Well, it’s official. I’m in a battle that I’m not sure I’m going to win. Some advise that we should grow old gracefully. I haven’t been able to put those two adjectives together yet: old & graceful. Maybe that’s because I’m not old enough yet. But I’m older than I was.
It all started a few years ago (well, technically I suppose it all started the day I was born – getting old that is). In my family, a claim to fame has been my perfect vision. Well, that and the fact that I had straight teeth without the aid of braces. While my siblings and my mom all needed serious help in the eye department, Dad and I could see better than them all. In fact, my vision was even better than perfect: 20/15 to be exact! Can’t read the tiny print on the back of the tiny spice bottle? Give it to me. Can’t read the billboard a mile ahead? No worries if I was in the car. So imagine my surprise when a few years ago Tobi held a book up to my face to read and I said, “Dude. Back up. I can’t see it that close”. Then I thought, wait a minute, I’ve always been able to see it that close. Isn’t that how I was able to read the tiny spice bottles – close? Then I remembered the phrase I’d heard and guffawed at in the past – ‘it happens when you turn 40’. I kept this little incident a secret, and remained in denial.
Fast forward to today. Denial is no longer an option. I have gone from secretly wearing reading glasses to now even needing them with my semi-large print bible. Okay – it says ‘large print’, but in all fairness, I’ve seen larger. I’ve even graduated to keeping several pair strategically located around the house in places I’d likely find myself needing to read. And I no longer secretly chuckle at people who can’t find their reading glasses. Thus my strategically placed pairs.
Don’t get me started on my skin…Once, when dealing with my eyebrows, I noticed the skin under my eyes – aka: parchment paper. (In my defense, I was using a rather strong magnifying mirror). I could actually stretch it one way and it stayed. Not good. Then I moved the magnifying mirror to my hands and up my arm. What I saw was what looked like a puddle of mud that was on the verge of being dry – with lots and lots of cracks. And what’s with those large brown freckles? I don’t have freckles! I’ve always been jealous of the beautiful skin of the African’s I see around me every day. Now I’m on the verge of downright envy. Who got me started on my skin?
Then I proceeded to look into the mirror and what did I see? A new understanding of what a face-lift really was. I hear about face-lifts and know they are synonymous with growing old, but I’ve never really given the time of day to understand what one was. But while looking in the mirror I ever so gently ‘lifted’ the skin on my forehead back towards my scalp to what all the rage was about. Ahhhh. Now I understand. So I tried the same thing with the skin back towards my ears, ever so slightly pulling my mouth back. Just a tiny bit. What’d that give me – 10, maybe 20 years? The older I get, the better I understand Newton’s Law.
Though I’m not the type to make ‘home improvements’ that require tools like knives, needles and scalpels, neither am I ready to surrender the fight. I will continue to exercise, (which by the way I can do just as well now as I did 20 years ago – ask my 19 year old daughter) eat right, and as Psalms 103:5 says, I will allow God to satisfy me with good things and renew my youth as the eagle’s.
And there is a bright side for me…My chin hairs. I no longer have to be concerned about them until they’re long enough to braid. This is because instead of being black, they are now white and can barely be seen. How’s that for a positive outlook?
And someday, maybe I’ll learn to grow old gracefully. Maybe.