I really didn’t think it would be this difficult to embrace ageing. Having never been blessed with a pretty face, or even symmetrical features, vanity has so far evaded me. But now, when I see a picture of myself, I am mortified by the saggy jowls and crow’s feet that confront me. If I am to follow my own mantra of growing older with grace I must learn to love my wrinkles.
The camera never lies
I’ve just sat for my first ever portrait session. I had one of those vouchers that can be exchanged for an experience and decided that a professional photo would be more useful to the Grown Gals blog than a salsa lesson. As soon as I arrived I stepped out of my comfort zone. The make-up was lovely but much more than I am used to. The photographer was charming but I felt awkward and self conscious. He shot 80 pictures, most of which I quickly discarded, before choosing the one featured above.
I picked this photo because it was animated and had energy – it was the best of the bunch. All I can see, though, are eyebags, the droopy eyelids and the myriad lines that criss-cross my face. Somehow I still manage to carry the idea of my younger self with me – even though my reflection tells a different story. They say the camera never lies so I have to accept that this is me, now, almost 55 years old.
The war on wrinkles
In the past I’ve pursued every kind of You Tube trickery to plump up my cheeks and turn back the clock. I’ve tried a host of facial exercises including Yotox (described here for those of you who want to give it a go). Like most women my age I’ve already spent a small fortune on creams and serums. I know it’s not a war I can win but I’ve not yet accepted defeat. I’ve just sent off for an eye gel and some anti-ageing products from cruelty free brand Paula’s Choice and I will let you know how I get on. The hard truth is I’ve inherited my dad’s eyebags and because my face is thinner they stand out even more. I could of course try fillers or surgery – but you already know I won’t travel that path.
It’s two years since I started this blog and one of my first posts was about growing out my grey hair. I think that we must make the most of every stage of our lives. I want to love who I am now and grow old with grace and style. Too many of my teenage years were spent covering up acne so I don’t intend to waste the next twenty hiding my wrinkles. Instead I’ve decided to celebrate the positives:
My affirmations to embrace ageing
- These days I only rarely get blemishes.
- My cheekbones are now the ones I coveted whilst watching Dallas in the 70s.
- I have far less sun damage than all those glorious summer adventures would suggest.
- My laughter lines are proof that I laugh far more than I cry.
- I still have just the one chin.
- My eyes can still sparkle.
- I am now confident enough to be seen without make-up.
- After all that plucking my eyebrows stay in shape by themselves.
- My lips are still bowed.
- My skin is still soft and not too dry.
- I’m the same weight as I was at twenty and weigh less than I did at thirty.
- I am physically stronger and more toned than ever thanks to pilates, gardening and dog walks.
It’s just a small shift but positive thinking makes it much easier for me to embrace ageing. We are our own harshest critics and concentrate only on the negatives but there really is no point in that. Next time I find a hair growing on my chin I’m not going to shriek – I will simply rejoice that it’s on it’s own!
PS. Many thanks to the gorgeous gals who’ve already liked my new profile picture. Bless you.