Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Aging

I think I noticed it first on Eric; the white hairs on his beard and the smile lines at the corners of his eyes were deepening. Then I saw it on myself in lines that don't quite disappear, my always round cheeks are little less round. We are aging! How strange to age. 

I remember, as a girl, older women telling me that they were surprised when they look in the mirror, to see that they were no longer young children or young women. I would look at them and try to imagine them as young and it seemed impossible that this woman had ever been a child, but she was telling me that she still felt that child inside of her.

I see how our culture looks at aging women versus aging men and it isn't great. I have always seen it and that is why I started smothering myself in lotion at the age of twenty; a fear of...not aging so much, but a sort of becoming invisible or irrelevant with age. I hate that! I love the idea of a culture that equates age with wisdom or experience and a different stage of beauty, but that isn't always our reality here in the US.

Right now I am somewhere at the tail end of my youth, but I don't really feel that same fear of aging. Any time I think about aging I remind myself of that old anonymous quote," Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." And when I think about that I am thankful. I want my children to see the laugh lines  deepen and know that they played a role in their appearance. I want my children to see me age and age and when it is finally time for me to go I want them to know full well that I did what I could with the time that I had.

Of course I am still applying sunscreen and lotion on the reg, but now I look at those lines which are just starting to take shape and I try to appreciate them for what they are, evidence that I am living my life and a reminder that each and every moment is a gift.

 


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