Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wrestling the aging beast

Today as I was lining my lips and waving a concealer wand around like a Jedi makeup artist, I looked at the hint of stress at the edges of my face and thought I do not want to fear age.

I want to embrace it.

Why?

I need to tell myself that for each day that passes, I win one more chance to love and laugh. To learn and grow. Form enriching connections and give of myself. And also get better at seeing what kind of life I want.

These are all gifts of time, are they not?

In a society that so values youth and beauty, I want role models for aging happily. The focus should be on the development of our inner selves and on sharing and connecting.

I have always felt comfortable around older peers and I think it's because I love the comfort that comes with experience. I love the palpable sense of self-acceptance, the stories people can tell about their varied and interesting lives, lessons they learned and can share. And when I see women younger and more beautiful than myself, it may sound strange but I often feel sisterly and protective, not envious and prickly. There's no jealousy, only a sense of kinship. (Just stay away from my man!! lol)

Beauty doesn't last forever. Age brings fine lines and smudged faces and aching bodies. But have you ever seen anything more beautiful than a smile? The kind that lights up the eyes and beams an entire world of happiness into your center? There's just no replacement for the kind of warmth you feel when someone you love throws back their head in a hearty laugh.

That's the kind of person I want to be when I'm 90. I want to be smiling.


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12 comments:

LiLu said...

I'm with you. I want to be the cutest little old lady ever, like the grandma from The Wedding Singer.

I probably should learn how to make meatballs if that's gonna happen.

And also to rap...

Daffy said...

This really hit home. Great to read this morning after I spent some time in front of the mirror examining deepening lines. Initially it was the dark circles and bags that screamed HAG at me. Then I remembered how they got there...getting up at 2am to rock my angel back to sleep and then I didn't mind so much. The lines are deeper because I smile so much more now that my girl has completed our family. Great post. Thank you!

Niffer said...

First off, I loved your post. It was beautifully written and I think you're well on your way towards being that happy old lady. Ha ha ha... not age-wise, happy-wise.

I also need to say that I totally agreed with what Daffy said. Just this morning I thought to myself "big boobs really aren't as attractive as I thought they would be." Sure, under clothes and a good supportive bra, they're great. But take that support away and they look like old woman breasts to me. Then I recalled why they look that way. Breastfeeding my precious little girl and preparing to do the same for the next baby... Saggy boobs, deeper winkles, more white hairs, darker eye circles, stretch marks... It's all worth it because I don't think I've ever smiled so much.

Niffer said...

I, too, have always wanted to be the cute old lady who is just happy when I get old. When Michael proposed to me, I told him that I could not marry him unless he promises to become a cute old man because I am determined to be married to a cute old man some day. He'll complete the cute old lady look that I'm striving for. That and the cane.

geekhiker said...

I want to age like Clint Eastwood. Comfortable growing older, but still someone you don't want to f*ck with! :)

And I know it's totally counter to the gist of the post, but you look about 10 years younger than me in that picture!

melissa said...

well. at first i thought you wrote "wrestling the aging breast", and i thought... WHEW! can i ever relate!!

oops.

a beautiful post from one of the most joyful people i know.

Steve said...

Good for you, Holly (and you don't look yr age anyway, so you win on both counts).

As far as I'm concerned, beauty comes from the warmth and joy in someone's smile and the brightness in their eyes, and both of these are expressions of their soul. Souls don't age, they blossom, and they can do that at any time in someone's life.

But then I'm 51, so I would say that, wouldn't I?

Geekhiker said: but still someone you don't want to f*ck with!

That's funny, cos I'd like to become the kind of guy people (well, women) DO want to f*ck with!

deva said...

I absolutely love this post - and your picture is adorable! Keep on smiling :)

talkingtostones said...

Lovely post from a lovely woman, inside and out (and if it's any consolation, the wrinkles you claim to have are not things that anyone sees when they interact with you up close; this post is the first I've encountered them). You're almost always smiling, friendly, welcoming, and warm -- I even smile just thinking about you. Your happiness makes those around you happy as well, so you're helping the rest of us meet your goal, too! When you do (finally) age, you won't even have to try with the smiling. Unless, of course, you lose your teeth in the process. That might make things a little trickier. :> Love ya!

Linda said...

Amen Holly!

And you've already got beauty inside and out. Real beauty does last forever. It comes from inside and radiates outward and upward. And you are right, it shows itself best in a smile and in the eyes.

That's the person you want to be and you're already there!

The Peach Tart said...

That's the kind of woman I want to be too.

Daffy said...

Me again - you've got an award waiting for you over at my blog!

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