by Frances Edstrom, columnist
Most of us experience some “relaxing” of body tissue over the years. But those of us who have lived several, ahem, decades, are daily surprised by how this can appear literally overnight. Also surprising is the number of parts of the body can experience this “relaxing.” I just had surgery to tighten muscles in my eyes! What?! How insulting.
However, today I hauled out my warmer clothing to dress for the cool, dreary weather, and I discovered a wonderful thing. As I tried on the clothes, it became clear that the sometimes-brutal winter has a redeeming quality that I have not before now noticed — winter clothes!
Winter clothes have a way of being able to cover up most of the relaxing body parts, and make me feel almost young again. Wool is great stuff, isn’t it? At the same time that it keeps me warm, it covers up knee sags, spare tires, flabby arms and a bunch of other hanging stuff.
I know that some of my women readers will be saying to themselves, “Hey, what about hot flashes?” To that I answer, “Off on, off on!” Think how much more manageable hot flashes are in the winter. Summer hot flashes require immediate access to a fan or air conditioner. Winter hot flashes only require you to take off your sweater. Think of it like this: all this off-on action is good exercise, too.
Even though I hate cold weather, and dread having to navigate snowy sidewalks and icy steps, I am going to write in indelible ink on my forearm, “Thanks, Winter!” Then every day when I pull on a wool sweater and wool pants and wool socks, instead of telling myself to hold in my stomach, and cringing at the lumps and bumps I see in the mirror, I’ll be able to leave the house a happy woman.
Now that I have written this, of course, the predictions of a bitter winter will prove to be false, and I’ll end up looking fondly at a pile of wool sweaters in a drawer, and be forced to go, ugh, sleeveless, in January.
But for now, with the bloom of summer dimming, the trees signaling the end of the growing season, beginning of the sleeping season, and coming white season, I am holding on to the joy of discovering my cold-weather clothing and their hidden assets.
(Check back with me in February. By then I’ll be sick of wool and be yearning for seersucker!)