29 May 2017

The Beautiful Kiss Of Reality

Well this truthful tale must begin at the beginning and that is with the packing of my suitcase and the swimsuit which went in it.
Doesn't that one word just make you cringe...swimsuit.
You see it was just a few weeks ago on a sunny and steamy day in Puerto Rico I put on my swimsuit in preparation for a seashore experience with my precious family.
It was in that very life defining moment that as I turned around to look at myself in a full length mirror that I came to terms with this fact.

I have never been more unattractive in a swimsuit and yet I have never felt better in one.

Motivation-Inspiration-Jemma
With legs as white as alabaster from the knee up, cellulite visible on the upper thighs and a tummy that refused to cooperate with being sucked in, it all became quite apparent that I could either embrace my 60 year old body and live life to the fullest with this beautiful kiss of reality or I could hide out for 10 days in the dark, shuddering at how the years had suddenly crept upon me.
You know you may be a younger woman reading this but if you are blessed to live long enough this will happen to you too and these thoughts that I am sharing today will be great tools for you to use in the future.
Just think of this as a friendly little chat.
Positive-motivation-happiness-Jemma
So of course I did have a small panic attack, and wished that I had a swimsuit in my bag that came up to my neck and down to my ankles to put on.
But I didn't, so I told myself to breathe...
Should I worry what people would think and then miss on out on this precious time with my dear ones.
Or should I just focus on my dreadful appearance and say I am not going to get into the water, but what would that accomplish?
To make matters even worse my hair would not stay in place because of the high humidity and my gray roots were showing terribly.
Rats!! 
You see I truly was in a dilemma I was on an Island with nowhere to run.


life-celebrate-rejoice-thankful-happiness-jemma
So this is what I did in a almost snip-snap sort of way.
I saw myself for the woman that I am. This acceptance gave me such great freedom to live life more freely, thoroughly and happily.
 I will make no more apologies for my feelings, quirks, ideas, and most certainly not for my appearance!
I have arrived ( well maybe skidded a time or two) to this place just as I was meant to and it is truly a glorious, fabulous celebration of life not a enduring prison sentence.
I have made it to sixty and no matter if you are twenty or ninety, I'd like for you to be just as excited at your spot in life.
Live-Now-Jemma
I am so well loved by this little family who lives across the ocean from me that I realized being sixty was right were I was suppose to be.
( Would I like to have my young body back, well of course! But I'll take this one and the acceptance that goes with it.)
I accepted with gratitude and grace that my journey has been a bit of a struggle, but that struggle has made me appreciate the beauty and sweetness of life all the more.
( I am not Cher, and she does looks amazing for a 70+ but I bet she can't grow sunflowers)
I vowed to embrace these precious moments of life with a clear mind, focused on the moment.
Not the past, nor the future.
(But I am considering a spray tan before I put on another swimsuit!)
I would not let fear hinder me from exploring, growing, thriving and engaging in these rare moments of pure joy.
Life is not a competition nor it is a comparison, participating in either one of those mindsets will rob you of joy and peace.
I would travel to  where I was loved, wanted and respected and give back tenfold what was given to me.
The kiss of reality is a gift that when combined with dreams is an awesome combination to create the life that you were always meant to live no matter your age
.
My wish for you is for the Sun to light your path, for the rain to wash away your fears, and for the breeze to bring you the beautiful kiss of reality.
From Jemma's Home to yours with Love,
xo
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Jemma@athomewithjemma
Jemma@athomewithjemma

Jemma's home is a quiet spot nestled among the trees. You might find me writing, reading, or puttering in my Greenhouse, tweaking a recipe, crafting a wreath or loving on my grands. Always living with a grateful heart.

47 comments:

  1. Jemma, you have eloquently expressed many emotions I struggle with. You have the answer to embrace with thankfulness where you are in life and peace and joy comes.
    Knowing who you are and whose you are and shining that light makes a great difference in the world.

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    1. Transitioning into this spot in life has many components and it is layered with letting go of things which are not meant for us anymore, as well as gracious acceptance. Then add to the mix of it all bodies that aren't working quite the same and clothes which fit differently! The struggle is real and it is a time in life when it is important to redefine the person we really are and embrace the entire process.

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  2. Oh Jemma, I love this!! You have written here what I am slowly coming to realize. It is more important now than ever not to let vanity take away moments spent with loved ones or doing what you truly want to. I actually fear the day my husband says "Let's go to Puerto Rico!" He has been and wants to go back. I would HAVE to pack a swimsuit! I turned 60 this year and suddenly my body is not cooperating like it used to and my skin, well, I won't go there! I have a brand new adorable aqua two piece bathing suit in my chest at the end of my bed. Never worn, but there just in case. I really am coming to reality about aging and I've heard that is what happens when you get older. It helps that I am told all the time that I don't look 60. You are a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit and I love that you are embracing your age by enjoying life. That means I am in great company! BTW, I use Natural Glow tanning lotion. I love it because it does look natural. I started with the light but now I use Medium to Tan and I am fair. Just rub it in really good!

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    1. Good Morning AnnMarie,
      Where the aqua swimsuit, eat the fish tacos, dance in the rain and swim in the sea! Embrace it all and shine your light of joy with the world!
      Thank you for the beauty tip too:)

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  3. This is a beautiful post. In a culture that treasures youth & sends the messages of vanity at all costs, it is a message that is needed in the world. Everyone will age, have body changes & worry about the consequences of growing older. But I try to realize how privileged we are to grow old! Many others have had that option taken away from them too soon. It is a privilege to live long enough to experience the aging process first hand.

    I get to see my children grown! And hopefully their children grow up as well! What a gift! I don't have to love every change but accept it & be at peace with the changes time brings. I try to age gracefully, fighting what I can & accepting that time is marching forward! Let's embrace it & help each other! Because when I look into someone's soul, I don't see wrinkles & gray hair! I see love,friendship & goodness!

    Much love, L

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    1. You know Laura in other cultures aging is embraced and the older are truly viewed as the wiser. We recently attended a Japanese Tea Ceremony and one of the participants shared with us that in their country turning 60 is a monumental celebration!
      It is a privilege to age and although changes in the body can be frustrating, it would be more frustrating to allow those annoyances to prevent us from sailing into our 80's and beyond without a grateful heart and reflecting on a life well lived.
      Much Love back to you!

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  4. Jemma, that is the absolute key to living life fully - embracing where you are and being thankful for it! We are not the ages our adult children are or we couldn't be their moms! We couldn't be the grandma!

    There is still so much life to live and enjoy even at 53 or 60 or 70!


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    1. Deanna,
      Absolutely true. Once we venture into our 40's then creep into our 50's and zoom into our 60's and beyond we are in an entire different place! But wow, what a place it is and viewing it as a blessed adventure changes everything. Put on that swimsuit, play tag, eat the ice cream cone and dance under the stars. It' all good.

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  5. Jemma I am 63. I now live in NC in the mountains, so I am not putting on a suit anytime soon. BUT, I lived in Florida for many years during my 20's, 30's and 40's. I saw girls and women of all ages feeling confident in the bathing suit bodies whether they we in shape and young or in their 80's and not so in shape. When you live in a beach area you learn to appreciate all types of bodies. Loved this post.

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    1. Penny,
      It is true isn't it. We are all unique and beautiful in our own particular way and the sooner we realize it, embrace it, own it, honor it and enjoy it we are set free to live fully.
      Thank you.

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  6. Getting older is a privilege denied to many. I try to never forget that, but for those days when I'm not feeling so confident, the self tanner is nearby ;).

    Wonderful post Jemma!

    xxx

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    1. Good Morning Doreen,
      Indeed it is a privilege and not one to be taken so lightly. It is one to be embraced and a time to develop new skills, hobbies, and adventures. Thanks for the tanning tip too!

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  7. Beautifully written Jemma. Women worry so much about their looks, including me. I turned 67 this year and I do put on a swimsuit. Yes, my legs are so white, so I do like to use the Jersens tanning lotion. I do not have that perfect little body anymore, so I am very aware of those extra pounds here and there. We have a pool and I intend to enjoy it. Think of those nudists that do not have a swimsuit to hide those extra pounds. It is all hanging out.....LOL.
    We deserve to live life to the fullest and not worry about being perfect. I agree, dance in the rain, spend time with family and smile because life is precious. Lots of love to you, Linda

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    1. Linda,
      You know how much I enjoy your spin on life! Yikes a nudist, I am covering my eyes right now and laughing too:) We do deserve to live a life that is full of love, creativity, laughter, joy and acceptance of our quirks and imperfections. Owning the reality is actually a release! Love to you my California friend!

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  8. This post Jemma is why I keep telling you to write a book. You have a great love for so many things and when you finally let the layers of fear unravel happiness surfaced. There are so many great points to this piece and imagine this - if more women would focus on their soul instead of their appearance what a better world this would be. I think back to my Grandma who even in her 90's had a twinkle in her eye that lit up a room with such grace. Remember this, age is just a number... it's how you feel on the inside that counts.. Hugs - Carole

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    1. Carole,
      Well, I have several books in several notepads on several topics started! Thanks for your vote of confidence! I want to be the 90 year old Grandma with a twinkle in her eye and a lilt in her step!

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  9. Beautifully written from a beautiful women inside and out. Loved this Jemma. Great insight.
    Happy New Week.
    Kris

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    1. Thank you Kris, your words are beautiful and full of such support.

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  10. I was planning on buying a bathing suit today. I've been putting it off. I'm a 6 year breast cancer survivor. To say that my body is different from my youth, even different than it was a few years ago is an understatement. Then I've gained weight due to being inactive after a knee surgery. I tell you this to say that I feel your pain! However, like you I've made piece with it - well maybe not that extra 10 pounds.. lol. I choose to be happy, enjoy life and breathe in the day. I know that you have too. You Go Girl. P.S. You look great for sixty!!!!

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    1. Tammy, it is a journey isn't it! I am so happy to hear that you are a 6 year breast survivor that gave me goosebumps! You keep on with this great attitude and buy that swimsuit, and sing in the sunshine and rain!
      Thank you for your uplifting words too:)

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  11. I love this post. Feeling comfortable in one's body is one of the nicest feelings possible.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Amalia,
      Yes, to be comfortable and confident with who you are is a gift. Accepting those challenges of life that are both physically, literally and metaphorically challenging is also another layer of gaining joy and peace with oneself.

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  12. What wonderful truth! I sometimes have to wonder where the years have gone, but so love the spot I am in at this moment! Truly family and their love is what is most important! Thank you for the sweet post!

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    1. Lynn,
      To have family that loves us and nurtures us no matter what means everything doesn't it!

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  13. Dearest Jemma, HELLO! I was outside all day long gardening and what an elixer it is to be among the green trees, shrubs and even the weeds.

    Dear heart, I know how you feel. I put on a pair of shorts for the first time since last summer about 2 days ago. I saw it. I saw the dreaded cellulite on my small frame. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean chicken, nuts, olive oil, all the good things, never touch junk food or even desserts. And I wondered, "WHY do I have this cellulite?" Then like you, I had a much broader thought. I am grateful to be alive, to be 59, to be happy and vibrant, energetic, and to have the love of my husband and others in my life. I used to be beautiful, and thank goodness for having a short but graceful time to enjoy exterior beauty. But the most wonderful thing has happened to me too: I love who I am becoming. Struggles, tears, failures are making me closer to Christ, surprising me even, with different perspectives and reactions that I would not have expected.

    I just told a friend the other day that "I'm not going to be doing any beauty pageants anytime too soon, so why worry about what I look like in short shorts!" If I can walk, if I can move about to create the things I want to accomplish (and look decent in my work clothes), then LET'S GO and relish this life with a smile.

    MUCH LOVE!

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    1. Anita,
      We are healthy eaters as well and even though my frame is more athletic I always exercise, walk miles upon miles, work hard in my gardens and yard. (although I do indulge in sweets hehehe) The changes have happened and from this point on there is no stopping them!
      We shall focus on our connections to good friends, loving family, nature, improving our dispositions, while being so thankful for what we have and where we are that we don't miss one minute of the beauty and goodness.

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  14. Jemma, you are spot on! I couldn't agree more with what you wrote here. Sometimes it is difficult to embrace everything of me, but I am trying to do so every day, and most times it works pretty well (not always). You expressed it so well that I have nothing to add on, but am continuously nodding my head in agreement.

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    1. Yes, lets us stay connected to what is truly important and continue to focus not on ourselves but on the glory of the life around us. It is challenging there is not doubt!

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  15. Yay! I love your positive attitude! You're beautiful. Thank you for being transparent and for inspiring us to love and embrace who we are today.
    Hugs,
    Cecilia

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    1. Cecilia,
      Thank you dear lady:) Positive and thankful!

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  16. Agree. I'm glad you put on the swimsuit and had a wonderful time.

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  17. What a perfectly timed post! I just cleaned out my closet and let go of a lot of items that no longer "fit" my 49 year old body...short skirts, tight tops, teeny bikinis...I haven't worn any of them in years, but I was not ready to let go what they represented. This year, I decided to embrace what I am rather than lament over what I have lost. It's lovely to read your words. I'll hold on to them for when that resolve wanes. ;)

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  18. Do I have words for how much I love this post? There are too many and not enough. Beautifully stated, a dilemma many of us have faced (and will again) and bravo for you! I went through that on vacation too -- finally thinking, "I am with someone who already loves me, warts and all, and won't walk because I look awful in my suit, I am in a place where NO ONE ELSE knows me and if they mock me, do I really card and I'll be darned if I'll stop my fun because of this." But it's a leap and a real come-to moment! I'm so glad you moved forward and shared this. With joy, respect and happiness, I continue to bow down to you!

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  19. This is why I love you so, Jemma. Your heartfelt words are true and wonderful, and I think we all need to hear them. The world can be so cosmetic, and sometimes it gets a bit competitive, and this girl will just not compete or compare because I am also getting up there with age, and with that comes maturity of our minds. It is shorts weather here now, and I was just looking at how light my legs are. But that doesn't stop me from wearing my white shorts hehehe. Thank you for the amazing post, AND THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU, my dear Jemma.

    love, ~Sheri

    ps I bet you looked pretty in your bathing suit because you are pretty inside.

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  20. I thought this was excellent when I read it on FB. I know for a fact that the best times in life come when you're not worried about how you look, when you can just be in the moment completely. And it can be hard to do so your friendly chat was full of wisdom. Life is just too short to be a wallflower and hide. We're children of God and therefore beloved. Beautiful essay, Jemma!

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  21. Beautifully said, Jemma! Imagine how much you would've missed out on with your family had you not put on a swimsuit! Thus said, I haven't worn one in at about 14 years. We haven't been anywhere where I'd need one though. Which is fine with me. :-)

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  22. Jemma, this just made me smile! I am 63 and want to embrace every moment...I want to experience all that God has for me and not do life as a spectator. No, I don't look like the runner I used to be. But, aging is the natural process and rather than fight it, why not enjoy it! This is a great post and thanks for your honesty and for sharing how we all feel!

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  23. Dearest Jenna, what a special and timely post. Yes as we age so does the body. My sweet Italian grandmother used to say, "I'm still young from the neck up" haha!! I made peace with my self and my swimsuit. I decided having a pool means enjoying it and like you said, focus on the joys and the blessings to be alive to enjoy the little pleasures of life. I too have arrived and reached a place in life that lets me accept the imperfections and not fight them. Like you, I take care of myself, eat right, exercise and stay active but let's face it, we can't control gravity!!! haha. Thank you for sharing this special post. Enjoy your swimsuit because you are beautiful my friend!!
    Have a great week. xo

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  24. Good for you, sweet friend!! I hate swimsuits with a passion....the white skin that NEVER tans....the varicose veins I got from Dad....the big freckly arms I got from Mom. But they also gave me blue eyes, fair skin, reddish hair, a quick mind, and musical talent. I must be grateful for my blessings and not worry too much about the swimsuit that I wear so rarely!

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  25. Oh, my friend! This is such a beautiful post! I am SO thankful you embraced the reality and went on ahead and enjoyed your precious time with your family! I found so much encouragement here today and thank you for sharing your heart. You are such a dear blessing!

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  26. Hello, I love your blog and see your pictures.
    Janicce

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  27. Excellent post, Jemma! I'm traveling or I would write more.

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  28. What a wonderful post.
    Aging is a natural process ... and yes, we need to do our best to look after ourselves our health and our bodies and we should live life and enjoy every moment.

    Sending my good wishes for the new month of June.

    All the best Jan

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  29. Hello Jemma, oh thank you for this inspirational post. I too feel the same way as you when I put on a bathing suit. I will have to think of what you said the next time I but on my bathing suit. Thanks.
    Julie xo

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  30. I know for sure that your precious grandchildren loved the fact that you enjoyed the beautiful beach with them instead of sitting on the sand full clothed!

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  31. What a terrific and well written post, Jemma. Too often we can let what we perceive to be the perfect body, the perfect hair, the perfect life as a goal we should strive for. Instead, we should just try to be happy with who we are and share our happiness with those that love us.

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  32. Perfect and timely post for me to be reading Jemma! I swear there's a life change every week to adapt to and I have never adapted easily to change.... especially those that I perceive as negative! I guess I am still a work in progress and some days it really feels like work. This was so inspiring on so many fronts and one that I really needed to read. I am going to follow your lead if that's ok....you're my role model!!!
    ;) xo
    Linda

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