While driving my children home from the (best) zoo, I glanced at the back of my hands gripping the steering wheel. With the way the sun hit them, I saw them in a completely different light. My years started flooding back to me in full force. I realized at that very moment that I was not afraid to show my age. Our hands tell stories, our laugh lines share memories, our foreheads show sorrow and triumph. I am not one that has this amazing skin regime or always remembers to wear sunscreen (after applying it to my kids, we are off to the races and more often than not, my skin gets forgotten), so I am beginning to show repercussions of that.
We live in a society where women are exalted for staying forever young. We want to lose weight crazy quick, have skin that is supple, and hair that is luxurious and trendy. There is nothing wrong with these thoughts, however, I believe within all those things we lose track of all the reasons why we got that way. Baby weight is a pain in the rear end to lose, wrinkles will happen regardless of the insane amount of creams we use because we are living a full life, and hair, well, depends on the humid, dry, rainy, snowy, hot, tumultuous weather.
My hands look the same, but are different. Something I overheard my mom once tell my dad will always stick with me. “Even throughout all the years of us getting older, you will always look the same to me. You will always look like you did on the first day we met.” I look at my husband now and realize how true that is. In our wedding photo he, of course, looks younger (kids have the ability to take their toll on a human), but I’ve never really noticed. He looks the same to me as he always has. THAT is love. We must love our aging selves just as much as our aging partner. I’m all for keeping myself vibrant and healthy, but aging gracefully is not this depressive state of mind anymore.