|After our 6 miler today I still got it!|
Then ladies the clouds part and we arrive at the Holy Grail of acceptance. Acceptance, the place where you let go of the fantasy of ever being that 19 year old girl again, enough to find the empathy to remember how insecure we felt at 19. In acceptance, in my forties, I find that I know who I am and I kind of like me. I have read a lot of books: I have been a lot of places so I have some things to talk about, besides reality TV. I have lived through some tough situations and I have lost: people, jobs, hope, temper, sanity, and insecurity. I have become me, as imperfect as anyone can be, but gentle with myself and a fan of all I have done and all I hope to do. I have stood in the mirror and tried on bathing suits and thought, seriously? What am I working out so hard for if this is still just a terrible experience? But now at 40 I regroup and I look at the imperfections and I think of how strong that imperfect body is. I think about the half marathons we have completed together. I think about the times we ran under an 8 minute mile. Then I hit the racks and get rewarded by finding a Nike suit that looks like my running tank and shorts and Voila! I am back in business.
I have accepted that I am the pale girl running. I no longer spend my morning or weekends searching out the perfect self tanner and the rest of the week hiding my hands so no one can see the remnants of the application. Self-acceptance frees up a lot of time, because we do a lot of stupid stuff trying to be something other than who we are. I am a good runner, a good wife and I am pretty good at my job. I have some close friends and a pretty serene life. I won't ever be a competitive athlete and I will never be a golden goddess with ripped abs, and you know what? I am okay with that. I will be slower than some and faster than others, and on any given day that can change. I am mostly lucky, and finally old enough to realize it. So for those feeling every inch of forty today...Good for you! You are the culmination of all you have been through, accomplished, and triumphed over. I don't know about you, but the map of all that gets easier to read everyday. It might just be my pale skin, though.