imagesYesterday I had my annual check-up with my GP.  I had been anticipating it for months.  The thing I feared most finally happened.  (Don’t worry, it isn’t really bad news, just upsetting to me!)

For several years the nurse has been generous and let my height stand at 5’5” (165 cm), even though I could see it was slightly under the mark.  That’s already half an inch less than my height 30 years ago, but it’s been holding steady for a decade now.  I’ve been dreading the day when it would slip under 5’5″.  And that happened yesterday.  Very clearly 5′ 4 3/4″.  No doubt about it.  And I was standing as tall as I could. And it was morning.

Can you relate to that as a big deal?  My husband was very supportive, listened to me talk about why that seemed important to me, what it meant, how it felt.  I allowed myself to shed some tears, and feel the powerlessness, the decline…physically and more deeply, and explored the sadness.

But when I asked him what it was like for him (he’s a fair bit shorter than he was 20 years ago), he said that to him it isn’t even an issue.  We all know that when we age we get shorter.  What about the bags under our eyes, the forgetfulness, the sagging skin all over our bodies (even though we’re in good shape, and work out, eat well).  So 1/4″ doesn’t seem like much.

Well for me, it seemed like a lot.  I’m bringing my little girl into this discussion because she’s been up some recently.  Her need for approval, acknowledgement.  The way she wants to be in charge, and feels powerless when it’s clear, as it is again and again, that she’s not.  Her brand of desperate anxiety, feeling small (!), not good enough….

My dear little girl.  I like her very much.  Love her, actually.

Her big sister, (that’d be me, now, at 72), is quite pleased at our present relationship.  I find she doesn’t run the show much anymore.  I can notice her, allow her, let her express herself, smile at her, maybe even cry with her, and know that she’s in good hands.  Mine.  She’s held warmly, loosely, with love and affection.  So she can surface when she needs to, and then dissolve back into the Beingness that we are together, that is All.

So it was poignant, healing, and also a bit humorous, how I could feel the feelings of powerlessness, not being in charge, sadness, and also hold it in a larger, more grown-up perspective.  It really is true, 1/4″ is not very much.  Otherwise my health is excellent, and that’s a deep blessing, and both my little girl and I are very grateful!  We continue to heal, dance and play.

images-2And grow in the opportunities such moments offer.

Are there issues around the passage of time and aging where you find yourself  feeling young, not in charge, sad, maybe powerless?  What are they and how do they affect you?  I’d be interested in your comments and observations.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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