Blessings & Flaws

On my way home from the gym this morning I had a thought-I am blessed with bad knees and jiggly arms. You might think I have lost my mind as you read this but please let me explain.

As I finished my workout in the pool and headed to the locker room, I noticed a beautiful woman fixing her hair and probably soon heading to work. As she put on her finishing touches she spoke kindly to another gym member and all of a sudden I was focused on her inner beauty and not how she looked. I soon finished up  and as I headed out, said good morning to a slim and fit woman who merely scowled in return. As I was driving home I noticed an older woman briskly taking her morning walk  and I thought how nice it would be to be able to walk like that. Another walker I observed was obviously very out of shape but she was giving it her all and that is when I had an epiphany!

I have arthritic knees with one knee replacement under my belt and another looming on the horizon. For the most part these aching knees get me where I need to go (even if sometimes not quite where I want to go)! My knees remind me of the many miles they have traveled, the ropes they have jumped, the hopscotch they have hopped, the runs to a crib side,  and the bending and stooping they have endured for the past 60+ years. If they need a little relief from time to time, who am I to complain? I have abused them too. Carried too much weight, not exercised them enough,  and in general took them for granted.

My jiggly arms are part genetics but  mostly too many years of not enough dedicated attention. These arms have hugged loved ones, cuddled babies, waved goodbye, and carried just about anything I have asked of them. I am thankful for their years of service.

So what would my world look like with good knees and firm arms? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that poor exercise habits are to be commended. Not at all. In fact, I do work out fairly regularly. I am saying this is where I am in life and I have decided these flaws are a blessing after all. I spent years covering up these flabby extremities and now I wear the clothes that I want to wear. In the past few years I have decided to focus on the person I am rather than my physical self. I wonder why it took me so long to figure these things out? Would the sun still rise tomorrow if the world got a glimpse of my arms? Would I be judged by those I care about? I think not. Would I be looked at by a stranger who might snicker? Maybe. If they saw my inner self would it change their opinion? Maybe, maybe not. Does it really matter? I hope not. Can I learn humility and work as hard on being the person I feel God called me to be? Even if this does not fit the image the world might expect of me?

Will my knees still scream for mercy sometimes and will I miss that hike to the top of the mountain? Probably. Will they still carry me to my husbands waiting arms or for a walk along the sandy shore? I think so. If someday they give out all together can I sit along the shore and just enjoy the crash of the waves, sit in a forest and appreciate the song of the birds and the whoosh of the breeze in the trees? Absolutely! Many have endured much more.

Will my beloved Thommmee lean over to offer a kiss? I know that he will.

No, I am still too proud to post a picture of my flaws-so perhaps I still have much to accept. I don’t run and hide when they pull out the camera anymore. I want people to someday reflect on me in these photos…. to remember the mom that  I was, the role of grandmother I so treasured, the friend, sister, wife, and the smile and kindness I offered to those around me. That is my prayer. Let me make a difference and someday be remembered for the person and not the body.

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If we can appreciate the beauty of each flower and not the flaws of each petal, what would our world look like? What have you been blessed with?

 

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18 thoughts on “Blessings & Flaws

  1. Brilliantly said Jan, I hooted at the first half-sentence! The fact that you go to the gym is really impressive to me!! I don’t know a woman who doesn’t struggle with the results of aging and certainly my vanity is challenged on a daily basis these days. I carry too much weight, despite a healthy lifestyle, though to date I am blessed with a body which works well and adjusts where it must – it is a daily wonder and blessing to me! Age also brings us the understanding that we are more than our looks and the wish to leave a legacy of love and kindness. Yet still I cringe when faced with a mirror, a camera, a reflective shop window. I wonder who is that aging rotund woman, how did she arrive without my noticing and what did she do with Pauline?

    Reading your post this morning after a challenging 24 hours has moved me into a deeper sense of gratitude for my health, imperfect though my body may be, it all works quite well and I am most blessed, jiggly arms and all. Thank you! xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well I am certainly grateful that those are my only ailments and the rest of me is in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in! ( despite the additional and unwelcome curvage ha ha.😄). Thanks for always looking at the positive and making me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have made a joke that one day my grandchildren and greats are going to wonder what I looked like because for the last 20 years I have avoided photos of myself. Then something funny happened i went on three vacations this year and i was in pictures in all of them. From now on no more avoiding photo’s. I AM WHAT i AM.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Jan,
    what a great post, man, how many times over the past couple of years have I complained to my kids about my flabby arms. It is the one body part that I really have issue with. So to see your common sense, grateful approach to just having arms to hold and wave etc was wonderful. I’m not sure I will ever be comfortable in pics again. i still avoid them. I feel when I see the picture, is that old person really me? Instead of being grateful to be alive in the picture at all. I agree with Patricia though, I think it is good that we have pictures all through our lives, so that the ones we leave behind will be reminded of our inner and outer beauty at all ages. I am getting better at dressing for work and wearing sleeveless dresses regardless of my arms. Its summer, my dresses are pretty, and surely that’s enough. xx Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy, I always appreciate your comments! ♡ Years past I used to always run and hide from the camera. Someone commented to me the only pictures my children would ever see of me would be me scowling or hiding. As a result I was allowing my picture to be taken (although never happy with the end result are we ever?) Now it is different -I’m really embracing who I am. Its funny how aging doesn’t just affect how we look to the world it also affects how we feel in the world.♡♡

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  6. I have a hard time letting go of some used items because of the memories attached to them. I like how you attached memories and postive, loving acts to the various ailments.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very interesting post, Jan. I have always had a somewhat dysmorphic body image. It started at puberty when the kids started making fun of how well developed I had become. Then my parents decided I was to heavy at 14 and put me on a strict diet. I’ve been dieting my entire life, even when I was wearing a size 2. Then up to an 18 and back down and up and down. I’m at an age where I just don’t care anymore. My son gives me grief because he wants me to be healthier and in better shape. I keep telling him I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in. So I jiggle a little. Who the heck is going to notice or care?? I’ll get back to the gym as soon as I’m done painting the house, porch and fences and have moved the last of the buckets of dirt to the top of the hill. I have shoveled rock till my arms hurt. They still jiggle. 😉 I can work circles around most people I know including my daughter. You are right in where you place value. I’d hate to be the lady with the pretty body and perfect hair dying of nothing. I’m going down running for all I’m worth and let the pretty folk catch me if they can. :)) We have loved intensely and that’s all that matters. We can jiggle together. I even let people take pictures of my crooked face and the hunched back. The girls are kinda heavy these days. Too much time at the sewing machine too. Making fun things for family and friends. Well, that was a nice vent. Thanks, I feel better now. :)) Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love your attitude! Yes, it is true here too. Many of the younger folks can’t seem to keep up with us old timers.😄 I guess as we get older we just appreciate ourselves as we are. Nothing’s perfect including tired old bodies but it’s the attitude and the love of life that really counts. I do my best to keep moving, eat healthy where I can and sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You really got me thinking here about the issues we all have with aging. Like you I have arthritic knees and know that we just have to keep moving for as long as we can. Like you I cherish every hike I take, every time I ride my horse, every moment playing with grandkids. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You said it all very well.
    We need to all be happy with who we are and what wonderful attributes that make us beautiful people.
    I have been wifi all summer. I missed out on a lot of your posts. I have returned and will try to catch up with what you have been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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