I’ve been thinking a lot about age lately. I’m turning 37 today, and the major problem is that I don’t feel 37. I don’t feel like I’m on the shady side of 35 or approaching 40. When I was in my 20s, I knew I was aging only because I saw the numbers creep up. I didn’t have that awful time when I hit 30, and I’m not quite sure why. I know I look younger than 37 because I get told that from time to time. But even if I do start to look my age… so what? Why is that a bad thing? Age isn’t the enemy. As long as I can still do the things I want to do, I’m good. I know someone who’s hiked the Grand Canyon in his 50s, so I’m not out yet. Sure, I have some aches and pains, but nothing that holds me back.
This partly came to mind because of my birthday, and partly because I read an article about Gwyneth Paltrow going through a painful process to look younger. Well… she looks great, and I guess if your job is your body and face, then it’s important. But that sounds awful to me. I’m not willing to suffer for beauty; I just hope I’m one of those women who ages gracefully. Luckily, the women in my family don’t wrinkle!
In any case, I’ve started applying more lotion, especially to my face, than in past years. I never tanned, but I’ve been careless about sunscreen. I now take care of these things and also try to wear a hat outside. I’ll do things that are relatively easy, but painful, weird, chemical things to my face? Uh… no.
I recently read Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, and he talks about how a life well-lived is more valuable than youth. Youth still has to find meaning and purpose in life, whereas someone with a life well lived has already found it. My life isn’t about how I look, so why focus on it? I’d rather focus on the things that are important, like being a good person and enjoying my adventures day to day. Enjoying those adventures means I’m going to get bumps, bruises, scars, and age spots. And that’s okay. If I have a day when it really matters, I’ll wear make-up.
I’d rather be interesting than beautiful.
What lengths are you willing to go to for beauty?