I am making this the year of focusing on the benefits on being in my forties. (See: A Mom Comes To Terms With Her Aging) In my youth, herein referred to as B.40 Jen, (not to be confused with UB40 and the wonderful song, Red Red Wine, which I do enjoy and need as A.40 Jen) I was quite judgmental. If a mom didn’t say “Hi” in the nursery school hallway, I would think, “What a bitch.” Now, I think she is just a little shy or has a little social anxiety. If a woman didn’t leave her cheating husband, I would think, “Moron”, now I think she is brave and thoughtful in her decision to work on her marriage. And even the bragging moms B.40 Jen used to run away from in the grocery store, now I think, they are just really, really, really, proud of their kids.
But there is still one thing nagging at me. One thing I am having a hard time reconciling. The Naked Lady in the spa hot tub. Recently on a girls’ spa weekend, I came across a number of these naked ladies. The faces I can’t remember, from the neck down, those images will stay with me for a while. Bodies not so young, boobs not so high, landscaping a little overgrown.
So as I sat terrified in the back left corner of the tub, I started to think about Naked Lady’s life, and why it was she felt so comfortable letting it all hang out. She didn’t care that she didn’t look perfect, or that I was staring for an uncomfortably long time. Naked lady realized that life’s too short to care so much about being perfect or being judged. She has worked hard raising her kids, taken care of her husband, excelled at her job, and she has earned the right to do what she wants to do. For her, age has gifted her the confidence to say, “Whatever”. The confidence we try so hard to instill in our girls from the moment they can understand our words. Naked Lady probably hasn’t even peaked, but she is well on her way. And if she wants to hang out in the spa and literally let it all hang out, then she deserves to do so. Infectious, hot tub diseases be damned.
And even though A.40 Jen imagined her entire conversation with Naked Hot Tub Lady, as she was a little delirious after spending too long in the mineral steam room, A.40 Jen will no longer judge Spa Naked Ladies. (could be next great pop band) A.40 Jen will respect them more. A.40 Jen will now look them in the eyes and smile.
And A.40 Jen will still wear a cute bikini in hot tubs.
photo courtesty of bestlife.com