It’s often difficult to find the beauty of aging. I have struggled with this and the realization that I look different then I did twenty years ago. I sometimes find myself looking at a photo or in the mirror thinking who is this person before me. I sometimes spend extra time fixing my hair and applying makeup to try and hide the changes that have occurred. Recently Steve took a picture of me. No makeup, hair a mess, and completely un-staged. I couldn’t believe this man liked this picture of me and I was mortified when he shared it. I started to question, “why do I dislike the way I now look?” I must be a hypocrite, because I’m always saying that one should love themselves and not put so much emphasis on vanity. I had to dig deep inside myself to change the attitude I had about myself and this is what I found.
My hair is thinning. This one is easy to figure out. It’s because I spend so much time with my hair blowing in the wind. From a child riding her bike. A young woman out with friends, maybe at an outside event. Riding in the car with all the windows down. I’ll gladly take that thinning hair. After all I would much rather have those experiences, both past and the ones coming in the future.
The lines in the corners of my eyes. Those lines are for all the tears I’ve cried. Not only tears of sorrow. but tears of joy. The tears of sorrow taught me what’s important to cherish in life and what’s not worth my tears. I learned lessons from those tears and know that no matter what happens in the future I’m going to be okay. The tears of joy, remind me of all I have to be thankful for in this life. The little surprises that may just be around the corner. The anticipation of not knowing where my life will take me.
My eyes are not as wide. This comes from wisdom. It’s not a cliché when someone tells you wisdom comes with age. I used to look at the world differently. I was naïve and could easily be fooled. I used to care way to much about making other people happy instead of taking care of myself too.
My drooping chin. This was a hard one! I can only image it’s from all that hits I’ve taken over the years. The ones given by life or others. The psychological hits that don’t leave a bruise, but sting just as hard. You know what… I’m still standing, so take that drooping chin..
The weight gain. This came from the freedom to stop judging myself and allowing others to judge me. I spent way to much of my life starving myself. Trying to achieve someone else’s standard of beauty. As young woman we fall victim to this unobtainable standard of what our weight should be. When I say I used to starve myself, I mean I literally starved myself. I love to eat and why should I continue to deprive myself. Now I’m not saying that I should eat everything on sight, but I can now sit down and enjoy good food without regret.
My laugh lines. Nothing more needs to be said. This is self explanatory. In fact, I plan on working to make them ever deeper as the years go on
So what am I saying about the beauty of aging? Simple, Love who you are and what you look like as you age. It took you a lot to get here and even more to come. Embrace those lines and wrinkles. I bet you had a good time getting them.