Looking in the mirror…and seeing Grandma

Alright, it’s time to get “real.”

Some people seem to have this “growing up” thing all figured out.

I am not one of those people.  And yet, every time I look in the mirror I am reminded that time is passing.

Was that another gray hair I saw? Wait, that wrinkle wasn’t there yesterday, was it? And my profile is starting to look like my grandmother’s.

Whoa! Reality check time. Gravity is doing its thing, and there’s nothing I can do about it (until I win the lottery or decide to max out the credit cards and take a 3-month “sabbatical” to Beverly Hills).

This got me to thinking about the changes that happen as we age. Now I am not going to get graphic…I’ll leave that up to Dr. Oz and your next issue of Oprah magazine. Rather, I want to share my perspective on aging.

One of the amazing things about aging is that we begin to see our ancestors staring back at us in the mirror. Just the other day, I realized that some of my features reminded me of my grandmother more than I had every realized. The funny thing was, it made me really happy.

As a child, I looked at my grandmother’s gray hair, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, and just saw them as a part of who she was. I really loved her features. I could see that her hands had worked in the gardens for years, and that her fingers were bent from years of sewing clothes and blankets for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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Seeing some of those features on myself made me smile. I am not saying that I am anxious to grow older. There are many things I want to do while I am still relatively young.

But I have realized that I am not really “afraid” of aging. I imagine that my own children and grandchildren will see my physical features the way I see my grandmother’s…they are a part of her and I love them because of that fact.

What I AM afraid of is growing old with regrets. I want to spend time doing the important things in life…loving my husband and children, being as healthy as I can, contributing to the world, creating laugh lines in myself and others, and finding a cure for worry warts. (And my grandmother has done all these things.)

If gray hair, wrinkles, and gravity-stricken jawlines are the price I have to pay to live well, then so be it. I will be in good company.

 

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