Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wasted, but not Lost

I had a sudden thought come over me yesterday morning, during the mundane daily routine that gives one time to think about other things.

It's not like I haven't had this thought often before. This time, though, it came with a twist. A slightly uncomfortable twist.

As my hand raised in front of me to grab the hairbrush, I realized, not for the first time, that my hands are looking older. They look like my mother's did, when I first took note of her hands. I suppose she might have been my age when that happened.

Then I thought with a little pang of... what? Guilt? Dismay? Regret? Peace? Perhaps all of the above - that because of my navel-gazing, I might have overlooked some things. I mean, my navel gazing might give me some revelations here and there, but often it's just the kind of negative twaddle that I shouldn't waste a day on. Like the literal thoughts about how deep my navel actually must be. Reminds me of the skit where Bill Cosby talked about bending over out of the shower, and having a half a cup of water - "a haaalf a cuppa waataah!" - pour out of his navel. (See minute 6:40 or so.)

Really though, I just looked at my hands and thought,
"My hands look old. I'm looking older. I always looked at my hands and said I'd never worry about my hands looking old. Thing is, that was for LATER when I AM old! I'm not old yet! I'm not supposed to start this process this soon. What's going on?"

Then the real heart of the issue:
"Did I miss out on my most physically beautiful years because I thought I was fat and ugly?"

Honestly, I always figured I'd age gracefully. I just didn't think it would sneak up on me.

I'm not old. Not by a long shot. Bill Cosby was talking about being 49. I'm a long way away from that. All the same, I have a true sensation of time wasted, and I'm sure that's not for no reason at all.

That phrase, "Youth is wasted on the young" hit me with new poignancy yesterday. I have so much to be thankful for, and I AM thankful for so very much, but at the same time I realize the foolishness of focussing so explicitly on self for so much of the time. It's not that it's so important to be beautiful, fit and trim, whatever. But juuuust maybe I've missed the point on beauty, just a tad.

My waistline hasn't changed much in 8 years. Oh, it's fluctuated by 70 lbs, down, up, down, up, like a teeter-totter with a mean kid bouncing hard on one side, and you hanging on for dear life at the other. But really, if I'm being honest with myself, this is where my body seems to like to stay. My eating habits, my dieting habits, everything washes out to be just this. And maybe that's okay.

Maybe the beauty is really in the twinkle in my eye or the bounce in my step. In the way I smile and share with others. Physical beauty fades, and in not much time at all.

It should take up a lot less of my life.

1 comment:

redeemed diva said...

Wow. TobyLauren, I think a huge part of your beauty is your heart an inner person. I've never SEEN you but I know you are beautiful from all our communication.
I totally agree with the old hands thing. Did I waste my beautiful years on wishing I was someone else?

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