Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Life is Written All Over My Face

The landscape of my face is changing. I have lines around the eyes, between eyebrows, on my forehead, on the sides of my mouth, and, as my husband pointed out, above my upper lip. I knew those vertical lines were there; it looks like I was a life-long smoker, but it wasn’t until my partner pointed to them and said, “Where’d they come from?” that I, (I can’t believe I’m saying this) thought, "maybe Botox?”

I am so adamant about not having plastic surgery. I can’t stand that alien look on so many who have become obsessed with the practice and I vowed I’d never go that route. Although I am none too happy about those noticeable lines criss-crossing my face, I think my Botox consideration was a fleeting one.

I cannot imagine having something foreign and unnatural injected in me just for vanity’s sake.

One of my very dearest friends, Kathy, is my inspiration for growing old gracefully. It’s not that Kathy is my aging mentor or anything, she’s actually just a couple years older than me; rather it is the attitude she has always had about older people that inspires me. She is drawn to the beauty of aging.

Hands that are work-worn from years of toil are a sign of character, someone who has worked hard all their life

Wrinkles that line an aged face tell the story of a life well lived.

A back bent or a cane-assisted walk tells the tale of a body that has journeyed far and done much. Eyes and ears that no longer work as well as they used to must have, in their day, seen and heard amazing things.

These physical changes are but a reminder that the passage of time has a natural effect on the human body, and what is wrong with that? Why are we so determined to fight the natural aging process? Sure, I want to age in a healthy manner that allows me a long time on this earth, but I don’t want to spend my time, energy, money, and emotional well-being on worries that I don’t look good enough.

I am drawn to a natural beauty, be they young or old. So I am hoping that as I continue to age, I can maintain myself in a manner that pleases me when I gaze into my mirror. I may not ever be satisfied completely - there will always be ways I think I can improve, wistful thinking about what once was, but I am pretty sure that I can talk myself down from doing any drastic procedures.

No, I want to be one of those beauties, inside and out, that my friend, Kathy admires. I want my hands, face, body, and senses to inform me of the places I have been, the things I have done, the events I have been witness to. I’m okay with the changing landscape of my face. It’s my map to where I’ve been and to where I am headed.

It is, to be sure, the Cycle of Life. 

By the talented artist, Carole Bourdo


Judith Mercado said...

We share the same attitude about aging, though I must admit that I sometimes weaken in my resolve to stay away from "helpers" when I look in the mirror and don't find the 22-year-old I sometimes think I still am.

L.T. Elliot said...

I feel the same way. It would feel like erasing the roadmaps of my life. Each of them have led me to the person I am today and all of them are memories that make up me.

Jeanie said...

I love so much of what you said in this post. There is beauty, even in the aging face. I can't say I love seeing the parentheses around my mouth or the 11 on my forehead, but I hope I have something on the inside that surpasses these outside changes.