.

‘OOPS’ moments? I’ve had a few…

But all this comes with the realisation that, despite disintegrating faster than a dunked Rich Tea biscuit (but with less finesse), I am more comfortable with my body than I’ve ever been.

Menopause isn’t the end of the world, it’s just part of life – a new chapter.

My body is curvy and that’s not another way of saying I’m fat. Well, OK, I am a bit fat but I like it.

The me in the photograph felt ugly. The years of having been bullied were ingrained in my psyche. Thanks, cows.

Not anymore.

I have reached that wonderful time in my life where ” I aint bovvered!”

That’s not to say that I’ve given up on my self and lounge about in leggings and tea-stained tops…uh huh, I’m my mother’s daughter and she’d haunt me if I did. I mean that I’m not bothered by what other people think of me.

Time changes you physically and mentally. You start to see your loved one’s get ill and die and you know that one day it will be you in that box.

It’s important to love your body and, for me, it’s easier now because when I see the stretch marks and c section scar which cover my tummy, I remind myself of why they are there.

 

Tea_bowl_fixed_in_the_Kintsugi_method

Lets get philosophical…

Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art which repairs chips and cracks in pottery with fine gold, silver or platinum. Rather than rejecting or hiding it’s flaws and imperfections – they are highlighted and the object is considered to be more even beautiful than before.

This is how I choose to see my scar and stretch marks. I embrace them for what they are – a beautiful reminder of three boys who gave my life meaning.

You reading this boys? Your mama loves you! I am a broken pot but I love you.

To the bullies, I raise two fingers.

No, make that one.

When we are young we try on different masks in an attempt to find our identities. Age brings acceptance of who we are and we’re less inclined to take people’s shit. Good, eh?

I’m finally OK with being me.

Don’t you think I’m looking older?
But something good has happened to me
Change is a stranger
You have yet to know

George Michael ~ Older

Image Credit

mumturnedmom

 

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39 thoughts on “Older

  1. What an amazing post. Makes me realise that I am, perhaps, a little bit in denial about being 43! I absolutely love the analogy with the Japanese bowl mending. – this is so true, we should embrace every mark and wrinkle – we’ve worked hard to get these perfections built into our bodies! That old truism comes to mind too – ‘youth is wasted on the young’. You realise as you get older that the knowledge and experience which comes with age are very empowering and with them comes confidence. I think I’d rather have a bit of extra chin and whole heap of extra confidence and self-love than the alternative! :-)) X #theprompt

  2. Life eh? My hubby always complains about getting older, but I say it’s better than the alternative of not getting older! I love that Japanese pot, much more beautiful for its flaws. Like you I have a Caesarean scar and I don’t mind because of the result I got from it.

    • This is so true.
      There is an alternative to ageing and not one that many people would want before they are ready to go.
      I love the Japanese pot too. We should take it on board and imagine our lines as strands of silver and gold. 🙂

  3. Superb post and what a wonderful way to think of your reproductive life, as you put it. I also love the comparison with kitsugi. I think I shall look at my own battle hardened body this way (not that it’s been battle hardened by child birth of course) #ThePrompt

    • Thank you. I’m glad people are liking the little bowl analogy.
      Dad’s ‘battle scars’ may be different to a mother’s but they are just as significant. I turned my dad’s hair grey and gave him the furrow in his
      brow. I also gave him some laughter lines so I mustn’t have been all bad. 🙂

  4. Hi Honey. Love this as always! Made my not inconsiderable belly (post menopausal too!) shake with mirth. Embrace it all I say!!!
    Miss you xxxxxxx

  5. Great post! I am so glad not to be young and insecure. I still have my insecurities but at least I don’t put myself down all the time. I spent so many years feeling fat and ugly, and now I look at my former self in wonder. What a waste!

  6. Fab post 🙂 And I would most definitely rather have my post-baby body with all its lumps and bumps housing a (generally) self assured and confident mind than the lithe limbs of a paranoid insecure teenager. x

  7. I don’t actually know where to start commenting, I love this so much. The sentiment behind is so very true, and I wouldn’t go back to my insecure, and frankly self destructive, teens and twenties for anything. My stomach may never recover from three sections, but my heart and spirit will be forever grateful for them. But, more than the sentiment, the way you’ve written with such humour and wisdom is just wonderful, and the analogy of the bowl is perfect. Love this post xx Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

  8. What a fabulous post. There is so much to love about it – it’s so positive. It’s great to come to this realisation – even if it takes a long time! Glad you’re enjoying life 🙂 x

  9. This is fabulous. There’s so much that changes as we age – physically and emotionally. We’re constantly evolving. Bits of us might break or be a bit faulty, but we keep going. Love the katsubi, the Japanese often have such lovely philosophies and I love the way you’ve used it as an analogy here xx #ThePrompt

  10. Love this post. You are beautiful inside and out Sis and I am so glad to have *met* you. You make me laugh, tease me mercilessly and keep me grounded just like a proper sister. Love you xxxxx

  11. I’ve been asked a few times recently why I’m so cheerful about my next milestone birthday being 50, and the whole aging process. I’m able to say firstly it’s because I’m so bloody grateful to still be here! And secondly because although there is plenty about my body best viewed in a dim light (and by dim I mean off :-)) it’s mine and it’s got me this far, and I’m rather fond of it.

    I am going to think of myself as a bowl repaired with the finest precious metals now. Great post Tracy x x x

  12. That sums up, quite fantastically, my past, present and future. I really am more comfortable in my skin now that 40 is looming. I can step out without make-up, hair all mangled, and not care a s*** about anyone 🙂 All those chips and cracks are there for a reason and the time has come to wear them with pride. #theprompt

  13. Love this blog Tracy, it’s like a very quick diary of your youth, reproductive life, menopause and life today. Loving the analogy of *kintsusgi*, unless there is a multimillionaire out there nobody would be able to fill in my nooks & crannies! They say youth is wasted on the young and without sounding like a boring old fart, this is one saying I do believe in. Everything hurts when you are younger, not knowing how to handle bullies, words hurting, love life breaking, body changing and you haven’t got a feck of an idea what is going on! However with age comes an acceptances. We are allowed not to like what is happening to our bodies and perhaps we don’t gave the ability to be the perfect size *????* whatever. However we do have an ability to somewhat accept things. Wrinkles round the eyes don’t just have to be age related, they can be from happiness, laughter lines, which we have enjoyed getting by laughing our way through adulthood. I hate my wobbly bits, yes I will say that but at the minute I have to accept them. Can you remember by beaning devastated

  14. CONTINUED….. BY BEING SO UPSET BY A BAD HAIR CUT, saying I’m not going to school and the worry that you will be laughed at by the whole classroom, well now it doesn’t matter. No, I don’t want to walk out of the hairdressers a freak but if it’s a cut I’m not keen on, I just think, oh well, it will grow out……
    With age you grow a thicker skin, if people find shallow faults in us, well, they just aren’t worth bothering with, life is too short to be spending time worrying about what others think. What we think is what matter…..and if other don’t like it, well they can just buggar off. My body and strength gave birth to 3 large babies and in turn, one of my babies has had her own baby, what bad hair cut or wrinkle can beat that!!!
    Love you Tracy xxxx

    • ‘Youth is wasted on the young’ is a true saying. As you’ve rightly pointed out, we’re too hung up on ourselves to enjoy what we have, which in general, is the most carefree time of our lives as we don’t have to worry about bills, mortgages etc It’s just so nice not to have a breakdown because of a crappy hair-do or spot, though we’ve all been there.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and reply m’dear. I know you are feeling crap – I really appreciate the effort. Loves you xXxXx

  15. Your time machine ROCKS! A history of your pelvic floor had me giggling along, there’s really no such thing as TMI amongst friends 😉 (DURAN DURAN?!)
    Yep, our wrinkled bellies and scars and all the other shizzle that comes with PROVIDING A HOME FOR A GROWING LIFE is proof that we are freaking amazing. xx

  16. I have goosebumps now! Wow lovely, what a post! Two fingers to the bullies indeed! So pleased you’ve arrived at a place where you are now comfortable in your own skin which makes life so much nicer.

    Going through the menopause that early must have been really rough, bet you’re glad that’s over!! Love the George Michael quote at the end xx

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