I recently read the book “I feel bad about my neck” by Nora Ephron. I chuckle as I study the cover and remember hearing about this book when it first came out in 2006. I guess it just wasn’t my time to read it until now.
From the first page, my laughter started and hit its peak when I read the line. “If you want to get really really depressed about your neck, sit in the backseat of a car, behind the driver and look at yourself in the rearview mirror”. At that moment I collided with her words – it was a true déjà vu moment.
One week earlier before awakening to Nora’s “rearview mirror experiment”, I accidentally stumbled on it. I was sitting behind the driver’s seat and within minutes of starting out on a road trip, I made eye contact with the person looking back at me through the review mirror.
I just wasn’t prepared what I saw – it was as if a stranger was staring back at me. The mirror opened a window to what middle age has in store for me - giving me a glimpse of a thinning and maturing neckline, eyes losing their luster, noticeable nasolabial folds and a sneaking presence of a softening jawline.
I sunk low in my seat and said to myself “What the heck am I going to do? I can’t possibly sit here staring out the window for the next two hours, avoiding the rearview mirror - which I now refer to as the “evil eye”. At that moment, I knew I had to do whatever it takes to get away from its wickedness. I switched seats with the person beside me, giving her the excuse that the direct sunlight was giving me a headache.
For someone who spent 10 years in the skincare/beauty industry, this is the first time I’ve been stumped in finding ways to hide the evidence of aging without the interference of injections and/or surgery.
I do everything right – use all the right lotions and potions, eat well, drink lots of water and get lots of sleep. Being an expert illusionist – I pride myself in knowing all the tricks of the trade when it comes to applying make-up. With a swirl of my brushes and some magic dust I can make anyone look like a superstar. But no skincare certifications, workshops or even my mother prepared me for the “crossover” from dodging my real age to suddenly looking my age.
I’ve now reached that reluctant pinnacle stage in my life when the mirror’s reality has slapped me across the face – blatantly letting me know that I’m no longer the fairest in the land. The ghosts from years of excessive tanning and late night celebrations are starting to carve their stories out on my face.
Acceptance: With or Without Grace
We worry about wrinkles because we view aging as a downhill road. Our faces sag, our bodies sag and we let our attitude sag along with it.
Aging gracefully isn’t always easy, but having a positive attitude towards it matters greatly. Maybe we should stop chasing after the past and look forward to the future and embrace what we see in the mirror.
Here’s to looking at the bright side of aging…we may not have total control over the wrinkles that form on our faces but we can certainly control whether or not we let wrinkles take over our mind, soul and attitude.
Commit yourself today to living life with an ageless attitude. It’s more than half the battle and it makes a world of difference.