I looked in the mirror the other day, and realized my chin now has loose skin, which makes me look like I have a double chin, especially when I wear turtlenecks. I don’t like it! I used to have a great looking chin and neck. I also have other sagging body parts that happen when you are close to 70 years old.
I am also heavier than I would like to be. Having been heavy and thin, I definitely prefer being thin.
I have a few more physical imperfections, (and I don’t like that word, maybe the word “differences” would be better). I have a very turned in left eye that I was born with, so people don’t know which way I am looking. Back in the olden days, all they did was put an eye patch on, which didn’t work. The eye difference is pointed out by children, who ask me “Why are you looking that way?” Adults seem to be able to figure out which eye to look at.
When I started to go deaf, I first got hearing aids, then later cochlear implants. Now the implants sit on either side of my head, which causes some people to stare a bit. Children of course come right out and ask, “What are those?”
I alway had a lisp, because of being born with a slight hearing loss, and both children and adults would comment on that. Children of course ask, “Why do you talk funny?”
I admit these are little differences compared to people who have suffered from major burns, scars, or other physical markings on their face and body.
However, I have learned many things over the course of my life about accepting my turned eye, my hearing and my speech. The most important of these was that I have and give love. I have a loving husband, family, and friends. No one will remember me because one eye looked crossed, but they will remember that I was kind.
I also taught people about my differences. When I was teaching I told each new class why I had hearing aids, talked the way I did, and why my eye turned. I teach adults all the time about how cochlear implants work. Even when I go to the store or the coffee shop, if I can’t hear, I teach the clerks. (A short lesson! LOL)
Exercise helped with accepting, as it helps my overall mental health. Dressing nicely helped my mental health as well.
I looked for role models, such as Hellen Keller. Her teachings were so important to me in my early days of going deaf.
So now, what do I do about the physical changes I see as I get older? Do I save money and get a chin lift? Then what about the bags under my eyes? What about all the creepy skin on my arms and legs? Where do I stop? Do I use my money for these things or to go on a wonderful trip somewhere. Do I want another operation, knowing I’ve had fourteen operations in my life for other more important reasons?
Everyone and everything gets old. There is nothing I can do to change that. Obviously, I need to use the same lessons I learned with my eye, ears and speech, and apply them to my aging body. Dressing nicely helps me feel my best. My 96 year old mom loved having a pretty outfit on. My exercise program of walking, yoga, lifting weights is a must, and continues to be the backbone of my enjoying life. Looking for role models like Jamie Lee Curtis, are also on my list. I have many family and friends who are role models as well. What do they have in common? They have love and give love. They work, live, play and laugh. They help other people. This is what I need to focus on.
With A Turtleneck,
Because Minnesota is Cold,
On Day 3057,
We made a snow house which I learned is called a quinzhee.