Learning to appreciate the beauty in getting older
If you ask any woman what the first sign of aging they noticed they will most likely say wrinkles! It is interesting to me how such small lines can create the boldest change in one's appearance.
I've never been a person who really thought about aging, my skincare and makeup routine took about 5 minutes to complete from the time I was 14 and consisted of minimal effort. A good moisturizer with sunscreen, lip gloss and mascara was and still is, my staple. However, that changed a bit after I headed into my late 30's and I found myself researching and investigating multiple products to minimize what aging had begun taking place and hopefully put a halt on any future wrinkles that might be lurking beneath every smile.
Although I loved the wisdom I was gaining from getting older, I wasn't loving the visible routes that subtly mapped out a path to the outer corners of my eyes.
I think most women would agree that wrinkles are not initially viewed as a positive part of aging. At first, they are almost seen as a form of punishment for getting older rather than a life well-lived. But, my thoughts and feelings on getting older has shifted and feels different than I expected it to. I'm guessing that having a cancer diagnosis instead of a mid-life crisis at 40 had something to do with that. To be honest, even as I've gotten older I still never really think of myself as being old, partly because my maturity level hasn't raised since 5th grade but also because I don't think of myself that way. Even with my wrinkles notably visible, it took me overhearing my teenage children referring to people in their 40's as almost ancient to do a double take in the mirror.
Hearing their perspective on how they view someone they consider to be old made me reflect on how I feel at 48 years old, what exactly it means and looks like for me.
Physically, I feel pretty good. I am blessed to not have any chronic issues thus far and don't take my health for granted. The obvious changes of being 48 are the vanity ones, like wrinkles. Nothing is quite as smooth and firm as it used to be and if there was magic cream that could make the deep lines completey invisible I would get it! Yet, I know that these flaws are a part of who I am and I've earned every one. These lines have added value to my 20 and 30 year old smooth, naiive face by providing newfound insight, grace and understanding in each one.
When I see them as part of my older reflection in the mirror, I'm grateful. Grateful that I am still here. Grateful that God has allowed me to live a life filled with ups and downs and everything in between. Each one of these lines marks a milestone of triumphs and trials. They remind me of what's really important and that I should be proud and humble but boldly wear them like badges of honor. They are a part of who I am today. It is in the lines and imperfections where the story of my life has been written and I would never want to erase that.
When We Acknowledge And Appreciate Our Own Inner Beauty, We Begin To Seek It Out In Others
Appreciating my story allows me to appreciate the story of others. I've become less interested in the surface appearances of women and more interested in discovering the routes they've encountered that have led them here. Their beauty radiates through the journey they've endured in their past and their optimism for the future. I would never want to diminish or erase the peace and growth that comes with age. It's important that we recognize and value these lines that we will all eventually wear. The beauty we possess is more than skin deep and we are more than just a wrinkle in time.