My Struggle to Age Gracefully: How Keeping Things in Perspective Helps to Keep Me Sane. Well, Sorta.

Total Beauty

Posted 08/13/10 at 04:42PM by Total Beauty

In terms of beauty, I peaked at 26. Or so that's what I thought at the time.

I remember totally freaking out on my 27th birthday, convinced that I was officially "old" and that my best years were behind me.

Of course now, what feels like eons later, I look back at photos of my nubile, wrinkle-free self and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young.

When I turned 35, I treated myself to a week of solitude at a snazzy spa in Palm Springs, Calif. (the Two Bunch Palms spa to be exact) because I wanted to be alone to wallow in my middle agedness. I didn't have kids yet, wasn't thrilled with my marriage and had already jumped on the Botox (find out if you're ready for Botox, fillers, peels and lasers by taking this quiz) bandwagon -- so there was much to ponder during those seven days. Priorities to re-arrange, goals to set and anti-aging plans of attack to orchestrate.

Then, on day four, I had an a-ha moment. (Only Oprah hadn't coined that phrase yet, so I just thought "Oooh. I get it!") I was never going to look any better, or younger, than I did at that moment. The grains of sand were sifting through the hourglass as I sat there, and I could do absolutely nothing about it. I had to embrace the here and now -- and my looks.

To read this, it sounds like I'm an incredibly vain, shallow woman who's consumed with her beauty quotient. The thing is, I'm really not. I'm more concerned with the lack of youth. Growing old kinda sucks. Plain and simple. As a woman, to the outside world, you become invisible. The glances from men on the street wane to a point where, when some creep whistles at you, you want to run over and thank him. It's when I find myself thinking along these lines that I have to stop and remember that it shouldn't matter how strangers perceive me. That what's important is being a good person on the inside -- being a great mom, thoughtful friend and dutiful wife.

As some wise person once said (pardon me as I butcher it), beauty is a good letter of introduction, but it's also a fading flower. And, also, "beauty without virtue is a curse." So, as I approach my to-remain-numberless year, that's what I'll be pondering while holed up at the same secluded, fabulous spa next month. A lot has changed since then. Most of it for the better. So what if I'm more than a little jowly? My life is richer in many more important ways. And, in a pinch, there's always plastic surgery, right? (Check out the best and worst celebrity plastic surgery jobs here.)

Am I alone in these feelings? Hope not. Share the battles you've been waging with yourself about your age -- here.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 13 Comments

  • Posted by GigiSD on 04/09/13 at 02:31pm

    I LOVE this article. In my mind, I'm still somewhere between the ages of 18 and 23, but time has betrayed my body. Insightful article; good to know that I'm not alone hating aging--the alternative is much worse!

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/30/12 at 01:35pm

    Thanks

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/13/12 at 11:09pm

    Well said! I too, have learned to accept my lack of youth. I stay committed to my facial regimen and try to at least look at each new wrinkle as a sign of wisdom and strength.

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 07/15/11 at 11:49pm

    I don't think that's necessarily true. Look at Helen Mirren! She's in her 60's, and has gotten better with age.

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  • Posted by lea_m_gibson on 04/22/11 at 04:57pm

    nice

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by lea_m_gibson on 04/22/11 at 04:57pm

    nice

    Report Abuse

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