Lost but not found
This aging thing is becoming a matter of losing…permanently. No, I’m not talking about mishandled luggage or the missing half of my collection of single gloves. Nor am I referring to the loss of dear friends and family. This is a lighthearted list of what’s disappeared without a trace:
- My lip line. Where is the border of my upper and lower lips? Even if I follow the advice of experts and line my lips with a pencil (thereby faking that youthful lip line), it just seems fuzzy. I fill in with a moisturizing lipstick and hope for the best.
- My waistline. Well, it’s there somewhere…somewhere under that roll of fat that’s accumulated lately.
- My eyebrows. I’m having to fill in with a brow product more and more. I remember when I used to have to tweeze often, even in between my brows.
- My eyelashes. Thank goodness for an eyelash curler and mascara. And speaking of mascara…
- My firm upper lids. Mascara gets smudged because there’s more flesh drooping and getting in the way while I’m applying it.
- My balance. A few weeks ago, I stubbed my toe badly while rushing to the toilet. And speaking of the toilet…
- My bladder capacity. I should probably buy stock in the company that makes Charmin. I go through a triple roll pretty quickly.
- My words. What’s that thing that lets you drain spaghetti called?
- My long-remembered stories. I can be in the middle of telling someone about a significant event in my past, and I’m suddenly not sure of the details–details I could remember and recite without hesitation for decades. Now they’re fuzzy, and I sometimes combine stories and get dates and eras wrong. (It gets embarrassing when I ask my husband, “Remember when we…?” and I quickly realize I’m thinking of the wrong husband. I’ve had two.)
- The ability to remember to whom I’ve told what. I find myself asking, “Have I told you about…?” This happens the day after, or even the same day, I’ve told the news. (Maybe I just talk to too many people.)
I could go on, but I’d rather not mourn the loss of those things when I can be grateful for other losses triggered by aging, such as the requirement to serve on jury duty at any facility assigned, even if it’s the scary courtroom in a sketchy neighborhood where murder trials take place. Once you’re 70 and you’re summoned, you can choose another venue or say no thanks. I did that last year because I’d served five (or was it six) times over the years, and I’m done.
Then there are the losses of caring (too much) about what other people think and a lot of anxiety of earlier years. Or you could call these maturity, not losses. However you want to characterize them, I’m grateful for the ability to experience all of them, thin lips and eyebrows included.