There is nothing wrong with flags. Flags are colorful and usually make a statement, perhaps patriotic. They look great flying from homes, public buildings, and being carried in parades. The one place flags don't look great is on my arms.
Yes, it's true. I recently was struggling into a pull on blouse that had somehow gotten smaller, when I saw them. There were two fleshy flags flapping from the underside of my upper arms.
These banners of the aging process taunted me, hideously dangling from the bone.
Frankly, they startled me. The gray hair wasn't really a surprise. It appeared gradually, but is doused regularly with hair color so that it is barely noticeable. Even the crow's feet and the fine wrinkles I see in the mirror were not as much of a surprise as the flags.
Somehow I had missed them sneaking up on me until that one defining moment, and then, wham! There they were in all their wobbly, fatty glory. They symbolized the fact that I wasn't getting any younger. Now I realize that I could exercise more and probably reduce the size of my flags, but to what end? The second I stopped, they would return, probably bigger and fleshier than ever.
Perhaps I should resign myself to the fact that I am no longer a young woman. The only problem with that is that I feel so young inside. I'm ready to laugh and dance and hang out with the kids. My brain doesn't know that age and gravity have slowly crept up on me. The young woman I used to be is banging on the inside, very anxious to get out.
I really don't see the point in aging gracefully. Graceful, refined women with steel gray hair swept up in a bun do not define me at all. I can't imagine my days sipping tea and listening to violin music.
Pour me a double cola and play some Stones. When I dance, my flags will wave proudly in the breeze. On second thought, I don't think I care.
Copyright 2006 Betty Castleberry
~The author is a retired-early-by-choice RN who lives in Texas with her husband and three parrots. She has a daughter, step daughter, and five grandchildren. She is a published author, and loves to write for the Lord. Email her @
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