No filter, no makeup, just Kerry
Until I moved to the USA, I had no idea that some people did not believe in the concept of evolution. Charles Darwin and some brave predecessors deciphered the basic tenets of evolution despite wide dissent. His book ‘On the Origin of Species’ was a masterpiece although undoubtedly flawed. As more fossils of every species are uncovered our knowledge changes and develops. The virus Covid-19 is a master of change, evolution and mutation. The sadness of a pandemic is that we are all affected – two members of my family have died from Covid-19. One was 22 years old.
With intolerable mass shootings in the States and rising violence throughout the world, one can see that the effects of the Pandemic ripple out. A tsunami is barely noticeable at sea until it hits the shore with devastating results. Not everything about ‘now’ is negative. Most of us have stopped and smelled the flowers. Our gardens or plant pots are better cared for than they ever were. Our pets and garden animals are subject to our endless gazes or affection.
Quarantine started at a pivotal time in my life. Last year I turned 60 years old; officially becoming a senior. My husband is retiring this month and our lives will turn a new corner. I doubt I would have paid much attention to sexagenarian status without the Pandemic. In my denial, there would have been endless fashion posts, new makeup and exciting hair colors. Instead, we all slumped into loungewear and natural skin. At first that felt great but now it is boring yet comfortable.
I have a mild form of body dysmorphia and rarely see the truth in the mirror. Curiously, when I was obese, I thought I looked fine and now I always want to be slimmer/younger/prettier. I am not alone, supermodel Pauline Porizkova recently stated that she was somewhere between Jennifer Lopez and Betty White; referencing the invisibility that older women feel. What is wrong with ageing? It should be something we aspire to but modern society is consumed by the idea of eternal youth.
It doesn’t help that this last year has made most of us look a little older; the stress shows in our furrowed brows. A smile would change our visage but it is masked. Now we look out for crinkling around the eyes to see that someone is smiling at us. In this new thoughtful phase of my personal evolution, I am beginning to accept that I am an attractive older woman. Young men won’t whistle anymore but I get appreciative glances from older men who also feel sad about ageing. My mother was a beautiful woman who aged gracefully. A neighbor once made the cruelest comment to me referencing my mother, “Isn’t it sad when beautiful women age?”
My personal evolution is deeper than that. I mentioned in the previous post, Change is Inevitable, that I didn’t like what I saw behind my eyes. If you asked a friend to describe me, the words kind and funny might be said. During self reflection during sequestration the following words seemed more apt. Impatient, testy, judgmental, insular, anti-social, fussy, undeviating and unkind. Was I a good manager or am I inflexible? Am I a good friend or wife? Not always. I could blame my mental illness for some negative elements of my personality but that is disingenuous. In my life, I have met so many mentally ill people who were adorable, the opposite or somewhere betwixt.
Prior to the pandemic, I worked, volunteered and was social. When we first moved overseas, I made a huge effort to be social and get involved with my community. This continued with the move to Texas but it is not my natural self. I struggle with small talk, coffee mornings or girl’s nights out. WordPress has been a source of comfort for me to meet like-minded people. Quarantine gave me the perfect excuse to retreat to my nest with my bonded mate and I know how lucky we are. So, what is the outcome of this reflection? I am going to try to be a better person to everyone I know. My base personality will remain the same but I can be thoughtful, gentler, compassionate and sweeter. My evolution has not finished and wouldn’t life be dull if it did?
This is a Pizzly Bear (courtesy of BBC)
Climate change is affecting all species, in particular the Polar Bear. As the world warms, Grizzly Bears are moving further north and interacting with Polar Bears. In a wonderful turn of events, they are interbreeding and their hybrid cubs are fertile. They are the same species but one is brown and the other white. All of homo sapiens were brown before the diaspora from Africa. Those who went furthest north developed fair skin, over generations, to allow their skin to access essential Vitamin D from the weaker sun’s rays. You could describe this as a mutation or evolution. I identify with the Pizzly Bear, we are both of mixed race, have wrinkles and we are BEAUTIFUL!