I'm not going to lie. I have had a fear of wrinkles, grey hair and hearing loss for as long as I've been an adult. I would see people who were "old" and I'd think NO WAY! I don't want to be OLD. I want to live a full life, I want to be young, full of energy, healthy with movement, good eye sight and I want to hear things. I want nice skin, thick hair and nice teeth too, I want to keep my own teeth!
My views on aging have changed over the years. As I grow older, I realize that it is not something to fear - it is an honor! Each day is a gift and to have those laugh lines by my eyes, I should smile big when I spot them in the mirror and wear them like a badge of honor. Secretly from time to time I gasp and think WHEN did this happen. I'm 44 years old, it did not just happen, it is happening. My body is changing, my skins is changing. The way I see the world and view myself, also changing.
While in Florida sitting on the beach with my husband, we saw many "old" people walking up and down, lying in chairs napping, sitting and having lunch. We also saw "old" people running, doing aerobics and taking out sail boats. THOSE are the old people I want to be like. ALL OF THEM! I want to enjoy life, to live life fully and to appreciate the days I have.
For most of my life I have had healthy habits. I acquired them from watching my grandparents, and noting things in conversations with my aunts. When I was a teenager my aunt shared with me, "wash your face every night, if you leave your makeup on it will age you faster. Also, wear sunscreen and you aren't too young for a good moisturizer!" I noted that! - for as long as I am able to recall, have washed my face before going to be, used moisturizers and always a sunscreen.
Another aunt encouraged walking, we would walk with one another on vacations and share great conversations. We would talk about healthy eating and how it's just fine to have a handful of M&Ms it is when you eat an entire bowl you have a problem! My grandparents have been fine examples in growing old. They both eat fairly healthy, they walk as much as they can, they hit the golf course a few times at week (at 91 & 92!) they are dedicated in their devotions, they do crossword puzzles and read the newspaper front to back.
As I watched people on the beach it occurred to me the many lifestyles that were being represented. I had no idea of their stories, lives or situations. I just knew from my spot on the sand I was in awe of them. There were people with thick deep wrinkles. There were people who had very obviously had "work done". There were those who had signs of aging gracefully. In awe of them all.
What an awesome gift, to age. To look back over the years and see the reasons for the wrinkles, to smile with honor and to note oh look another wrinkle. How wonderful! To look down at my hands and see the fingers that have held pens and hands. Hands which have prayed. Hair that would be grey, yes, I hide them. Ohh don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to gain wrinkles, or to encourage them! Today I'm at a place where I have come to accept them - under my sunscreen & moisturizer ; )
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
Today I look at my life, the habits of healthy that I have, those which I could improve. To grow old smiling, without fear, with a heart full of life, a body full of energy and a soul determined to make each day better than the last. Wrinkles, bring'em on, the more wrinkles the more years and I'm going to be thankful for each and every one of them!