Wednesday, November 21, 2007




photo courtesy of gonharo www.sxc.hu

"Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art"
Garson Kanin


Just recently, a friend of ours disclosed her age to us. Upon my telling her we were merely a year apart in age, she commented “Gee – look what you have to look forward to” (speaking about the wrinkles in her face) Really, her wrinkles are not too bad. Actually, I'd not truly noticed them before she pointed it out. Her eyes simply glow with life, and her manner is so young and enthusiastic that the lines on her face were probably simply airbrushed out of my comprehension somewhere between my eyes, ears and heart. I wanted to say "Gurlfriend, you look beautiful to me"... but I knew she wasn't really wanting to hear my platitudes.


It makes me sad that she places such emphasis and importance on her physical looks. It causes me to think about people who work in the movie and television or modeling industry. It must be so difficult to age when your entire life is lived around a certain image of youthfulness... so much so that people do serious and stupid things to try to keep hold of the image of youth – even when they ARE old! Too sad that when someone's so busy getting 'nipped and tucked', or buying whatever new beauty product which promises to 'take ten years off' – that they miss the REWARDS that come with age.


And really – I mean come on, some women who have repeated plastic surgery, well they look like a cat when you pull the skin back on it's face. There's something almost evil looking about them. Come on, you know what I mean? There's always some extra tightness about them... just does NOT look natural! And I was thinking – like if you had one of those nips and tucks where there were some small scars and you had to go round maintaining a certain angle so no one would see... Oh, each thing would beget another thing which you would expend a great deal of energy on trying to fool people.


Yes, I do color my hair. I won't do that always. Eventually I'll go gray. When I'm 100% gray to start. I don't like the in between stage. I know some women in my life who have all gray hair and it looks lovely, in fact it creates a radiance to their face I don't see with colored hair.


I draw my own line at buying cosmetics which peel etc. No acids, natural or otherwise on this face. I am not fake-tanning. I loved the look and feel when I did do that in the past but one of the gifts of aging is the realization that a few extra years on my life would be a better choice than skin cancer.



Age is a quality of mind,

If you have left your dreams behind,

If hope is cold,

If you no longer look ahead,

If your ambitious fires are dead,

Then you are old.



Another gift I intend to embrace, is being able to relax a little. I'm not saying that I won't dress up and look nice (specially for my sweet husband!) - but I'm going to enjoy the particular beauty that comes with aging. I honestly believe there is a unique beauty for every age. I wonder if some of the women who choose to 'arrest' their physical appearence to a certain age get emotionally messed up because of it? Do they then try to modify their actions and personality to further fool others? Are they really just fooling themselves in the end?





Actually, I had two young women from my church demand to see my driver's licence recently because they could not reconcile the 14 year difference between what they thought my age to be, and what it actually is. Now, I would be lying to tell you that I wasn't flattered on some level, but its merely on a superficial level. How much more do I treasure compliments in regard to my 'inside self'. I think the accolades for these qualities are acknowledgments of God working in me, and when God's working in me – the outside no longer matters at all! Its just a shell! I know some people who are physically attractive who are like a worm eaten apple – and yet others (most of the population, really) who glow from the inside out, so you define a beauty from about them which overcomes anything reflected in their features.



Proverbs 30:31


Charm is deceptive,

and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.



What you see on the outside of any human body is a skin which covers an imperfect being... sort of like going to a library and making assumptions on the content of each book MERELY by its cover. Some are pretty straightforward, and give a good indication, while others are nothing on the outside compared to the contents within. Guess I would have you ask yourself this question. If you were going through a tough emotional time, would you rely on someone you know on the basis of their outward good looks, or would you choose someone who's beauty you've felt from within? Someone who's beauty is formed partly by how they 'dress' themselves with genuine compassion and caring which comes from inside?


Then, no matter what lengths some women go to – at some logical point, they are OLD – no two ways about it. What happens when it all fails? They go from a 50 year old looking 70 year old woman, to a 70 year old looking 90 year old? At some point, old is old. Then who are you fooling? And how much of your living have you eaten up simply to fool other people, who if they loved you simply on your physical appearence did not really love YOU at all?


"So long as enthusiasm lasts, so long is youth still with us."


No, far better than spending your time trying to fool the clock, why not invest that time into the relationships in your lives? What if you took all the effort and money you could have spent on your own beauty, and blessed your family, someone dear or a needy person. You would become immortal perhaps. You would be remembered for far, far longer than even your physical death. Its so important to invest in your family, because eventually when you do become OLD, you will still have your loving family... who will make you feel youthful by sharing the memories you've built with them!





So, to my friend who was warning me about what to expect as my body ages... I'm so ready – I will think of each line in my face as a road on the map of life. Each wrinkle will represent something which I've lived through – some good things, some bad, but each one earned through an experience which enriched or taught me. As each fold is added to my countenence, I'll come to realize that nobody loves me less for how I look. I could compare skin to leather – which looks so nice and shiny when it's new – becomes softer, supple and nicer with age – much more useful, valuable and comfortable, I'd say.



As for old age, embrace and love it. It abounds with pleasure if you know how to use it. The gradually (I do not say rapidly) declining years are amongst the sweetest in a mans life; and I maintain, that even where they have reached the extreme limit, they have their pleasure still.

~ Seneca




Barb's "Furry Nice' Christmas frames!

download



Thought I would revive these furry nice frames from my christmas vault - so real looking you will want to 'pet' them. Come to think of it, they would be idea to frame your favorite ... pet. LOL - Enjoy!



9 comments:

  1. awesome Barb... yes it is true how much women worry about beauty..and the heavyness they place on their daughters ..on how they should look ...they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...makes you wonder who our beholders are..thanks for the words of wisdom and love ....and thanks for the furry nice christmas frames.

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  2. Eloquently said! Amen sister

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  3. Hi Barb,

    Thanks for visiting the Inman Road Chronicles!

    I agree with your thoughts on aging, and I couldn't care less about my age, or who knows how old I am. I'm 46, and my forties have so far been the best decade of my life.

    One of my favorite quotes on aging:

    "No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
    As I have seen in one autumnal face."
    John Donne

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  4. What a great post on aging my friend! I have to say, when the big 3-0 was looming ahead of me last year, I wasn't one bit distraught. I embraced my new decade with a vengence & I ain't lookin back! It just keeps getting better & better!

    Been crazy busy this week (away at my momma's) but hopefully a visit next week??

    hugs

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  5. Thank you! The DigiFree freebie search engine is about to list this blog post at digifree.blogspot.com

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  6. Hey there girl! Great post. My sentiments exactly. To the chagrin in many of my friends I have never worried a whole lot about my physical appearance. The pressure to wear make up was HUGE. I dabbled with make up a bit and most certainly not consistantly, to appease them, but felt it was more harmful than beautifying. People would just have to take me as I was. Plain and Simple! Now dressing. That's another matter. I like clothes and they don't harm ones skin one little bit!

    Recently, two totally different people (one younger and one my age) commented on how few wrinkles I have. I looked at them so surprised ... I'm sure I have a few. It must be my relatively stress free life.

    I'm all for gray hair (obviously). I went gray young ... in my 30s so I succumbed for a while to dying it ... but those darn roots showed far too soon ... and those chemicals. I got it cut short and went gray. My hair was quite salt and pepper at first but a very nice salt and pepper. I've had a lot of pressure from friends there too, to dye it ... telling me I'd look so much younger if I'd only dye it. I just smile.

    I find it amazing, this pressure to conform, this fear to be an individual, to be who YOU are. To dress in a way that is you, makes you look good ... not some fad. Maybe it was my upbringing but I went through my teens feeling this way too. Couldn't see running with "the crowd" at all. I wonder how one could instill that in their children? One would have to start early for sure and I guess be an individual themselves!

    Okay, I've gone one again. Have a good day. Blessings on you!!!!!!

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  7. Oh Barb- you sure know how to put it girl!- And I so agree- age is in the MIND! And boy I still think I'm 18 * EEEEK- even act it-LOL*, never worried about HOW old I am- I do buy good creams for my skin- but no peels and acids either- I CAN't tan as it causes me to come out in hives! LOL- so I'm lilly white- and I'm happy with it! I do on the other hand 'do my face and make-up' to meet the day.(but it's light-mascara and eyeliner) I was always taught that one should take pride in ones appearance- it's something that I have done all my life for as long as I can remember- Wayne goes to work the whole day and I like him to come home to me looking pretty- I don't on the weekend when he is home though and we will both strut our stuff in tracksuits or shorts and my hair will be left to dry naturally- I've been to a plastic surgeon twice to see about a tummy tuck- never had it done- I won't now either- I've come to terms with it-(Nathan was a very large baby and it stretched my stomach badly)- but Wayne loves me like that- I just had to learn to love myself like that- I do now! ( somedays are hard- especially in summer- but I get over it)- Gee's you always have me writting a book here-LOL
    I hope that you are having a wonderful day-
    Sending HUGE SOUF AFRIKAN huggies-
    meeeee

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  8. LOVE your entry (as always lol)
    my sentiments exactly!! Only thing about getting older is the aches & pains that come with it... guess that's why they say getting older isn't for the weak! lol big HUGS! Thanks so much for ALLLLL that you do & have a WONDERFUL day! :D

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  9. There is a huge emphasis in appearances nowadays and it´s encourage by the business sector and mostly the cosmetic and fashion sector. Because of that many people tend to believe that that is very important, when it actually is not. It´s good to care about the way you present yourself to others as it does show something of yourself to them. But it´s just that a bit of yourself it has very little to do with who you really are. There´s more in women than their looks and there´s more in men too.

    At the end of the day, how you look should not be something that should be compared to certain standards as everyone is unique and how you look is part of that uniqueness.

    You're very right in your views, and yes people should spend less in appearances and more in real things. :)

    Thanks so much for everything and best wishes. :O)

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