I have never really considered myself as beautiful. I knew I was pretty, had a kind of confidence that goes along with that, I like fashion, at least my hippie-esque brand of it that seems to have followed me along the years. Once, we were at a restaurant for one of my daughter’s birthdays with my mother-in-law and she told me I should cut my hair, that I looked like an old hippie. Hmmmph. I took it personally, and channeled early Kate Moss.
For the most part though, I never really put too much attention on myself or considered my beauty. That is, until now. I do like my hair blonde and long-ish. I like my green eyes, but think that wearing eye make-up at my age makes my eyes look older, so I have adapted a less is more attitude to make-up in general, splashing on a little on occasions. I am crazy though about cleansing and using natural products, believing what goes on my skin goes in my body. I admit to looking in the mirror lately and pulling back the skin and seeing how it brightens my face, but do I want distorted lips. I really can’t afford Botox, nor do I like needles or pain, or the thought someone cutting the skin off my face for a lift and tuck. I mean, this is a woman who had three natural childbirths because she was scared of the epidural… But, I am more and more conscious of how I look, and how I want to look, and that I want to feel beautiful.
I am now more aware of myself. Maybe because I can’t believe that I am crazy close to sixty! And the reconciliation of how I feel inside and the reflection in the mirror are somewhat hazy. I had a very weird experience when I went to see the James Taylor concert. I looked around me and exclaimed to my daughter, everyone is so old here. And she replied, well Mom you are going to be sixty in a few years. It was a shocking. Honestly until that moment I had never really considered that I looked, well middle aged! I was just one in a sea of the over fifty set. Really, what was I expecting, he’s an old man, yet still playing his guitar, still writing music and still having a blast on stage. I got the impression though, that he was acutely aware of the passage of his time, but immensely grateful for this audience, and our well travelled roads. Or, maybe that was just how he made me feel.
I have beautiful friends, seriously. If this is aging then bring it on! We have grown in to ourselves, know who we are, what we like, how to live, we are more open, honest, better friends, and compassionate. Life’s trails have brought us wisdoms that seem to infuse with the layers of our skin, and emanate a simmering, sultry kind of beauty. The kind of beauty that has a presence if you know what I mean.
Pondering beauty comes with questions. What does it mean to age gracefully? How do we see ourselves and how do others see us? I think these days in general I take more consideration in how I look, but am also so much more conscious of how I think. Does beauty come from within? I truly believe it does. Our skin is a shell, our body just our shape; it’s how we are packaged. The Beatles wrote, “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people? Now that you know who you are, what do you want to be?” That is the gift of our age and our beauty. We get to decide.