When I was in my 20s, I knew a lot of really incredible women who were in their 40s and 50s who actually put up with my youth and immaturity without killing me. I was lucky. Yesterday in yoga class, I was doing my poses and checking my posture in front of the large mirror, when I heard an echo from those days, but it was coming from my side -- I heard myself think, "I used to be able to do a back bend. I used to be able to do the splits, I used to have a smaller tummy, arms, back, I used to..."
When I would hear these fabulous women of my youth say "I used to..." it would seem strange to me. I was sitting there looking at someone I respected, thought was great and beautiful and all they would talk about was a person from the past that I couldn't see and therefore thought irrelevant. NOW here I am being the "I used to..." person.
So there in some ungodly position in front of the mirror I decided to banish "I used to..." The past is over and gone. I am a person who knows what I want, who lives in the present, who is trying to improve myself, who is doing and being in the present.
It is hard as we grow older to stay present and to realize that we are valuable, beautiful beings in the here and now. I don't want to forget what I was and I won't, but I also don't want to go back there. I may have been thinner and more flexible, but I was not as strong, as centered, as experienced, as tolerant then as I am now.
I am grateful in the present for the life I have lived, the strong and flexible body I have been given, the beautiful people who have graced my life and shown me what it means to live a full and glorious life at any age.