I was having a conversation with some friends over the past few weeks regarding the topic of aging. Yeah, all of us are in our 50’s and we were talking about how our bodies had and are changing since we reached this decade. Along with how we had more aches and pains, grey in our hair, wrinkles and other fun changes. In this particular group of friends, aging is not an issue, all of us have a good attitude about age and the aging process. Generally all of us aren’t concerned about the wrinkles, skin that is beginning to sag and age spots that are beginning to pop up. We see them as a badge of honor, a declaration as women and humans with the attitude that what you see is what you get.
True, all of us have and know people in our lives who aren’t handling aging as well and hung up on being that media/societal induced ideal model of being female. None of us are into plastic surgery, Botox or other artificial enhancement to look younger.
Yes, I have highlights in my hair, partly by choice and fun. My hair went through a radical change around age 25, after I gave birth to my daughter. Prior to this point in my life, I had straight medium blonde brownish hair. Around age 25, it turned a dark brown and became curly. Loved the curls, but wasn’t crazy about the mousy, washed out look that my complexion had against the darker hair. I lived with it for a few years and woke up one morning with dreaded grey hair that a 20 something girl isn’t happy about at all. Yes, that is my vanity talking and it is healthy to have some vanity points, it helps with one’s self esteem. As long as the vanity is not the focal point of your life.
After all, what do each of us see staring back when we look in the mirror? What do you tell yourself, when you see this stranger or friend looking at you? Is it happiness, acceptance, no feeling or would you rather just turn away and not see who is there? If your answers fall in the range of no feelings, negative feelings or not looking, why?
Often I have discovered in my 57 yrs, it’s less about the physical body and appearance but more about our inner self. Such as why we aren’t happy with in our lives. Is it our relationships, work, friends, family or ourselves? Do you feel that something is missing?
In regards to relationships in any aspects of life, figuring out what you want or need from any and all relationships is something that needs to be established. Which includes what buttons are being pushed and what boundaries may need to be set. This includes being a people pleaser, even they need to set up boundaries. Which can include dumping and divorcing some people from your life. None of that is easy by any means, but can help you feel better about yourself and your outlook on life when you look in the mirror.
Another relationship is the one with yourself. It is probably the hardest to have and maintain for most of us. What is presented to the world is usually not the internal struggle of finding ourselves and hanging on to that self throughout our lifetime. Many have that battle all their lives and it is never clear to themselves whether they are winning, barely hanging on, or continually losing grip. Even the most confident among us, struggle from time to time with this issue. Their secret is they have developed enough confidence, self understanding and experience to not fear the doubt. They embrace it, even when they don’t want to and often see these moments as periods of growth and self evaluation.
That’s the beauty of aging is hopefully learning to be comfortable with yourself, learning to embrace yourself and even love yourself inside and out. How is your journey going?