Friday, October 8, 2010
The Me I Used to Be
There I was doing my most unglamorous Tuesday morning job of sweeping the leaves and the cigarette butts from the sidewalk, wearing my most unglamorous cleaners outfit – and she strode by all long legs, gleaming blonde tresses and youthful beauty.
For a moment there I was overwhelmed by a sense of loss. I will never look like that again – with smooth, unlined skin unmarked by the ravages of time. Even if I lost the fifteen or so extra kilos I’ve managed to acquire since the days of my youth, I would never be able to look good in short skirts and form fitting shirts. All I could ever hope to achieve would be to look like ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’.
But then, in the midst of my sudden depression, it occurred to me that even back in those long gone days when I was still young and glowing with the radiance of my youth – I never really found much solace in the state of my being.
I found myself thinking that I really wasted so much of my life. I was so busy fretting about things that I see now were of little consequence in the overall scheme of things. I was always in such a hurry to get on with things. To finish school. To leave home. To get married. I never just took the time to revel in being young.
Then it occurred to me that I might still live for another twenty years or more. Things certainly won’t get any better with regard with wrinkles and sagging body parts, that’s for sure. So, in ten, or fifteen years time, I will be looking back on today as ‘the good old days’. As I shuffle along with my walking frame, I will probably be thinking that at least, back then, I could still cope with demands of my cleaning job.
As I said, I felt as though I squandered the opportunities of my youth by being in such a rush to move forward. The last thing I want to do is waste the opportunities of the present by lamenting what is now in the past.
My family and friends don’t see me in terms of my age, or how many wrinkles I have. To them I am just ‘me’ and they love me accordingly. Maybe I need to learn to love and appreciate the me I am now rather than to long for the me I used to be.
©Lyn Murphy 2010