Honey, I’m shrinking, but not in a good way!

Just when I need vertical inches to offset the increase in horizontal inches I’m acquiring, nature is working against me. Thank you menopause! We all know that the human body shrinks vertically as we age, but when it actually happens we’re shocked. I used to be 5’4″ tall; I’m now 5’3’— if I stand up really straight. Losing vertical height is just another one of those downsides of aging. I may be older and wiser but there’s always something negative to offset the positive.

It never ceases to amaze me how gravity works against us. While it keeps us grounded and prevents us from flying off into space, there are so many other ways it impacts our bodies. Those long, slender necks we see in pictures of ourselves at age twenty? What happened? Men are particularly prone to losing their necks altogether and live the last half of their lives with a neckless head propped on their shoulders. Our boobs fall. Even our jowls fall as well as our knees, and those mini-skirts we wore so beautifully in the sixties and seventies are just fond memories.

Did you know the two things that keep growing as we age are our ears and noses? That’s easy to see in side-by-side pictures in the obituaries of people as they looked in their youth and again in old age. Huge ears and noses are particularly noticeable in men as they age. Not encouraging. Every once in a while women get a break. We still have something that resembles a neck albeit shorter and saggier, but our growing ears can be hidden behind hairstyles.

Some women are confident letting age take its natural course; others are not.

The sadistic side of my character is always rewarded when I see pictures of celebrities or “former” beauties succumbing to the inevitable march of time. It reminds me that they’re mortal too. I respect women like super-model Paulina Poriskova, actress Diane Keaton or the late Audrey Hepburn who all chose to age gracefully and naturally. While I acknowledge they started out on third base, at least they did not resort to trying to disguise maturity with duck lips and faces that are botox’d and filled beyond the ability to show emotion or movement.

British actresses are more accepting of the aging process which lends greater credibility to the characters they play.

Interestingly,  British films and TV shows feature actors and actresses who have not succumbed to extreme anti-aging surgery and other feature-altering techniques. Their faces still show expression and are wonderfully and believably real without the boring sameness of big hair, big lips, big chicklet teeth, and immobile faces evident in most American productions.

Celebs like Andie McDowell, Helen Mirren, and Paulina Poriskova are to be commended for wearing their natural grey hair with pride. That transition cost our own CTV newscaster Lisa LaFlamme her career with CTV network, much to their shame and embarrassment.

I may be an inch shorter and a bit wider than I once was, but, the silver lining is that I’m still here and that’s a gift I hope I am able to enjoy for many more years to come. At the rate I’m shrinking though, I may soon need to use the dog’s stairs to reach the couch and the bed. How much longer will I be able to reach the gas pedal in the car?

I often wonder, if I could afford surgical intervention to mitigate the hands of time, would I? To be honest, I really don’t think I would. We all pass our “Best Before” date eventually and it’s a slippery slope to keep trying to stop the hands of time. My face will always match my neck, for better or worse. Self-confidence is the reward for aging. We can’t slow down the clock. And, as we all know, it is risky to tamper with perfection. Right?


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Gail Czopka
Gail Czopka
6 months ago

And that younger spirit is still there just below the aging surface which is really what counts. Time is like a roll of toilet paper, it goes much quicker as you get to the end 🤣

Lynda Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  Gail Czopka

Well said, Gail! Thanks.