Mom Embraces the Wisdom of Aging, but Not the Wrinkles

Filed under: Opinions

I am 41 years old and, of all the things I've learned to accept in my life, aging has not yet become one of them.

The day my lipstick starts bleeding up the newly-formed lines on my upper lip is the day the astronauts will hear me screaming all the way from the International Space Station.

I know. Aging is a normal process of life. I should embrace it. It is abundantly clear, however, that I haven't found it within me to do that.

There are things I like about being older. I have more courage to try things, even if I might fail. I'm more confident as a parent. I don't care anymore what I look like at school drop off. (Just ask the people who see me there, without makeup, wearing the same sweatshirt for the third day in a row.) I have great friends who are mature and interesting and don't put on airs. We don't have to pretend to be something we're not with each other. It feels good to settle into yourself and get comfortable.

Yet the physical process of aging just peeves me to no end. How does it happen that I've looked almost the exact same way for a good two decades, and then in the space of one year I have wrinkles in places I didn't know wrinkles could form. Where did all these chin hairs come from? When did these deep frown lines suddenly appear? And the feathering above my upper lip? I'd be lying if I didn't say I outright despise it. I frantically rub creams and lotions there, hoping to evict what I know will only keep fighting its way into moving in forever.

Please don't tell me that I'm vain and shallow, or that I don't have anything more important to worry about. I have plenty of important things with which to be concerned, and they duly concern me. I realize my face doesn't hold a candle to those things, yet I'm still pissed off about what's happening to me.

I looked up the word vain in the dictionary, and Merriam-Webster says it means having or showing undue or excessive pride in one's appearance. I have a limited amount of pride, maybe a smidgen or slightly more, in my appearance. I don't think I'm a runway model and I don't think I'm the girl ogre in Shrek, either. Maybe somewhere in the middle. I highly doubt this would constitute excessive pride, so why can't I let go of the youth in my face?

I've had no problem letting go of the youth in my clothes. You won't find any short shorts, jumpsuits or rompers in my closet, and I'm not at all disappointed with letting go of the latest hip trends. I can still dress stylishly but with an eye to my own age group.

I've let go of the youth in my arts and entertainment, too. I laugh at the fact that I don't recognize half the celebrities in US Weekly, which I find fun to flip through whenever I'm on a plane. And the MTV Music Awards? No clue who these people are. I've never seen a Justin Bieber video.

I feel perfectly okay with every other change except those in my appearance. The transformation bums me out, which is odd, since I think older women are just as beautiful as young ones. It's just my own aging that bugs me.

Perhaps this is just one of those life transitions into which I will eventually settle. At this moment, though, if I had the money I can't say I wouldn't be at a dermatologist's at 9 a.m. tomorrow asking for Botox and line fillers. Have you seen Demi Moore or Jane Fonda lately? I'll be glad to make a deal with that devil.

For those of you in my same predicament, does it get easier? Does it bother you as much as it does me? What have you done to accept how your body changes as you get older?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.