Friday, March 11, 2011

Me and Mother Nature

Classic example of ageless beauty,
Diane Keaton
 I always thought I'd be one of those women who age gracefully, who embraces where she is in life and doesn't get worked up about getting older, and having a few wrinkles or some geographic landmarks heading south!  And I'd like to think I am such a woman.  Of course I thought that when I was in my twenties!   It's not an age thing.  I'm forty-three.  I never mind telling folks my age.  And forty-four is just a few months away.  I kinda feel like I'm in pretty good shape considering what this body has done.  And I hate it when I get a compliment that sounds like a backdoor apology at a compliment, like this..."You look great!....considering...."  Considering?  Considering what?  Then they continue..."considering how old you are...considering you have six kids...considering you had triplets".  What's with the considering?  So do I have some hall pass on my appearance because of where I am in life?  Why can't they ever leave it at "You look great!"?  Dumb oxes!
But, like you I bet, I'm heading into the future geared up with an arsenal of products, interventions and bifocals!  I'm not taking this lying down, but it is dagum ridiculous the stuff we have to go through just to keep up!  So seeing as we're all in this boat together, I wanna share my routine here, just so ya know, it ain't just you.   And if you're not there yet, go take some pictures of you without bifocals and support hose, and enjoy it now, then get a notepad and pen and come back here and take notes because you will be here, eventually.

I have a whole arsenal of products to keep my skin from resembling a shedding desert reptile.  I did my own research a couple of years ago.  I watched a program on public tv one night and decided I needed to get with the program or I'd wake up looking like Betty Davis before I knew it.  I got online and researched what everything was, from Coenzyme Q-10 to Vitamin B-3, what they were, what they did, what proportions were needed, what products to find them in and how to make them all work for me.  I did the same with my vitamins.  I found that there's not a simple "take this pill" fix, so I am forever tweaking my routine, and I fall off the wagon more than I don't.  I will tell you that anything by Olay is one of your best bets in skin care for the money. 
And that if you still have good hair, enjoy it!  Because mine is held together by my awesome hair stylist who I only see twice a year because he likes to get paid, so when I see him this April 13th *I won't miss because he is always booked for three months* I will make the most of it.  Grey hairs may be able to be covered up with a hundred dollar foil job, but it still acts like grey hair and wants to dance on top of the rest of your hair and mock you and have a mind of its own and never be still without endless more products you never thought you'd use!

All this means that I am forever applying something to my body and I am always looking for my products on sale because they ain't cheap, and the six pack wants things like bread and milk and Nintendo games.  And I am addicted to chapstick.  I have a whole slew of lipcare nonsense within armshot at any given time. 
I'll take the regular chapstick when nothing else is around.  It's kinda like eating generic corn flakes.  It gets the job done but it's not the same!  I like the medicated Blistex because it feels like it's actually doing something for you and not just sitting there like it's black and white friend.  The flavored crap is at the bottom of my list and only used when I can't find my other ten hundred tubes, because Baby-Screams-A-Lot enjoys taking the tops off my chapstick and leaving the tube to get all nasty and gross with pieces of trash and garbage to collect in it.  And the flavored stuff is only around because my crew use it, and I hate it.  Carmex in the jar is for emergency use only because it's rather greasy but it takes care of business.  Now, the Blistex Deep Renewal is the bomb!  I found it when I was doing my research because it actually has stuff you need in it, but also, it feels like heaven on your lips!  It's the last thing I do before I go to bed.  I live the life you only dream of, right?

I don't think you will find a more passionate blog post about chapstick...aren't you glad you came by today?  Moving on!

I have to take vitamins at different times of the day because of how they work together.  This doesn't always work out because I also have a bunch of kids, baby farm animals living in my house, a neighborhood of stray dogs lined up at my back door to trip over, three gardens of vegetables to plant and keep up with, a chicken yard of manic chickens that untie your shoes every time you gather eggs, and I have ten hundred loads of laundry and dishes to do. Everyday. 
I'm a little distracted.
But I found out since I'm a short and stumpy white girl, I need a little more of this and a little less of that, and apparently my bones will snap in two in a few years, and a multi-vitamin is a joke and will never keep me going.  But I do take one everyday.  Along with a baby aspirin.  And extra calcuim.  And more magnesium.  And a vitamin D supplement.  And fish oil.  Am I leaving anything out?

When I was young and didn't appreciate what I had, I was one of those snitches who could eat anything I wanted and never gain a pound.  That all came crashing down about seven years ago.  And when you're only about five feet tall, a few pounds gained will change your dress size.  And make you reach for more wine, which will also change your dress size -damn it all!  So I have to change how I look at food and I have to move my body in some way to exercise and I am supposed to be using weights because I'm told petite folks break when they're older if they don't tend to their bones.  And it is all very exhausting.

So we do all this, and still...we get dressed and can't seem to make it work sometimes.  My idea of getting ready to go out in the world involves an infrastructure any engineer would be impressed with.  After having my triplets I kissed my flat stomach goodbye, coupled with the fact that all seven of my kids came out pop-up toaster style and after awhile the doc considered just putting a zipper there.   I have to hide this with my Spanx and duct tape. and use a wonderbra that really does need to work like magic.  The doc told me last week I could do all the sit ups in the world but nothing would fix my midline-or anything else, like plastic surgery.  And that is not an option in my universe. And I kinda don't want it to be. But knowing I'm doing everything I can to take care of myself sorta makes all that okay.  It could be a whole. lot. worse!

Raise your hands if you've had a c-section.
Or nursed a litter of kids.
Raise your hands if you remember wearing swimsuits.
I have to wear one in a few public...and I'm sweating a little.

But as we deal with Mother Nature and all her snitchiness, we also have to remember what we've accomplished with these ragged, stove up, mommy-bodies and know that each c-section scar means you have a baby (or three) to hold and love.  Each wrinkle is another year you've lived your life and loved and made memories.  Each grey hair means you've lived long enough to actually use the wisdom you've gained, which is a peace in itself. 
So keep fighting the battle of wrinkles and pounds, but keep the big picture in mind too, that none of it matters if you aren't living the life you want that brings you joy.  And really, all this body image stuff is really nonsense.  Because the people who love you will never say that you look great....considering...



  1. I haven't commented/told you in a while that I love your blogs. Keep up the good work. :)

  2. Dying with laughter!!! It's ALL so true!!! The "pop-up toaster one got me, though! Of 7 full-term pregnancies, only 1 ended in a vaginal birth (the 3rd one. Go figure), the first 2 c-secs were transverse skin incisions and the last 4 were all vertical skin incisions. So, I like to tell the weirdos who ask about my scars: "Well, I have 2 butts; one in the back and a upside-down 't'-butt in the front.". Yes, my days of entering the bikini portion of the Mrs. America contest are O.Ver. Listen, about the swimsuit the summer... just get yourself the MOST EXPENSIVE and AWESOME cover-up in the universe and you'll feel much better. ;-) And, both my mother & I LOVE Blistex Deep Renewal; it's the only thing we agree on anymore!

  3. I only have two kids, and both were natural, and I'm still in my twenties, but I think my body thinks it's older. But like you said, I need to look at what I got in exchange, my girls.

  4. Awesome. I hope I appreciated what I had in my twenties. I think I did. More likely I didn't. After each kid my body did this freaky thing were for 3 months it was rockin'. Whuck? Then reality came smashing back and now has set in full force. With the 1st child I was all, "See? THIS is how post pregnancy is done!" Then she stopped nursing and I learned to shut my mouth. With #2 I knew to enjoy it b/c it was never going to last, and at the 3 month mark everything went haywire . . . and we got a postive pregnancy test. With #3 I said things like, "LOOK AT ME! I look awesome! It's not real! Take a picture! Quick! Aw, it's gone." And . . .haven't found it yet. He's four. So I LOVED this!!

  5. I don't ever know how to feel about those comments either. Even my husband has said "You look great - especially for having four kids." Whoa, whoa whoa... Can't we just stop at "you look great"??

    I'm only 24 now, but after 4 kids in 4 years I'm already seeing things going downhill. Why can't I get rid of these extra 15lbs?! After the first two kids it seemed so easy! And I have quite a bit of fertile years ahead of me, so who knows how my many more kids will leave their mark!

    I just love your blog! It's like I'm getting a look into my crazy future. :)

  6. I love my chapstick too! And I struggle every day with the whole aging thing. I'm always telling myself to appreciate how I look at 41 because at 50 I'm going to look back and think I looked pretty great!

  7. Right there with you! (; -M

  8. You are one of my absolute favorite places to visit! I know, I've told you that more than once! Really, though, I always feel better about everything when I come here. And, most days, I am in need of a little levity! :) Have a great weekend. +JMJ+