When Oprah turned 50 she started having age-defying shows to help women realize they can look good for a long, long time. As someone who is now over 60, I realized that you may be able to look good and keep the body youthful, but one day, it is going to get “old” and we are going to look our age.
I’ve noticed lots of lines—some of them very interesting—that have formed on my face in various patterns and directions. And each line has a story connected to it. Some were as a result of good times in the sun before I “knew better.” And some have come from building character. But as I look at the lines and wrinkles in my face, they speak of a life lived.
When I look at people my age who have erased the etchings of their journey, I feel a little sad. If we all have to keep pretending we’re young, what are we affirming? Who will be the elders? We don’t see real faces much anymore. Watch an old Frank Capra movie, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s nice to want to be young. But we have to make peace with the fact that all ages pass away, and find the gifts to celebrate in our present age.
It’s very sad to define ourselves by a standard that doesn’t fit who we are. I’m not 20 or 30, and no amount of wishing is going to make me be that. However, I can become a wiser version of my younger self. Life and age are teaching me. Like a fine wine, I like myself better. I’m accepting of the person I have become, and the lines and the wrinkles are part of that package.
I don’t mind that people want to look younger. That’s fine. But it would be worthwhile to count the blessings of growing into ourselves, rather than putting youth on an undeserved pedestal. I’d like to see us treating age with the reverence it deserves. Look good, yes. But we need to realize that physical beauty is only skin deep. Soul beauty lights up everything and offers hope to the younger people who have nowhere to go but into older age. How about getting mind lifts and wisdom infusions? Novel idea, eh?