|Trying to get back into blogging with a new challenge for the coming year. Suggestions and comments are welcome!||
One of my favorite "fun facts" from my days as an MBA student at the U was from a Consumer Behavior class. Our professor showed us a chart about how people's actual age varied from their self-perceived age, and how that gap grew greater and greater over time. For instance, when you are 29, you may still see yourself as being about 23; at 39, you think you're 27. It became funnier and more absurd as the ages went up, because by 70 or more, people still perceived themselves as being in their 30's or 40's. I teach my students now, that's why you see commercials for products targeted at the elderly shot with models in their 40's - because that's how the target market perceives itself.
Okay, Sara, what does that have to do with you? Well, as I've been aging, my body seems to be failing me in a few key areas. Today, for instance, I have to go in and have an oophorectomy to remove a softball-sized cyst. Apart from liking the word "oophorectomy" -- it sounds like they are going to punch me in the stomach and make me grunt "OOF!" (or more accurately, "OOPH!") like in the old Batman movie -- I'm not too excited about today. I spent most of the weekend working like a madman, trying to catch up/get ahead on laundry, cleaning, grading papers and gardening. In my weeding marathon yesterday, I managed to get a sunburn slice across my back, in the area between my waistband and where my shirt crept up as I bent over to yank weeds. That's just sad. Old People Problem.
And while my kids are being great about helping out to prepare for my being down and out for a bit, their empathy is somewhat lacking at times. Last week, one daughter told me that Dad and I are "old and gross," because we both need surgery this week on "delicate" areas. Did I mention that Steve also has kidney stone surgery on Thursday? Yep, we're the old and gross folks' home. Today, when I dropped off Sadie at VBS and tried to prepare her for the fact that I would probably not be feeling great when I came back from surgery that afternoon, her main issue was knowing exactly where I would be in the house, and she was hoping I would NOT be in the living room. Because "I don't want you to be hurling up a storm on the couch." Okay. Thanks, sweetie.
But back to my age perception issue, I have trouble remembering that I'm as old as I am. And that my body is also that old. And falling apart, apparently. I still think that I can do most of the things I've always been able to do. I look at the picture of us girls at the sculpture garden last week, and think, "Why is it that I'm the only one not making a goofy face? How did I miss that?!" I don't want to be that old mom who won't make silly faces anymore. Or who falls on the hiking trail and limps back to the car. Or falls at the restaurant. Maybe I need to get old lady shoes with no-slip treads, while I'm at it.
But regardless of what I want, reality rears its ugly head every so often, and this is one such instance. So, I have to prepare for a slower recovery, plan ahead for things I won't be able to do for a while, and leave the rest in God's hands. I also need to remember not to hurl up a storm in front of Sadie.
I'm a mom. An old mom. An old mom who is not in as good a shape as she needs to be. And who is trying to love better, with Jesus' help.