Self Love

I ache. Every muscle in my body is screaming at me this morning. We’ve had a record-setting winter here all rolled into the past two weeks, which means I’ve done a record-setting amount of shoveling. Today, the sun is shining, but more snow is on the way.

When I’m out in the snow, I feel like a little kid. I want to play in those giant snowbanks! I want to build forts and go sledding. Instead, I’m sitting inside, too tired from the endless cleanup to enjoy the snow itself.

Aging sucks.

But does it have to? I want to do a better job at growing old. I want my body to be thin and strong and agile. I want my mind to stay sharp and curious and playful.

It’s hard not to berate myself for the condition I’m in today. There are times I don’t recognize my own reflection. That can’t be my face, my shape! The person trapped inside this shell feels the same as she did twenty years ago. It’s still me in here.

When I wrote this poem, I was in my thirties. I didn’t know it was about myself.

Smash the mocking mirrors that deny
Youth alive within a crumbling shell.
Time worn and weathered,
Having withstood gales and tremors
Never felt by the unformed.

Ignore those mirror talkers
Made of coated glass so shallow,
Pretending depth where depth
Belongs by rights to you,
Who have lived and loved.
Who borne by tears and laughter
Have drifted to this shore.

They search for difference,
Deceived by time,
Age to them a spectre,
With gnarled limbs and twisted form.

The secret of the wise lies safe within
The passionate breast of those
Blessed with longest life.
The spirit ages not,
And yours, forged by toil and sweat,
Endures in the soul,
Ageless and supple and wise.