Vanity is sanity – Literally Letty blog

Photo: Letty Glancing out to the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.

Dance Recital at the Coleman Theater.

All these many years my legs have pulled me through the
times of growing pains and comparisons.
A Twiggy or Brook Shields I will never be.
When pimples and body fat appeared on my body,
I winced and groaned as I looked in the mirror.
Sighing heavily, I shaved my legs while humming:

“What the world needs now is love sweet love.
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”

Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
What the World Needs Now (click to hear the music) 

USGA Jr. Girls Championship.

 

 

Through childhood and college years these legs kicked and danced in recitals and drill teams.

They walked golf courses and campuses supporting golf clubs or books.

 

 

 

 

 

Watching a lengthy downhill putt on #6 at Oakwood CC, Enid.

During the decades of raising kids, it was my legs that pushed me forward,
that withstood days when I felt like buckling.
Our family Saturday outings took us to the Duck Pond where we jogged
around the workout/walking path or ran the track,
Teaching our children the importance of commitment to fresh air and
movement.
My legs glistened in the summer heat,
reminding me that they held me fast to the ground, like roots of the trees.

For a decade I wore short skirts, just to show off my legs,
a mere glance at my vanity.
The next few decades I wore mid-length skirts and shorts, but by my fifties
my knock knees caved inward, my feet gave out
with arches falling and toes twisting.
What’s a girl to do?
“Vanity is sanity,” the older women told me when I was young.
I began to understand.

I dared myself in my sixties to wear skorts on the golf course,
and sometimes felt self-conscious when I bent over to line up a putt.
I looked around and gained confidence watching women carry themselves
proudly on the golf course in stylish clothing.
Vanity is sanity, I began to see it in their faces and posture.

Letty and Dawn laughing and posing in Bitch Wings at Belmar CC.

One day, as I danced a step of joy after making a lengthy putt, my left heal
kicked my right shin bone, oh ouch!
It bruised immediately showing a bold blood red and purple splotch.
What happened?
Another day my dog pawed me with affection leaving a streak of dark
red bruising down my leg, the next day it was my arms that bruised.
The decades were showing signs of aging, my skin was no longer lush
and rich with collagen.
Don’t they make a pill for this, I screamed in my head.
It was pills for back pain that thinned the skin!
Vanity is sanity. Now I understand.

No defeat for a woman who walks with confidence.

“I am woman hear me roar….
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul.”

Lyrics by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton
I Am Woman (click to hear the music)

There are clothes for this:  fitted pants still show the legs but not the scars.
These legs of mine stand strong but bruised.
I work them out regularly at the gym keeping my posture upright.
Then treat them with tender loving care and lotions galore both night and day.
Vanity is sanity. Now I understand.

How long these legs will carry me, is one of the mysteries of our lives.
I can’t prevent the effects of aging but I can love who I am.
Heading into the grays of the approaching winter days and decades,
I am proud to be a Baby Boomer breaking in another decade.
Now I understand. Loving yourself is not vanity, it is sanity.

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