Monday, June 10, 2013

Thoughts on aging...

The Baji, Mom, and Me.  Aging gracefully, one day at a time.

On my Facebook feed, a friend of a friend posted about her fear and depression at the thought of turning 30.  It made me sad.  Sad that this should be a point of dread.  For one, 30 is far from old, and two, it only gets better after 30...right?  Then I realized, I'm part of the minority.  30 is the new 20?  Why can't 30 just be...30?  I know, I live in a society that worships youth.  But youth only takes up what, 10-20% of your entire life?  Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.

Every where I look, women are worried about getting older.  Worried about their faces, their boobs, their stomachs, legs, butt.  Either drastic measures are taken, or the towel is duly thrown in.  The option of surrender, acceptance, and change, is not presented as an alternative to the overwhelming anxiety of your cellulite dimpled thighs.  I know.  I get it.  But if you keep worrying instead of adjusting, you will forever be unhappy with how you look and feel- which will age you even faster.

Sure, at 36, I can't eat like I used to.  I gain weight more readily.  Old injuries nag at me.  I am curvier, softer, I have some wiry greys.  My stomach can no longer do sugar or wheat.  I've had to adjust my diet, and I exercise every day.  These things have not been easy to remedy.  It's hard to break lifelong habits, especially those associated with pleasure...like cake.  But I've found a way to evolve WITH my body.  I researched recipes, started cooking and baking things I never have before...and they're delicious.  I see that this is the point where many of us lose the battle.  These changes make us feel sad or helpless- or both.  We mourn the past instead of embracing the present (and future).  You can't win against this beast.  You can only learn how to move with it.  Shift, morph, adapt. 

Because the cliché is true.  You ARE only young once.

So enjoy it and let it go man.  I will be 37 in less than 5 months, and I'm damn happy about it.  I actually can't wait to be forty.  Eighty looks particularly fun to me as well...Iris Apfel anyone?  And yeah, I know, a lot more change is gonna happen as the years float by.  I accept that it's not going to be easy, but I'm committed to paying attention.  To listening.  To evolving.  After all, what choice do we have?  Aging is inevitable.  Are you gonna spend your life worrying about something you can't avoid?  Wisdom is not gained by avoiding the inevitable.  It's gained by facing it.

I am intent on becoming a very old, very wise woman.  Please, come join me.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Skinhead

My first video blog- sorry, 'vlog'- illustrating my latent judgmental leanings.  Eeek.  Feel free to judge me right back.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Authentic Indian

After having a lovely day of yoga and shopping with Olympia (aka The Wife), I had to go to a fitting for a commercial I’m shooting on Monday. When I got the breakdown for the audition last week, I balked at the character descriptions. They asked for Indian men and woman who are AUTHENTIC (their emphasis, not mine). I wondered at this word ‘authentic’. Did they want me in a sari with a red bindi in the middle of my forehead?? Talking all chaat pahti at them? No, it seems I was to wear the standard ‘nice casual’ attire and there were no lines, therefore no use for an accent. Hmm. I decide on the half up, half down hairdo and wear a cute dress over skinny jeans with gold flats. Pseudo Indian. The Canadian-Indian look. Well, it obviously worked, ‘cuz I booked the damned thing.

Fast forward to today. The Wife drops me off and stays long enough to see that they’re dressing me in a Salwar Kameez (long ‘tunic’ shirt, with baggy pants underneath). I know she’s loving it while I, of course, am hating it. I abhor wearing traditional Indian clothing. I think I look terrible in it. And bottom line, it’s just not my steez. Besides, I’m like the least traditional Indian person you’ll ever meet. But, whatevs. I’m an actor, no biggie. I booked a gig, making my dough. All good. I’m being funny at first, making the stylists laugh with my self-effacing humor. I even teach them what each article of clothing is called, which they love. There’s another guy there, who I think must be playing my husband. I joke with him a bit as well. He’s Indian (duh!) and cute. A little on the short side for my height, but I figure we must be sitting down or something. But then I notice they’re dressing him in very trendy clothes. Ok. This is a bit of a disconnect. They switch things up and put me in a very adult, grey dress with a purple cardigan and silver heels. Fine, totally doable. I feel relieved.

Then they ask the director what he thinks- if he wants this, or more ‘sari-ish’. I say a silent prayer that he loves this outfit. Of course, he doesn’t. He looks me up and down, ending up on my eyes- un-makeup-ed and raccooned out- and says ‘Yeah, more sari.’ Ugh. Here we go. After settling on a traditional, matronly outfit for moi, this young, gorgeous Indian girl walks in. Ah.ha. She’s around 20 years old, pretty and fresh-faced. They start giving her all the cool shit. Fab jeans, beautiful tops, and fierce little shoes. I gaze at her. I’m in a sparkly mauve chiffon Salwar Kameez with bells on the edges and bright turquoise 2-inch pumps with super long pointed toes, that are definitely a throwback from1995. Oh. Gawd.

I’m starting to figure it out. My ‘husband’ walks in. He’s big, with a beard and is neither 'young', nor 'hip'. I know they will not be dressing him in the latest men’s fashions. They give him a generic suit and, get this, a fake turban! Yes folks. They wrap a piece of fabric around his head and call it a turban. I pray that no Sikhs see this commercial. We look at each other and laugh. He says, ‘I guess we’re the old folks.’ I laugh on the outside. And die on the inside. Me??? An ‘old folk’?? This can’t be happening. There must be some kind of mistake. Then the young, beautiful, fresh as a summer peach girl, comes over. She asks me if I’m playing her mother. Her mother??? People, I am 33. This girl is 22. Not more than an hour earlier, The Wife and I were being hit on by 19 year olds! 19 year olds!! Not that I would even look at a 19 year old, but still!! Ok, they were driving by and we both had massive sunglasses on…but stiiilll!!

I try to smile through the pain. I pep talk my ego. I mean really, I LIKE being my age. Truly. I like being a strong, grown woman. Fearless, secure and sexy! I would never want to go back in time. I try not to gaze at the 22 year olds’ glowing skin. It’s probably the thing I miss the most. That, and tight upper thigh skin. Sigh. I remind myself that age is inevitable. That no one’s skin glows forever. I know that one day, she will also get older. This gives me comfort. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating. She’s super cool and we’re having a great time together. I know our shoot will be a blast. I just needed to keep myself afloat, ok? Sheesh. My ‘husband’ is hilarious. Jokes all around. I feel ok now. I’ve gotten over the initial shock and am now resolved with my place in life. The outfit that production seems to favor is at least a current, stylish Salwar. It’s also really comfortable, something my mom would wear (which is a good thing).

Then they decide it’s not bright enough.

Oh, holy of holies. The wardrobe woman comes over to me with a bright-as-a-kitchen-curtain yellow, poly-cotton mix Salwar with cheap embroidery that is all puckered and uneven. It is the Indian equivalent of a sweatsuit you would wear to go grocery shopping. And not no Roots or Adidas joint. It’s straight Walmart. Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe it. It is like…my worst nightmare. It’s a total piece of crap. And, of course, production loves it!! I was experiencing reverse Cinderella syndrome.

I walk over to my ‘husband’ with a grimace on my face. It’s time to pose for the group shot. My fellow actors look at me with pity in their eyes. How did I become the pariah? I put my arm through my ‘husbands’ and lean my head on his shoulder, which is the perfect height. They snap the shot, after proclaiming ‘What a nice family!’ to which I rebut ‘Yes, me and my 22 year old daughter!’ It’s time to go.

I change back into my own clothes, and run into my ‘husband’ on the way out. He goes “Wow you look great!” with total shock in his voice and expression, followed by “That outfit they put you in really ages you.”

Um. Yeah.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Skype + The Foreign Spoon


I am addicted to Skype. There, I said it. I can spend my whole day talking to friends that don’t live here, that I haven’t seen in forever. I think I spent a total of 5 hours on there yesterday, talking to 3 different people. Laughing and catching up. And then, today, I spoke to Yanners. Who doesn’t live in another city or country. She lives downtown. Um, yeah. In fact, I just saw her last weekend. At first we were just messaging, and she told me she had a flu and that I should see what she looks like. So then, of course, we start with the video chat. She’s puffy-faced and wrapped in a blanket. Slept till noon, the whole nine. And she’s getting on a plane tomorrow. Yuck. I tell her that, although I open my eyes around 9am everyday, I don’t usually get out of bed till 11am, which then makes me incredibly annoyed with myself. I mean, I don’t go to sleep until about 3-4am, but still, rising at 11am is ridiculous! Yet I cannot seem to kick the habit. I have kicked so many enduring and life-altering habits as of late, but this one just keeps lingering on. Le sigh. In any case, I’m telling Yanners about my lazy butt, and she’s laughing. She tells me I should write about it. That I should revisit my blog. So here I am. And it is all thanks to Skype. Therefore, I refuse to feel as if Skype is sucking valuable production hours from my life. Obviously, it is on my side.

So, it’s been a while, I know. It seems that I lost my humor somewhere between reuniting with the ex-man in January, and breaking up with the ex-man a month and a half ago. But now that he is finally out of my life, I can return to my usual goofy, fascinated-by-the-inanities-of-life Ayesha. Yippeee!! I know, you are all extremely pleased. But, where, oh where to begin?? Let’s start with the Foreign Spoon shall we?

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured out of the cave to make myself a cup of tea. The kettle boils, I take the sugar out of the cupboard and the milk out of the fridge. When I open the drawer to get a spoon, I see something strange. There is a spoon in the drawer that I have never before laid eyes on. A spoon that looks nothing like anything my mother would ever own. A thin, flat-ish spoon with ‘decorative’ lines on the handle. Needless to say, I am completely taken aback. I mean, where on earth did this foreigner come from?? I stare at it, puzzled. Wondering at its existence, here in my mother’s cutlery drawer. How did it get there? Who is responsible? No one seems to know.


As the weeks have progressed, I expected this spoon to disappear as it had appeared- suddenly and mysteriously. But it hasn’t. It’s still sitting there. I refuse to use it. I don’t like it. At all. The look of it, the weight of it. I have expressed my concern to my family and friends, but no one seems to be bothered by the spoon except me. So, everyday, I see it in the drawer and I ponder it all over again. I am obsessed, it’s true. I have been known to be very particular about the utensils I use. I favor certain bowls, plates etc over others. I understand that this may seem ‘crazy’. That it reveals my latent discriminatory tendencies. Tendencies that all human beings possess. But really, I don’t discriminate against people. Or animals. Only kitchen items. So, whatevs. No biggie. Yes, the spoon needs to go, but for some reason I just can’t throw it out. I need to know its origins first. Then, and only then, will it get tossed.


Now I’m off to get ready for workie poo. And to research a writing workshop I can take to further along my play. Script. Whatever the hell it is.


Obviously, I need help.