where women celebrate their ageless authenticity

Shrinking And Growing As We Age

I’ll be 65 in a few months.

Seems pretty ironic that just when I feel like I’ve almost arrived, I find myself shrinking on the outside, and expanding more on the inside, just beyond the surface of things.

It got me thinking, maybe the process of aging is more about how we perceive it…

Like now. As I’m filling out my Medicare application, I realize I’m 1/2” shorter than my familiar 5’7” height, even though high heels can keep me there.

According to Dr. Toni Brayer of Sutter Health:

  • After age 40, the average person loses about 1/2” of their height per decade. Gravity and wear and tear on bones, muscles and joints alter our height as we age. Our skeleton is made up of ankles, legs, hips, spine, neck, skull and connective tissue between joints. Over time, these bones and joints degenerate.
  • Lifestyle can affect muscle mass, bone health, and posture. After menopause, women experience bone loss from decreased estrogen.
  • Vitamin D, calcium, and regular exercise are important for preserving muscle and bone mass.

little sprout with shadow of giant tree

It’s an evolutionary fact that I’m more compact; I get it, and understanding it’s a natural part of my journey allows me to see it as a progression, not a loss. But what I didn’t see coming was how I’m actually growing — with gratitude. It’s as though the gift of time has allowed me to zoom out for a wider view, full of possibilities, and I’m open to it all. I’m saying “YES” to the adventure.

Novelist Anais Nin’s astute words, “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are,” I think should be followed up with, “Who you are, is who you choose to be.” If I want to see the goodness and love in the world, then it begins with me.

hands holding two heart designs

Loving ourselves without apology is foundational, though seemingly impossible with each step, especially when self-judgment creeps in. Loving ourselves is one of those priceless attributes we can’t buy, but we’re remembered for. It’s easy to love our kids unconditionally, but loving ourselves is a constant process of becoming.

At almost 65, there is nowhere to go except to meet the moment as me, learning to love myself. Now. Never diminished, when I can be at one with what we have in common with all of life, I’m content beyond attachment and ownership. I simply give it away. For love means most when shared and multiplied.

Woman with grey hair standing on hilltopHere’s how self-love shows up in me:

  • I can do hard things
  • I find joy in creating
  • I make mistakes and stumble sometimes
  • I get there at my own pace
  • I’m limitless when I believe in myself

When we add intention, we’re setting direction to where we want to go. I see love as a divine collective energy, and when I connect with the Oneness of it all, my heart opens for an extra serving at the feast of life. And best of all, I can wear my flats.

How do you see yourself?