The other night as I sat here writing, I looked down at my hands and noticed that they've suddenly aged. I held them up and really looked at them, recognizing how much they look like my mother's hands. I've also noticed lately that my hair isn't as thick as it used to be and that I have a pad of extra skin on my jawline between my chin and the curve that leads up to the ear. My cheeks aren't as plump and my eyes seriously need to have some skin removed (the lids have gotten far too heavy, which makes them feel tired all of the time). I'm not into cosmetic surgery, but if I could, I'd have my jaw and eyes done a little—not much though—just enough to get rid of the tired look I've acquired...
I don't look in the mirror much, not because I dread what I might see, but because I'm just not one of those people who spend a lot of time there. I gave up the glam and the makeup nearly 20 years ago, a miraculous feat considering I used to be one of those girls who wouldn't even go to the mailbox unless I was perfectly turned out. Nowadays, if it's a really special occasion I'll use a couple of passes with a mineral powder, a little eyebrow pencil, and some mascara and call it a done deal.
The plus for me is that regardless of having grown up in southern California during the surfing craze of the 1960s, I never spent much time trying to tan. I'm a natural redhead and no fool. Because of this alone, my skin is in great shape. Plus, I've always been petite; I still have a great butt and, outside of a few extra pounds gained during the Hashimoto's debacle, my body hasn't changed all that much. I'm not gloating though, because I've never exercised or dieted; I'm far too lazy for that. This is genetics pure and simple: neither of my parents looked their ages as they grew older, either.
Maybe it's because I've always appeared 10 years younger than my actual age—and have a lot of youthful energy—but aging hasn't been that big a deal to me. Even now, people mistake me for being in my 40s instead of nearly 60. I never thought about aging until I was nearly 35 and liquor store clerks and night club bouncers quit carding me. I've always wondered how long I'd be able to milk this.
Now I'm seeing very real signs that I'm about to enter the December of my life. Well, maybe the November. And you know what? After I passed 55 it was no big deal. Sure, I'm considering my mortality a bit more, but because I tend to be a spiritual sort, I'm able to look at it without dread or fear. I think of all the people whom I admire who have made it through the veil and I know that I'll make it too. I'm even kind of excited to find out what the fuss is all about; it's the ultimate adventure, don't you think? And if there's nothing after the final breath, I won't know and all the time spent in angst will have been for nothing.
At this time of year, especially, I see my life reflected in nature. Everything falls, everything fades, everything lets go. Fortunately, I have a personal belief system that gives me assurance that we, being part of nature and not separate from it, are no different than the oak tree out in the yard: we grow lush, we bear fruit, we fade, we go dormant, and it starts over again, over and over, season after season as the wheel turns ever on.
So what are wrinkles and sags but the marking of our adventures in the travel diary of our journey? Write on!