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Sagging and bagging.

That’s what my children call me, and that began 10 years ago.

They’re referring to the part of my body that gave them nourishment, so the term of endearment seems somewhat unappreciative.

But they’re right. And there’s no denying it.

This summer, for the first time in 40 years, I got up the courage to wear a two-piece bathing suit during my daily 4-mile walks along the shore.

And now, the physical sign of my children’s words stare at me from my mirror each morning: The white, water-balloon-like stains blaze a trail down my otherwise sun kissed body. It’s like having an extra set of eyes in the middle of my frame.

Upon noticing this, my first thought was: It’s a good thing I’m not into nipple rings, as the hoop would get caught in my belt buckle. But blessedly, my next thought was: Would I really want to trade in my hard-won peace, strength, and wisdom for symmetry?

I went kicking and screaming into my 50’s because it seemed so old, yet it was one of the best decades of my life. I went from giving a sh*t, to maybe only giving half a sh*t. And now that I’m sixty, I feel myself standing in the height of my power as a woman.

So no, I think I’ll just learn to cope with the way things are.

Listen up you still-taut people. There’s an important lesson here. You need to look at yourself with new eyes today and every day thereafter. Look at your hands. I mean, really look at them. Notice how smooth the skin is. How it hugs your knuckles. How your nails are standing at attention, all rounded and gleaming in the sunshine.

Embed this image in your mind, because before you know it, I’ll be even wiser, and you’ll have just caught up to where I am today. But if you take this nudge to heart, you’ll have had your fill of your un-sagging self. Which means, there’ll be no backwards glances, no reminiscing about the good old days, days that you didn’t even notice were happening when they were happening.

The photo: My horrid children.

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