Friday, October 3, 2014

On Being 51

Last year, I had this shirt made:

(This is the view the other way around:)

Are you still with me or did everyone just doze off into a Paradise dreamland? I'm with you on that. I'm not sure I ever want to leave. I'm just getting my aloha on. 

I know no one will feel sorry for me that I had to work this week. Just look at the view from my office, will you? Even when I don't have to work, it always takes a few days to unwind. But yesterday, it finally hit me, my aloha. I was walking to the general store when it occurred to me that I wasn't wearing any clothes. I wasn't naked - I was wearing a bikini top, something similar to a tennis skirt, and flip flops. My hair was still wet from the ocean, tied up in a knot with a flower tucked into it. I would never - ever - wear that to the grocery store at home. Or anywhere else for that matter. But I've gone local which throws quite a bit of caution to the wind. Or the waves. 

There are some here for whom personal appearance is a big deal. (Think of surfer dudes and bikini babes.) But for the vast majority, personal appearance, including body image, is no big thing and of course that's the way it should be. Yesterday, I saw an old dude with a mullet, a gut, and a Speedo. There are old wrinkled women in bikinis. I saw a fat lady in a thong. And you know what? No one gives a rip. I feel right at home. 

Which is a good thing, considering I'm one year past my "best by" date. (See how I worked my way back to the shirt?) I was so excited to turn 50 that I felt like I was really at my best. Sure, I realized that my shirt also announced that it was pretty much downhill after that. (Yeah, yeah - everybody says that.) I just didn't realize how true that was going to be. (Yes, I'm sensing a collective eye roll here.) Everything hurts more. Everything sags more. And my body seems to be shape shifting. (You can understand why I might want to move here.) And, don't even get me started on the subject of hormones. 

But I can't complain much. Life is pretty good. (Have you seen the view from my office?) And even if it's all downhill from here, at least I get to coast. 

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