Month: April 2016

The Vanity of Aging “Well”

How many people do you know get Botox treatments, collagen injections, or any number of different procedures aimed at keeping them young looking for as long as humanly possible? I’ve met people and friends of friends who are addicted to staying young-looking by any means possible.

It gets difficult to resist – not only are we bombarded by images of beautiful, follicle-free, simultaneously skinny and voluptuous models (yeah, like that’s normal), but to top it off, our aging friends start telling us how “normal” it is to get your gray hairs vanquished with dye, wrinkle-numbing shots and fat frozen off (okay, I’m kind of curious about that last one). It’s easy to get caught up in all of it.

I’m not so spiritually superior that the thought of staying youthful looking for as long as possible isn’t in the least bit alluring for me. On top of it, I’m a chick and single – so the pressure is on to compete with all the young hotties if I want to attract a partner at some point! Actually, I’m quite fortunate in that I tend to look about 8-10 years younger than I actually am. And while that may let me snub my nose at all the latest “treatments” out there, I know darn well that I actually take pride in looking younger than I am (not just gratitude, but pride). Which sort of pisses me off that I would take pride in being youthful looking, even if it is naturally occurring, because it’s no different than those who take the same pride in their looks but pay for it! LOL.

Anyway, I am not entirely sure where I wanted to take this post. Do I want to encourage people to just be themselves, age naturally, and stop worrying about how others see them? Definitely. But am I really the poster child for that message? Probably not. My age shows more than I like to admit and I do what I can to hide it. Gravity has taken hold in the derriere department, a few grays have sprouted, there is the occasional thick black chin whisker that women of a certain age often get, and old sun damage is starting to show up. So I haven’t done anything about it other than dressing in ways to cover any “problem areas”, and I’m not saying I won’t succumb to some tempting miracle-zapper-doohickey-treatment at some point. But the point is, I’d actually like to stop calling any areas of my body “problems“.

In fact, what I am saying, in a roundabout kinda way, is that I actually love getting older. I just haven’t learned to overcome my conditioned belief that it’s awful. I really do love the signs of age and what they tell of our journeys. I meet people who have spent a lifetime working outdoors and I appreciate the generous and deep facial lines that say “I’m not someone stuck indoors at a computer all day!” And who doesn’t love someone with deep lines around the mouth that say “I will always have a smile to lift your mood, no matter what”? Then there are those whose bodies show the struggles, hardships, or maybe addictions they’ve endured. Those can spark a deep compassion.

So no matter what your age, your number of gray hairs, the depth of the lines on your face, the proximity to the floor that your booty now has… we ARE beautiful exactly as we are! Despite what all the businesses that want to make it rich tell us, we don’t need to look like we’re in our twenties forever. We are still lovable, happy, employable, and in many countless ways as fabulous as ever without having to “fix” our physical signs of aging.

While I haven’t yet reached a point of doing anything more drastic than an occasional teeth bleaching, I see the value in simply taking care of my physical body. Light exercise, good diet, moderate alcohol intake, no drugs, regular meditation…. In other words, I choose to live in harmony with what is natural, be moderate in my efforts to promote physical well-being and outside of that, accepting the chips (or the derriere) where they fall. Trying to control it all seems too exhausting and futile anyway.