Wednesday , June 20, 2018

Lim: Flow vs vibe

I’M looking at my body the other day, trying to analyze what is terribly wrong with it. Something is bugging me…I try to pull back some skin on my abdomen…and voila…I realize what it is…my sagging stomach. Déjà vu.

Two years ago, I look in the mirror and wonder what these strange indentations on my face are. After pulling back the skin on my face, it dawns on me that they are lines caused by sagging, ageing skin.  

I realize it now. Climbing 4,095 meters is a lot easier than defying gravity.

Maybe that’s why a lot of people turn to the scalpel when things go south. Well, I’m not there yet. And it’s not because I don’t think I need it. It’s because I’m scared to death of the scalpel.

I prefer other solutions like skincare, exercise, healthy eating, sleeping early and avoiding stress to combat ageing. Okay. Don’t laugh. I know I don’t do the last two. But I’m trying. I will get there too. One day.

Before my kidney surgery, the golden girls were so concerned about how the surgical scar might mar my body. To make me laugh, they sent me photos of all kinds of sexy swimwear designed to cover up my scar, post-surgery.

Truth to tell, it was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to wake up from surgery, alive and well, fully functioning and still able to live a life of meaning. My sister told me, though, “You don’t care now. But after you survive, you will care about how you look.”

And she was right. In fact, one of the most depressing moments post-surgery was the bloating in my abdomen that wouldn’t allow me to get back into my old jeans. (I had to get new ones.) And one of the happiest moments post-surgery was fitting back into my old jeans. That was a moment of pure bliss.

But everyone was wrong about the surgical scar. It does not look hideous, at all. In fact, it is the envy of all I’ve shown it to who’s had surgery. Now, among friends and family members, we compare surgical scars and invariably, the skill of our surgeons.

I have shown my scar to many doctor friends here and abroad and they are all in awe of the workmanship. So now, I’m actually proud of it. Nothing wrong with the scar—just the body.

What can I say? It can be a bit depressing to look in the mirror and see everything going south, not just your stomach. But it’s not easy to turn the clock 30 years back. But let’s aim high so if we fall short of our goals—like just hit 20 years back—it should still be good enough.

I always told myself I’d grow old gracefully—that I would go with the flow. Well, turns out, I don’t have the character for it. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for someone like me to go unresisting with the tide. So I’ve decided to just “go with my vibe.” After all, you know what they say, “Only dead fish go with the flow.” And I’m very much alive.