Showing posts with label Aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aging. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Who the hell is that?

Grace has a very small mirror, maybe 4"x4", on a cabinet door right above the sink, right in front of my face. That means every time I look up from the sink I'm looking at myself. This isn't something I deliberately do these days because holy cow, I'm looking old. I saw my doctor within the last six months and she asked me my age and I told her. I mean, she's a doctor; she must have heard everything by now, right? So I told her and told her the truth because she has the means to verify it. She looked over at me appraisingly, and said, you look good! She didn't say for your age but you and I both know she was thinking it.

Well, in that past several months I've caught up to my age or something. It could be I'm seeing the effects of some weight loss (something else I can honestly say Thank you, dear! to Bob the ex-husband for), or the stress in that same stretch of time, or it could be I'm getting old. Wait, older. I won't be old until I'm well into my 80s. Middle age lasts a long, long time at my house.

I looked into that mirror the other day, quite accidentally, and was caught in an evil spell that wouldn't allow me to look away. My face is going south! And east and west, but north has lost the fight. What is this slackness, these lines that someone mean would call wrinkles? That map across my forehead? Those vertical lines between my eyebrows that common folk call frown lines but what I prefer to think of as lines of deep contemplation? These little jowly things along my jawline? I remember them in my mother's and aunt's faces but also distinctly remember forbidding them from mine. Well, hello, here they are.

I gathered some courage and took quick glances at the rest of the body. First off, let's agree that gravity works. If it wasn't for a bra, there would be nothing horizontal about my breasts. The skin on my arms and legs has texture! It's not supposed to have texture! I remember smooth, don't I? I'm sure I do. There are actual waves in the skin on the inside of my thighs. Yeah, they're shallow but I can see them. I'm hoping it's just the angle. Age spots, prominent veins, and, frankly, ugly knuckles on my hands but in all fairness the ugly knuckles might have been there all along. I'm not even going to look at the rear view or linger on the belly. I've seen enough.

Believe it or not, people used to say I was pretty, that I had a lovely complexion. The thing is, I didn't think of myself as pretty. I knew people thought that but I didn't feel it. We're so hard on ourselves, aren't we? Now I see some photos of myself from back then and am blown away by how beautiful I was, and I never knew it. I wish I had; I would have taken full advantage of it. I don't know how or for what, but why let it go to waste?

Somehow I don't think in 20 years I'm going to look at photos of myself taken today and be blown away by how good looking I was at 60. What I'm waiting for is for some of this inner beauty that I'm supposed to have to start seeping out. I'm waiting...... Until then, I guess I'm going to have to get through life on my merits. I hope I don't run out.

Edited at 8:15: Overnight, and I know it for a fact because it was not there yesterday, a wattle has not sprung up, oh no, it has pooched out and down in my neck. It's the beginning of the end.


Thought for the day:
I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that. (Lauren Bacall)