When I first looked in the mirror this morning, I noticed lines on my face from my pillow. A couple of hours later I realized the lines were still there. Oh lord! It wasn’t the pillow at all. That’s just my face now…
Sometimes you notice the aging process slowly, like gentle waves combing the shore. Oh look, I have a tiny hair growing on my face. Let me get the tweezers and call my best friend for a good laugh. Other times it’s a bit more like a tsunami. Holy hell, is that a mustache?? Let me get the Mach 3 and find a sliding scale psychologist real quick.
Our culture is notoriously anti-aging. Just stroll the aisle of any pharmacy or grocery store or take note of the multi-bajillion dollar cosmetic surgery industry. There’s a lotion, cream, suction, wrap, or procedure for that. Apparently, we’re all supposed to look like a carb-free 19 year old for all eternity.
Undoubtedly, there’s a bit (or about ten tons) of fear wrapped up in all of this, and maybe an unspoken agreement that if we anti-age we also anti-die, which is to say we’re trying to avoid the inevitable at all costs.
Well, at the ripe old age of 37, I’m officially declaring myself anti anti-aging. I’m not going to slather my face with overpriced chemicals to fool myself into thinking I’ll start being carded for wine again. I’m going to fast forward through the stages of aging grief right to acceptance. Maybe I’ll even make it a competition with myself to see just how many lines and wrinkles I can acquire before I hitch my ride up to the sky.
If you think about it, every living thing is aging, so in a way – aging just means living. Anti-aging then, is a version of anti-living. And I really, really, really enjoy living. The best part is that the older I get, the more I feel free to truly live.
Just within the last few months, I got to swim out into a sunbeam off the warm shores of Maui, watch shooting stars in the southern sierras, roast marshmallows with my niece on a cool summer night, comfort another human in a time of crisis, and take thousands of breaths. Amazing!
When I get stressed out about lifey/human complaint department stuff (sidenote: I realized this morning I have seat warmers in my car, which I think means I really have no right to complain about anything ever), Tony reminds me that we’re just rotating on a ball swirling through space. To get to experience it at all is such an extraordinary miracle and privilege. And the length of time is never guaranteed for anyone. Not even me. Can you believe it?
Every one of these lines, then, is a reminder that the sands of time don’t stop, and I shouldn’t either.
So while my anti anti-aging regimen is still in the creation stages, I believe it will include having dance parties in the dressing room, overcoming egoistic fears, throwing caution to the wind, connecting deeply, and adventuring this little spinning ball like crazy. And, of course, doing it with a big ol’ smile on my face… mustache and all.