wine on the keyboard

When did I get my mother’s hands?

by Kay~Kacey on 11/10/2008

My mother’s hands. I look down at my hands resting on the keyboard…and I am shocked. I have my mother’s hands. When did this happen? The extra skin and wrinkles. The visible veins. The beginning of age spots. Heck, the brittle nails.

woman's hand

How does this aging process slip up so silently, until, suddenly something shocks you into reality?

The past few months–okay, most of this year–I’ve been a bit on a downer about getting older. I don’t know why, because, honestly, up until this year I reveled in my age. Saw it as a sign that I had LIVED. Felt like I could still do anything I wanted. I was rather obnoxious in my 40’s, running around saying Forties are Fabulous to anyone who would listen (and those who didn’t really want to listen.) I didn’t even mind turning 50. So what was my problem this year?

Stress and life and mortality seemed to hover and swirl around me and begin to swallow me up. I mostly put on a good face about it, but in quiet moments it was really getting to me. Then this last week I “threw my back out”. If that isn’t the epitome of getting old. I picked up a huge basket of laundry and turned at the same time. I know, stupid. Out went my back. So a week of muscle relaxers and heating pads later I’m finally feeling some better.

But this whole episode got me thinking. After spending two or three days whining in email to my friends. (thanks for being there for me!). I’m doing an attitude adjustment. Now. Right now.

I wouldn’t really trade this stage of life for any other stage…so why am I wallowing? I seriously don’t mind the gray hair. And if I did, I sure could fix that. I don’t really mind a few wrinkles. I can sure get more healthy and fit than I am now–and I’m not in too bad of shape, so that’s within my own power. My hair is a bit squirrelly right now, but that’s because I’m in the middle of growing my hair out. My youngest left for college, but The Geeky One moved in while looking for a house to buy, so I’m not quite empty nest yet either. So what’s my problem?

I’ve taken up photography in earnest this year and really feel like I’ve honed my skill quite a bit. I love blogging and blog hopping and working from home now. I have more time for myself, time to write, and time to pursue my dreams. So why did I let myself take this slow road to “I’m so old” instead of “I’m aging great and I love this stage of life.” Which I do. I’m really not much of a pity party person, and get annoyed at others who indulge in the whole pity party mentality. Yet, I allowed myself to indulge in it quietly, silently, when I was alone with my thoughts.

When I was younger, I used to be a more negative thinker, but in the last 10-15 years or so, I think I’ve really become a positive person. So, why, this year, did I allow myself to slip back into the negative when I was deep into my own thoughts, skimming negative thoughts just beneath the surface?

But this week, while I was forced into doing not much but watch TV, read, and knit…I did a lot of thinking. Things are different now, but not bad different. I do get shocked occasionally when I look in the mirror, or glance down at my hands, or don’t have quite the stamina I used to have. But is that bad? To still, in my mind, think of myself as a younger person? I think that’s okay. Age is really quite a bit just a mindset. Haven’t you met really old 60 year olds, and really young 80 year olds?

I’m not sure why the aging process hung over me so much this year, and why I was fighting it…or maybe afraid of it. Which was kind of silly, since I was really ENJOYING the freedom I’m having at this age.

So I looked getting older straight in the face this week…and I think I won the months long battle. I realized that while the changes sometimes shock me when least expected, that I don’t really mind them. Why did it take me so long to realize this? They are just differences, not problems.

I read some quotes in a recent MORE magazine that I’d like to share with you. Women who have an excellent attitude about aging. Just like I do now. :mrgreen:

“Yes, it really sucks to lose your youthful looks. But by the same token, I know that at the age of 43, I have never felt better in my life. Much more grounded, and very sexy. I feel like a juicy piece of fruit.” ~Sela Ward

“Growing older is a nice feeling. It’s something people don’t talk about. They only talk about wrinkles.” ~Isabella Rossellini

And a few other aging quotes:

“I want to die young at a ripe old age.” ~Ashley Montagu

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~ Sophia Loren

You can fight aging–fight the current– or you can jump into the rushing stream and bask in the ride and revel in the scenery. ~Kacey :wink:

How about you? How are you dealing with the whole aging thing? Fighting it? Hiding it? Enjoying it? Haven’t quite come to terms with it?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Debra Rector November 10, 2008 at 6:21 am

Is there room for one more at your pity party? I too have been giving the topic of aging much thought lately. Is it the time of year when the autumn changes are so visible? i don’t think much about aging until I catch a glimpse of my relection unexpectedly. Then I think, “Who’s that old lady wearing my clothes?” At 53 I think and feel the same as I did when I was 18. Yet my body tells another story. I’m less active, admittedly overweight, and less agile. I can live with the gradual physical changes but I have a hard time dealing with the mortality issue. Do I live life to the fullest? Yes! Do I enjoy and appreciate every day I wake up? Yes! Am I making a difference in the lives of my grandchildren? Yes! Am I generous and kind to others? Yes!

I am usually a positive thinking person. What frightens me about aging is eventually becoming a burden to others. I should be so lucky to be like my maternal grandmother. She was independent and enjoyed living alone in her home until age 100, then moved to an assisted living apartment until her death at 102. When her time came, it was very quick. She was active her entire ;ofe and slipped away peacefully in her sleep. Now, she was a great lady who lived every day to its fullest! Yes, when I grow up I want to be just like her!

Margery Scott November 10, 2008 at 6:59 am

I love the freedom that comes with getting older, but I admit, aging annoys me. It’s a shock when I look in the mirror and don’t see the 20-something that still lives inside me. I don’t like my body drooping where it didn’t before, but exercise and a proper diet could do a lot to fix that. It annoys me that I don’t have the stamina – or the agility – to do the things I used to, although both of those are also within my power to change.

But the thing that irritates me the most – some people’s attitudes towards anybody over 40, as if it’s a wondrous thing that a woman of my age would shoot pool, or go skating. I might break a hip, you know :biteme:

iPost November 10, 2008 at 9:11 am

You are as gorgeous as ever…inside and out! I think the same thing when I see myself in pictures!

Starwoodgal November 10, 2008 at 9:49 am

I think I’m dealing with it. At this point I have more good days than bad days. But, when I try to do something physical that I don’t do often, my body totally revolts against me. I just push through it and deal with the aches and pains later. This past weekend I cleaned up leaves and painted a bedroom. I have had severe tendonitous in both hands for about 20 years. Doctor said “repetitive stress syndrome” from playing the piano, drawing, painting, and doing accounting 10-key and keyboard work for most of my life. I is now progressing towards Carpal Tunnel syndrome and I’ll end up having surgery eventually. These things I cannot change. Much like the other things I’m likely to inherit as I age, but you know what. I’m not giving in. I’ll pour myself another glass of merlot and “think about that tomorrow”.

Besides my hands giving me crap all the time, I think I hate permimenopause most of all. Just get it over with already! Geez! :)

Melissa Marsh November 10, 2008 at 9:54 am

I love Sophia Loren’s comment. She has a great attitude about it all.

This is a great post, Kacey. I was just thinking the other day that 40 isn’t too far away for me, and then I panicked a bit. But I truly believe that if you’re young at heart, in your mind, that you can transcend the whole age thing. :-)

Amy A November 10, 2008 at 11:15 am

Have you seen that commercial that starts with a woman singing, “When I grow up, I want to be an old woman….?”

Women have been sold a bill of goods by Hollywood, that aging is somehow to be avoided.

You are one of the most youthful people I know. I’m really sorry you’ve been struggling with this, but maybe it’s part of the journey, getting to that place where YOU realize you’re as young as you want to be.


Mental P Mama November 10, 2008 at 11:27 am

I have developed my mother’s hands, too. I find it both disconcerting and comforting at the same time. Weird, huh? I can handle most everything but this slow metabolism. That is a big problem for me.

Kacey November 10, 2008 at 11:40 am

Debra…but I so want to be over my pity party. And, strangely, I think after this week I am.

Margery! An old lady playing pool? Who knew? :wink:

iPost, thanks! You’re so sweet.

Starwoodgal…pour me one of those glasses of merlot and we’ll toast this whole aging thing.

Melissa, isn’t Sophia Loren’s quote great?

Amy.. “but maybe it’s part of the journey, getting to that place where YOU realize you’re as young as you want to be.” That is just so true!

Mental Mama…I’m with you on the slow metabolism! Hard to get used to.

Tori Lennox November 10, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Inside I still feel 20-something. Too bad the outside often feels about 90. *g*

cgreno November 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

This is really a tough subject. I have embraced every stage of my life and turning 60 last September was difficult. Truthfully, as flattering as it is, friends making the comment, “Well, you dont look 60″ doesnt help. What does 60 look like? Will I look 60 next week, tomorrow? and yes, no matter how I look at it, my Grandmothers hand are still attached to my body these days……thank you Gran….

Katharina November 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I’ve recently pondered all the same questions. At 55 I saw I had my mother’s hands, heck, my grandmother’s hands! They give me pride. They are worn and strong and do hard work. The rest of me needs help. A true sense of mortality emerges in our 50s and we each come to grips with it in our own unique way.

Katharina November 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

PS. You have lovely hands.

Deb November 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm

What a great post! It would seem that all of us girls who read each other’s posts are in the 50’ish range. So don’t fret over the pity party! We earned the right to vent for whatever reason we care to.
As for me, I said last year that I recognized I am no longer cute. I am a middle aged woman, admittedly overweight, much to seditary and could eat better. However the stress I have encountered in the past 14 months has taken its toll.
As Debra stated, I want to make a difference in my grandson’s life and I think I am making great strides.
But if not for growing older, the alternative really is permanent!
So shout as loud as you want….getting older sucks…but we will all deal with it in our own little way.

mary November 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I’ve gotten rid of the gray; I don’t mind the wrinkles because, seriously, I was never pretty to begin with; and I HATE the weight gain.

But the thing I’m most scared of is the feeling that time is running out. That I might be getting heart disease like my dad, or pancreatic cancer like my mom. That I don’t have forever, so I’d better start doing something with my life. That I’m not living life to the fullest every day, and wow are the days ever slipping by…

OK, now I’m really depressed! LOL

The best is yet to come, right? RIGHT?


superguy November 10, 2008 at 4:02 pm

The sight of your hand makes me smile and want to hold it. Isn’t it interesting that your good years of late coincide with my presence. I am glad that you saved them to share with me.

Shirley November 10, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I think we could call the aging process the silent killer because it takes so long for it to happen.

I too have my mother’s hands, and she had her fathers. Large hands–large. My mother was a rather small woman, but her ring size was a 10, and I’m a rather large woman(fat) and my ring size is an 11.

My first husband and I wore the same size ring.

Kate November 10, 2008 at 5:29 pm

I opened your blog early this morning and saw that it was a nice long post, so I’d have to wait until later to read it. I’m home now and about to make dinner and just wanted to tell you that even though right now in my life I could care less about growing old, at some point I know that it may end up bothering me. I plan on being that fun grandma that the kids love coming to visit. I couldn’t wait to turn 40 because I thought then I’d be a real ‘grown up’. And now at 52, I’m still waiting.

And I love Sophia Loren’s and Isabella Rossellini’s quotes.

But I especially love what Super Guy said. Now, that was excellent.

Tara November 10, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I feel your “pain”…ah, well, they are hard working hands!

Leslie November 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I’ve thought more and more about aging especially since my mother died a few years back. The changes to my body are startling at times especially the aches and pains. My gray hair does not bother me at all, In fact, I have had more compliments about my gray hair than I did when it wasn’t gray. What bothers me the most is that time slipping by too quickly. It seems like just a short time ago I turned 50 and am now over half through my 5th decade.

margie November 12, 2008 at 8:58 am

just the other day i did a post on aging, the extra fifteen pounds that follows us around. my hands also, whoo, i try not to stare at them, just glance at them, quickly.

annmarie November 24, 2008 at 12:27 am

I am 60 & my mother’s hands, knees, legs, & strength have betrayed me lots of times in the past 5 years despite all my efforts to thwart their onset. I am scared to death of getting older. :cursing:

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