Peekaboo. Do I see you?


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Crazy George

The aging process.

Some of us dread it.
Some of us embrace it.
And some of us are unsure if it’s a good thing or not.

Nevertheless, it’s like death–there’s no avoiding it.

The aging process.

We want to believe that when it arrives, we’ll be ready.

Until the day we spot it.
Laying there.
Unmoving.
Trying to camouflage itself, yet failing miserably.

One gray hair.

Not an army, mind you.
Just one.
That’s all it takes before we go into full panic mode.

We start to question where time has gone.
We calculate how many days before our next birthday.
We pull out a magnifying glass and search every square inch of our face.

One gray hair.

Its discovery unleashes the monster.
Opens Pandora’s box.
Sends us on a downward spiral.

We look up “old” friends on Facebook to see if they look younger.
We cross our fingers, say a prayer, and try to strike a deal with the powers that be so they may look older.
A lot older.

We buy expensive face creams.
Hoping they’ll do away with the effects of time.
That they’ll do away with the crow’s feet.

We question whose idea it was to call them crow’s feet.
We curse whoever it was and wish we could turn back the clock.

To reverse the all-nighters.
The late night partying.
The one drink too many the night we celebrated whatever it was we were celebrating.

We look in the mirror.
We realize that while we’re losing the hair on our head, we’ve started to grow a mustache.

We place a pencil under a breast to see if it’s still perky.
We realize we can easily fit a box of twelve.

We become aware that our gums are receding.
That our joints hurt.
That our ass is sagging.
That it’s only a matter of time before someone tell us we’re more wrinkled than an elephant’s scrotum.

We notice our fingernails have stopped growing but our toenails keep growing.
That we can’t bend down to trim.
Or shave our legs.
We find it easier to let everything below our waist grow until it can grow no more.

We realize that movie stars our age are cast in the role of grandmothers.
Or great-grandmothers.
Or great-great-grandmothers.

We wake up to the fact that we have trouble getting up after sitting for too long.
That we can’t cross our legs without a muscle spasm.
That we easily lose our balance.

We forget the neighbor’s name
We confuse our children’s names.
We realize there are days we can’t remember our own names.

We realize that if we were to answer people truthfully when they asked how we are, we’d have to utter the word “constipated.”

We lose the ability to lose weight.
We’re too tired to exercise.
We become indifferent to the state the house is in.
We stop buying lingerie and start to think granny panties have gotten a bad rap.

One gray hair.

That’s all it takes before our world falls apart.
Before we realize that youth is slipping from our fingers.
Never to be recovered.
CPR’d back to life.
No need to get the paddles and shout, “Clear!”

Middle age has found us.
There’s nowhere to hide.

Do we embrace it or pretend we don’t see it?

One gray hair.

For today, I’ll color it and happily stay in a state of denial.
I never saw it.
It was never there.

Are you ready to embrace middle age?

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56 thoughts on “Peekaboo. Do I see you?

  1. Bella, once again, you have me rolling in the aisle! What a terrific take on aging. I can absolutely identify with the “grey hair syndrome”. I get blonde highlights in my hair; when I commented to my hairdresser how amazed I was at how long they last, she tells me it’s because the many, MANY strands of grey are complimenting them! Good Lord! I can’t imagine what my hair REALLY looks like, nor do I want to envision it. And, the wrinkles? Oh, that’s an essay for another time as I’ve already taken up too much of yours.
    Blessings to you and enjoy the aging ride! :)

    1. Martha, I wish I could get blonde highlights but alas, my dark hair doesn’t allow it. How wonderful that your grays act in a positive way! You lucky lady! hee hee! You must tell me about the wrinkles. I’m sure that makes for a wonderful post of your own! Think about it! :)

  2. Nicely said, Bella. I’ve been thinking a lot about the aging process too. One gray hair…opens up a floodgate of feelings. What seems even more absurd is I don’t feel a day over 25. Hopefully I retained some knowledge since then! Great post!

    1. Annie, how great to see you again! It’s funny that you mention feeling younger because most of the time I’ll look in the mirror and think, I do not look my age. Sadly, my body doesn’t seem to feel the same way. I can’t sit down for a long period of time without worrying that my back is going to lock! ha! :)

  3. Ha! :-D I am laughing like a fool and cheering like a leader here in New Hampshire, sweet Bella. One of my favorite topics broached by one of my favorite bloggers. Woot!

    I’m 47 years and 5 months of age. I’m less than a month out from being without a period for one year, which means I will officially be in menopause. Happy dance! Really! I’m thrilled! :-D

    Since another 47 years and 5 months will put me at just shy of 95, I am most definitely middle-aged. And yet, oftentimes, I still feel 25. Not that I want to go back there, because I like where I’m at and where I’m heading, but that’s how I feel.

    I have gray hair scattered across my head, but mostly in front. Because I have a good bit of red in my hair, and it because I stray to the darker side of the spectrum, it shows up easily, and is nearly impossible to cover – even with the $1.98 add-in packet that’s supposed to hide grays for the long-term when I color at home.

    I have discovered that I can lose weight, and with great success, in spite of menopause. The way I’m going, I will be significantly healthier later in life than I was earlier. I’m celebrating that. I’m grateful for that.

    I’m done with expensive face creams. I use baking soda and coconut oil to cleanse, witch hazel to tone, Gold Bond to hydrate. The deepening lines and crow’s feet in my face… They’re harder for me to embrace, because I’m told I could easily pass for my early 30s, but those deepening lines refute that illusion – at least, for me. There’s my vanity coming out to play.

    I embrace middle age. I am embracing it. I’m living it and I’m loving it. What a way to go! :-D xoxo

    1. Ellen, what a way to go indeed, girl friend! You are an inspiration to us all! I worship at your altar, lady. Most definitely, we all need to be and feel like you! Methinks your positive attitude, cheerful attitude, and general lifestyle keep you looking and feeling this good. And when we address this issue seriously, these are really the factors that count for living a healthier and longer life. Thank you for inspiring me to feel the same! :)

  4. Your post made me smile as usual, Bella. You’re absolutely right about what grows beyond the waist. As for The Gray, I discovered my first when I was in my early twenties. Didn’t freak out, thought I was special or wise (always so optimistically vain). I have more than a few strands of gray now, and strangely, am still quite cool about it. I embrace my current stage (pre-middle-but-not-too-young age). Things are finally less antsy and … fluffy, you know?

    1. Oh yes, Claudine, I know! I’ve totally given up on what grows north or south! hee hee! I simply don’t have the energy. Sigh. Would you believe my daughter found her first gray hair last year, and she’s only 25? She did not see it as a sign of worldly wisdom and instead called to say, “This is your fault! They say gray hairs are hereditary and I owe this to you!” ha! Misery loves company, eh, Claudine? :)

  5. Bella I couldn’t help laugh reading this. It just takes one grey hair, I tell you! Middle age creeps on you whether you want to accept it or not. My hair if I leave it is all grey. I think of coloring it silver and look all elegant and dignified but still go for darker shades. LOL!

    1. Hi Rimly! My mother says the same about her gray hair. Unfortunately, her and I can’t pull off gray hair if our lives depended on it! hee hee! Hence, we soldier on with home dyes! ha! :)

  6. One gray hair? Ha! I have a friend who became all gray at the age of fifteen, and she looks great with her silver hair! She’s close to my age (36), has a lovely youthfull face, and the silver hair makes a beautiful contrast to that face.
    As for crow’s feet, I’ve got them (I’ve also got more than one silverish hair, although they’re lost now, after I became a blonde). I had some wrinkles on my forehead when I was twenty, I’ve got a bit more now. I get called ma’am more often now (people used to mistake me for a kid, and a boy at that :) ). And so on, and so forth.
    Does it bother me? Not really. What bothers me is a bit of extra weight, and the lack of muscles, so I’m taking fencing lessons now, having a great time, and don’t think about gray hair or crow’s feet. Middle age is just a phrase anyway. :)

    1. Ivana, now I want to take fencing lessons and dye my hair blonde! hee hee! I love your zest for life. I really do! And your way of viewing middle age. I want to be this embracing. I do. I do! :)

  7. Ah Bella Baby, you’re back in fine form!!! You sure don’t make middle age sound very appealing, but it’s not so bad–especially if you immerse yourself so completely in what you love that there is no spare time to think about aging… And just remember: middle age is better than the alternative, so treasure every day you have and love those cute crinkles around your eyes.

    1. You were one of my very “first responders” at WordPress. You are already one of my very favorite “bloggers.” I want to share items and comments on a regular basis…

      I hope we’ll continue to visit eachother’s sites. Skip

    2. I am honored. Yes, I make my blog rounds regularly. There are some days that are busier than others but I do eventually get to all my favorite blogs. Thanks for dropping by!:)

    1. My pleasure! I’m still working to build some content, so your RB story helps me too! We’ll share back and forth as we go here. Thanks, Bella!

      Skip

  8. Ah, Bella, what a delightful post! Thankfully, my blonde highlights successfully cover any grey hairs that might be lurking up there, and I don’t have to worry about that which I cannot see! As for the tiny facial lines, well, I do see them and am not happy they’re there (though it’s small comfort that a face with lines is better than a dead face in a coffin!). Middle age may not be the best time of life when compared with youth, but I think a positive mental attitude plus taking care of oneself is a good way to approach it.

    1. Debbie, my mother says the same thing. She says that embracing life as it comes is the best way to live a long life. And the wrinkles? All part of a greater plan! We’re still trying to decipher what that greater plan is! ha! :)

  9. Oh miss Bella – you are light years away from elephant scrotum status! (Jeeze louise – people don’t actually use this as a descriptor do they? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!?)

    Haha, but seriously, one grey hair – PSHAW. My sisters have been grey since 18. I started late – 25! Just little ones here and there, but I suppose it doesn’t matter because I’m still IDed everything I buy booze (or the odd scratch and win lottery ticket!) It also doesn’t matter, because whatever is on the inside is what counts! It may be cliche, but true – you are a bright, brilliant, young soul! xx

    1. Ethel, your words are like a balsam to the soul! Thank you so much for lifting my spirits! If I were carded, I’d think it the greatest honor. Alas, I can’t remember the last time I bought booze, much less carded! hee hee! Perhaps a little vino would make the gray hair seem less ominous! ha! :)

  10. Best piece on aging yet! Absolutely loved it!
    I don’t buy creams or lotions or hair dyes. I look in the mirror and see the wrinkle I got the night my son ended up in the hospital. Or the wrinkle that showed up when my daughter and her horse went off a cliff. Or when my first grandchild called me, ‘gramma’. I see 57 years of experiences and hopes and dreams and disappointments and triumphs in that face. It’s not pretty. But it is lived in! And that’s the best thing of all!

    1. Diane, your kind words have a magical effect on my being–always! Thank you! I love how your face is very much like a geographical map of all that you have lived! I used to have this view but sadly lost it when I got that gray hair! hee hee! You’re definitely the bigger person. You are! :)

  11. Ah, la edad!
    The good thing is that we are still breathing, smiling, eating, no exercising and asking what happened after 25, why it went so darn fast and why is my butt down by my knees?
    Why I can’t stand certain noises or certain kinds of people anymore????
    I worked for a Japanese firm during my time in NYC and I learned that they called old age (not middle age) their second childhood. You know you loose you hair, your teeth, you become cranky if you don’t eat, you sleep everywhere, you wear the most ridiculous outfits and if you were an angry young person you become an angrier older person just as if you were a happy young person you become a happier one.
    So Salud to our second childhood mi amiga, porque sino lo que espera es el cementerio!
    Besitos,

    1. Ofelia, your comment had me in stitches! Oh my goodness, I can relate! I hope we can be as embracing of our “second childhood” as the Japanese! Let’s stick together on this, yeah? Definitivamente, demosle la bienvenida a la segunda infancia! De cementerio nada! jajaja! Besos! :)

  12. my dear Bella, let’s embrace middle age and grey hair and enjoy it, ignoring its inconveniences!, it’s nice that we’ve lost the ability to lose weight, because now we can put more energy in whatever we like to do, and then we would realize we’re losing weight!!!, mwahaha, I’m a huge fan of becoming indifferent to the state the house is in, and also a huge fan of granny panties, even though my dear mom thinks they’re awful and wears thongs!, she’s so cool in her sixties!
    besos & granny panties

    1. Mrs, Allnut, by far, your mother has to be the hippest person on the planet! I want to be that feisty, daring, and carefree now! hee hee! I honestly believe that granny panties have gotten a bad rap. They’re so comfortable! ha! Here’s to channeling our energy on things we’re passionate about! Besos! :)

  13. I’m not going to tell you which birthday I celebrated in January but I’m older than everyone here so let me put things in perspective. Aging gracefully is a myth. Like one of my birthday cards said, Aging is NOT for wimps. If you just “let it” it is exactly as you described up there – and it’s painful and a huge waste of life.

    If you want to enjoy life all the way to 95 or 100 without wasting one single second of it bemoaning loss, then pull up those granny panties and fight aging every step of the way! Aches and pains are often food-related (chemicals). Walking (treadmill) or the dreaded exercise takes care of agility. Omega-3 is a lifesaver as is organic apple cider vinegar. So many aging stated as truisms are lies. We buy into them and begin falling apart. Our brains don’t have to disolve into mush along with our bodies.

    My mom was 85 when she passed (my gram 98). My mom still jogged or walked daily, was slim, trim (and we both could gain weight easily), active, energetic, and only had minor memory issues due to a mild stroke that the doc said were preventable had she gone straight to the hospital at the time.

    Sorry. Got on a bandwagon here but I’m here to tell you – FIGHT IT. You guys are all too young to be giving up so soon! But this post? HYSTERICAL Bella, typical funny, wry look at life.

    1. Nan, I so appreciate the encouragement and your sharing your personal anecdotes. I think it’s this kind of motivation that urges us to go forward into the unknown; to battle the aging process with all we’ve got! Thank you, lady! And I’m buying Omega 3 STAT! hee hee! :)

  14. Middle age, Bella? Been there, done that. I’m facing senior citizen home and I hate it. I passed the point of no return about a year ago when my neck started sagging and looking, you know, old. Yikes. The problem is, inside I don’t feel it! I’m still young. Help! My body is betraying me! Love your poem. Truly, it’s been what I’ve been feeling. I don’t like what’s happening and all I can say is, It’s not fair! ;)

    1. Monica, it’s your spirit! And your positive outlook that keeps you so young! Not to mention that you don’t look you age at all! I think most of us wish we looked half as good as you do, chica! Kudos to you for taking life in stride! :)

  15. –Didn’t you know that 50 is the new 20?

    I am at the point of letting go..embracing & loving who I am.

    Now, I just need to keep saying that to myself.

    GREAT poem! YOU ROCK, gorgeous! Xxxxx KISSsssss

  16. Grey is gorgeous, Bella!! There is a young lady who works in a vintage shop I frequent who colors her hair grey. And she looks absolutely stunning! Also, once you’re totally grey, it’s easier to dye your hair pink! ;)

    1. Laura, I think the ability to see gray as beautiful in hair color has to do in part with the age of the person. In your case, because you are young and beautiful, it is easier, you see. In my case, because I’m older (a lot older, alas!) it is not such an easy feat! Dying hair pink is an incentive! Maybe I should up the volume with a little pink dye, friend! hee hee! :)

  17. You’re the best Bella!!! :D The tale of woe of one gray hair. My fingernails are still growing but my toe nails have stopped. It seems pretty soon we don’t have to pluck our eye-brows either anymore. I’m just trying to keep up with Catherine Zeta Jones. We’re the same age. But you my friend – the one whom I honestly thought was 21, you look awesome, gray hair or no. And your shining spirit – that I want to cultivate and keep as an inspiration always. Hugs, Sharon

    1. Sharon, your words have the power to make me feel better instantly! Thank you for your ever kindness, my friend. If it’s any consolation, Catherine Zeta Jones isn’t what she used to be. Which goes to prove that even Hollywood royalty is not exempt from the ravages of aging! hee hee! I’m not laughing that she looks older. I’m laughing at the fact that we’re all going to get old and wrinkled eventually! hee hee! Hugs for you, love! :)

  18. Hi Bella, thank you for coming and taking a peek at my blog. I havent posted in awhile though I have written. How are you my friend? Have a great day. Lots love

    1. Rimly, I miss your lovely poetry! I’m glad you’re still writing though! I shall continue to check back with your blog. I am feeling so so but surviving, my friend. And you? How are you? Have a lovely weekend! Sending much love your way! :)

  19. Hell no… and I refuse to. Yesterday was my birthday and even thought I have one or two of the telltale signs you listed about I refuse to look back and pine for lost days. I have never been more certain of who I am or more sexy. :-) Ok, I am a tad mad, but it helps.

    1. Brenda, you are an inspiration to us all! We should all have your feisty spirit! Then gray hairs wouldn’t be such a woe. Happy belated birthday! May you continue to feel and look beautiful and sexy and may your spirit continue to shine brightly! :)

  20. When I finally get a grey hair I might frame it, haha. People in my family don’t usually get grey it seems until “the end,” so I am looking forward to aging gracefully in grey. I think a big streak of grey would be very cool! Hey there’s nothing wrong with dyeing it so do what you must. But, in all seriousness after my Uni days I feel time has flown by, I remember the good ol’ days of being 25, now it seems so long ago. but, I would not trade it at all for the wonderful present day! :-) xx/Madison

  21. This speaks to us all! Yep, I found a few “gray hairs”, but I’m ok with that. I just want to age gracefully. I think if I get too gray…..I’ll, too, color my hair and be in denial. Thanks for the great post.

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