Being fifty-something, the notion of aging gracefully is not yet well-defined in my mind. Bit by bit, I’m putting it together.
When I notified my business clients (via facebook of course) that I was taking a short break, heading to the north coast of New South Wales to get in touch with my inner hippy, I used this image for visual punch.
A couple of my clients thought it was a photo of me. Frightening.
Secretly, I wished it was.
And so it came to pass that Mr P and I found ourselves in the heart of hippyland, at Byron Bay. Beautiful beaches. Lush rainforests. Backpackers, cheesecloth, hemp headbands and finger cymbals. What’s not to love? And we did love it, for a three idyllic days.
On our last day we decided to head out early (very early) for a farewell swim at the famous beach. I (not-so-neatly) tucked my wobbly white bits into my slimming black bathers. My spider-veiny, thunder thighs and tuck-shop-mum upper arms would have to fend for themselves. I donned a floaty (cheesecloth?) cover-up dress for the walk to the water’s edge.
As we neared the beach we heard music and came upon a large group of perhaps 200 dancers, all wearing red (mostly cheesecloth), and moving in fabulous choreographed rhythm to the soundtrack (which was supported by several enthusiastic bongo drummers).
A flash mob maybe? Eventually it dawned on us that it was Valentine’s Day and this was a celebration of free love (in the true spirit of hippy-dom).
About then, I looked down and noticed we were both (coincidentally) wearing red.
We watched for a short while before heading up the beach, finding a quiet spot and stripping down to our bathers.
I looked down and noticed we were now both wearing black.
As we reached the shallows I glanced back along the beach to where the hippies were doing their thing. Only a handful were left dancing on the sand. The rest were now frolicking in the shallows, still choreographed, but no longer in a sea of red … they were naked. I could see others throwing off the shackles of their cheesecloth and running for the water to join in the fun and freedom.
The pressure was on. Others nearer us, couples and solo swimmers, went out in support, peeling off their bathers and nuding up for free-loving water play.
Tempted, I looked down at my spider-veiny thunder thighs and tuck-shop-mum arms.
There was only one thing for it.
I gracefully dived under a wave and made for deeper water.
With my bathers ON. Firmly (if not neatly) tucked.
Mr P followed.
Because sometimes (just sometimes), aging gracefully means keeping your wobbly white bits (and your pink bits) to yourself.
No matter how loud your inner hippy is screaming.
[Images of naked dancing hippies and my pink bits, you ask? Now, that would be totes inappropes.]
This post was inspired by a blog hop hosted by Generation Fabulous – the voices of midlife where you’ll find dozens of posts responding to the same theme – aging gracefully.
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