I spend a fair amount of time in locker rooms. Some women are modest (like me) and they are covered in a towel (or two) or they have half their clothes on and the other half of their bodies covered in a towel (again, like me). Then, there are the women that I genuinely admire who walk around naked. Like it’s the most comfortable thing in the world. They are moisturizing and drying their hair. They are applying makeup and perhaps for me the most uncomfortable, having full conversations naked. I get it. We’re all different. But one thing this affords me are some simple truths. We are all getting older. And unless you die young, which I hope you don’t, your body is going to undergo some serious changes. You can fight it and you can try to hide it, but it’s happening already whether you are ready to face it or not.
You can get surgery to tighten up your face and your neck and lift your boobs and I think you can even get implants in your butt. I think you can do many things to your body and this isn’t an ode to the spoils of plastic surgery. It’s simply a reminder that you’re getting old just like I am. And from what I can tell, things will start to shift. Everywhere.Your butt for instance. At some point, you won’t know where it ends or where it begins. If you’re like me and have some loose skin from bearing multiple children, that’s not going to tighten up. In fact, I believe quite the opposite. Hair? It seems that as we head into and for some of us, far into the aging process, hair tends to thin on the head and become more prolific everywhere else. Now, ain’t that a gasser? Where did my thick hair go? Where did this hair growing out of a mole come from?
This is less of a primer (said with a British soft ‘i’) on aging and more of challenge. It is not a “go gently into the night” request. It’s more of an opportunity to accept what is inevitable. And I know it’s hard and tricky and can be heartbreaking to see the lines and the spots and the thinning hair and loose skin on your arms. I know because we’re all in the same boat. And we can run and ride and lift weights and dance and walk and pilates our way into old age but we are still aging and your face and your body will reflect that process. And yes, some seem to never age and their hair never gray, but that’s life. Some of us get hair that never thins or grays and some of us get charming personalities.
The locker room also has many mirrors. I see you looking closely. As you dress. As you moisturize. As you dry your hands after you use the bathroom. I see you looking in the mirror for that one last look before you go out the door in case the other three mirrors missed something. I see it all. Yes. Some are off to work or to a meeting or just want to be sure they haven’t missed the spinach in their teeth or a button undone. I get it. I have teeth that catch everything. But maybe look less. Maybe challenge yourself to NOT look in that one last mirror. Look away as if it will steal your soul. Because it might.
You aren’t going to love every line or wrinkle or change. That’s okay. You don’t have to love it all. You just have to know how to let it go. I’ll see you in the locker room. All of you.