On Aging + Its Beauty
I turned 45 this year and I do believe its true what they say about feeling more at home in your own skin in your 40s than ever before. I love my laugh lines and my forehead wrinkles. They remind me when I am down that I have had enough happy times to make those creases in my skin so it can't all be bad all the time.
Tyler, thank you for this! It wasn't until my 50's that I really started to see the aging taking shape before my eyes...and although I sometimes wish the reflection were a better representation of what's within, I do love that I know myself intimately through every stage of my life. My oldest friend - of 43 years now - started doing weird shit to her face back when we were still in our 30's. When I look at her now, I'm filled with sadness for the loss of expression on her face, for the lack of appreciation for what she should look like at this age, and for the desperate desire to hang on to a youthfulness that seems almost homogenous in it's cultural consistency. I'm working to normalize aging: to foster appreciation for the gray hairs and the lines that define a well-lived life, as well as the vitality and potential that is still very alive within our aging bodies. 💗
At 52 I know there is more behind me than ahead. I intend to age gracefully ~ let it all go gray!!! Lines??? Earned and appreciated. I'll be the sassiest crone you'll ever know!!!!
In the words of The Amazing Devil "Your eyes aren't rivers there to weep, but a place for crows to rest their feet..."
I cherish my (very small number) of gray hairs, the lines that laughter has tracked along my face... I am reminded of the story of the bear that has been loved so hard and looks bedraggled... and he says "that's when you become *real*". It isn't something that I think should be used to disparage youth, of course, because especially as mum to a teenage boy I know how *real* they are, but moreso that overall the stories of our lives and loves being written across our faces is part of that reality.
Age is just a number anyway.
You asked what poem we may want a back story for. You have one poem that I almost know in its entirety because it hit me like a ton of bricks-It starts " We will die unfinished"
THAT is a brutal truth.
This is timely. My son (my oldest) is 33 today, and every birthday he has never fails to make me feel my age, and then some. How am I old enough to have a 33 year old? The crow's feet are there, along with more of the silver streaks that time paints in my hair. I know I've earned them, along with many other signs of passing years. I'm learning to embrace them for the badges of honor that they are.
I greyed very early. I let my hair do it's grey thing when I turned 40. I stopped colouring it and let it be the shining silver/brown that it is. Back then, women wanted to know where I had my hair "frosted'. Nope. It's all just me. I used to cut my hair very short [think buzzed half the time] but during lockdown, I let it grow. And grow. Now, there is a LONG crop of silver and brown, and parts of it are even wavy now. A thing that age brought me. :-)
I am blessed with parents who aged gracefully. I do have my departed mother's double chin, but my face has very few lines. The aging process hit me during many years of pain due to a deteriorating hip joint. I cursed ageing. But, this spring, I've had a hip replacement and I feel great and not as old as I once did [I'm 63, btw.] I'm going back to work soon. We'll see how the stress effects me now that I feel so much better.
My husband is 14 years older than me and you wouldn't know it either. Aging is a blessing. We are still here and even though there is more time behind than ahead, there is still my weird child within. Ageless. With wild crone hair.
I tried to go gray this year and then 6 months into it, I chickened out and re-dyed my red hair with the same box dye I've used for decades. However, the universe had other things in mind for me. As I'm "aging" and am 65, my hormones chose to give me a calico coloring - yellow, red and black! Sooo off to the salon and the consultant said "Oh Honey, I"m Sorry" She explained redheads cannot go back to gray gracefully and that my red disaster is because of aging. Soo she fixed me with a better dark red and I'm going to be that 100 year old with the great red hair.
I refuse to accept all the ideas society puts on us. I love the poem, the calm acceptance in it and I completely empathize. My body is thicker, my face has those lines and creases, and sometimes my back goes out, but I'll dance, laugh, travel and drink my Guinness, til I can't. Slainte'
I'm a child of 37 this October. 26 minutes after my cousin & the day of our late grandparents' wedding anniversary. You cannot make up the Tale of The Twins, and turning 21 on their Diamond Anniversary.
Time is a gift. There will never be enough heartbeats & minor falls & major lifts.
If we are what we eat, then I get to steer my own tiny vessel towards light & curiosity & growth & courage & love. That's how I choose to enter the arena.