In the Cookie Aisle

Ageing is a drag.

Supermarkets are my least favorite place. The decision making process, the limitless choice, aimlessly searching for what you need. Wanting to get out of there fast only to face the standard situation of an old lady buying scratchies in hopes that before she kicks the bucket she'll strike rich while I wait impatiently to pay for my five or six emergency items.

I don't usually go to the supermarket. That's my husband's job. My ADD addled brain does not compute even with a list: Soy beverage, says the list. There are forty brands and kinds. I can't quite choose, should it be non-sugar, sugar, fortified, original, light... oh dear.

But in the cookie aisle today I had a thought. It came to me as most do these days, completely out of nowhere but so strong, so violently charged with truth that I felt my head spin in cartoon-like mode.

The thought said: Remember when you were 33 and you thought your mid-40s were far away? You see where you are now? It wasn't that long so your mid fifties and sixties are coming fast. Here you are, at 46 feeling stiff, out of shape since your uterus left, with white hairs coming out in hoards, a droopy cheek because you sleep on your right side despite knowing better. Plus you have not reigned in your cookie habit, nor your chips habit.

You need to check your eyes, you can't see without reading glasses anymore. The scar left by the surgery makes your little tummy roll look horrendous. Your hands and feet need more lotion.

Genes mean nothing. Age is unwelcome despite wanting to trick ourselves into believing that "it's part of life".

Ageing is a drag.

I'm not taking it well. Each day I discover something I dislike and little by little the things I used to like are going away.

I took a few self-portraits today. Immediately I felt the rejection to everything I saw. I didn't remember my frame to be wide. My droopy cheek is worse every week. I have a sorry posture. I can see a double chin that I conceal by tilting my head. My eyes look tired. I have wrinkles on my forehead.

Immediately my brain starts a to-do list:

  • Work out more. Go Back to TA

  • Wash my face every night and smear retinol

  • Give myself a manicure every week.

  • Find out if can do something non-invasive about my facial muscles.

  • Wax my upper lip

  • Color my hair (but wait until you can buy your cruelty-free coloring)

  • Buy some new clothes, I look like a slob.

  • Do pilates for the posture

  • Eat less sugary stuff, reduce bread.

I know I won't do any of it. I do the bare minimum. I will get to my hair coloring but I will continue doing easy yoga and very little else. I used to work out so consistently. I am afraid of diets.

All this is part of something larger: a feeling of defeat that I can't shake. A mid-life crisis at the border of : what have I done with my life and why bother. A feeling of acceptance that becomes resignation. A fight. Resistance. Protest. Wanting so hard to believe that I have some control over what will happen. That I can fine tune my choices that changing my diet will indeed slow down the process. Hopes. Well, let me tell you: yes, it might. Your diet holds the key, but you will surrender to a life of fear: what if, or rather, when I decide to take a break from rigorous food policing will I jump back into bullet train of decrepitude?

The feminists are also screaming at me. I wish I could believe women who preach body-acceptance. Either they look fantastic and have no complaints or they don't and try to convince themselves through hashtagging.

To be honest, I hate aging. It's just another realm of privilege. If you have resources you can do a lot to slow it down. If not, well, not much to do but avoid mirrors. And the vanity around it seems so frivolous in these times.

Of course my day started going downhill.

Once I get into that state of mind there's no stopping.  Every choice has a potential future impact: what will I eat for lunch? Should I make myself something nutritious or is it too late for that? Laziness wins. I make myself the usual.

Then I remembered that I'm learning the Tarot so I pulled a card.

Ah...

" the Wheel of Fortune can indicate a vision or realization that strikes with great force."

This thing is turning. I can feel the seconds ticking. The thought that came to me in the cookie aisle is just the latest of flashes I've had about how much I've allowed external forces to carry me.

I feel things turning loose. I feel open to accept possibilities, I say yes to things. Yet, I'm too aware of things that are changing and a part of me still wants to cling to what is.

I'm noticing the lies that surround all of us, the absurdity of what we are doing in this world. I feel how everything deflates. How friendships dwindle, how new ones form, how certain patterns need to break.

“The Wheel of Fortune invites reflection upon inevitable alternations of ascents and falls, of prosperity and austerity, of joy and sorrow. It orients us toward change, whether positive or negative, and acceptance of the constant transformation of reality.”

Excerpt From: Alejandro Jodorowsky. “The Way of Tarot.”

It makes me think that maybe right now I'm at the point of, as we say in Spanish "dar el viejazo" and it's the end of the cycle in which I felt timeless. A new period is coming, a new era perhaps. Maybe I'll finally stop looking back and welcome the next one.

But birthdays will be unwelcome.

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