The other night, while getting ready for bed, I was standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom going through my usual routine. My husband came in a few minutes later to brush his own teeth. Before starting, he was admiring himself in the mirror and made some comment about how lucky I was to be married to him. I cocked my head to the left and made a smirking face. As I turned back toward the mirror, I caught the smirk still on my face. I was shocked and thought, “When did my mother get here?”

For years I have heard that I look just like my mother. I went through different stages of reactions to that, much like my look-a-like daughter does. My mom looks very young for her age and compared to many of my friends’ parents, she is young. She is still in good shape, covers her grays and wears fashionable clothes. However, there is no denying that she is older than me. As she has said many times, the sand in her face has shifted.

Is that what is happening to me? When I put on moisturizer that night, I noticed a lot more wrinkles. My cheekbones are more defined than they have been in the past. With my hair pulled back, I can see a lot more graying spots around the frame of my face. I am no longer the age I feel on the inside.

While standing at Walgreens the other day, I noticed a sign that read “We will card for cigarettes for any person looking younger than 40.” The legal age in IL is 18. Seems like they are being too cautious. What 40 year old looks younger than 18? Although I have seen many women try to dress younger, their age shows in their face and hands.

Around Lent last year, I planned to write a blog post about giving something up. A couple years before, I successfully gave up biting my nails. I rewarded myself with a manicure and have kept them long ever since. My blog was supposed to be an inspirational/if-I-can-do-it-so-can-you-too kind of thing. I asked my daughter to take a picture of my nails for the blog post. When I looked at them on the computer screen, I decided to scratch the whole idea. Although I thought my hands looked pretty from my point of view, I noticed that in the picture, the hands belonged to some older woman.

But that is okay. Getting older is the essential part of a long life. My 90-year-old grandmother always says she isn’t planning having any more birthdays. I tell her that she has to have birthdays, she doesn’t just doesn’t have to celebrate them. The alternative to not having more birthdays is death -I choose aging any day!

I am going to end this pity-party with a quote that many of you have seen before. I think I might hang this up on the bathroom mirror!

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!”

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