Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rethinking Wrinkles

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. 
For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
-- Author Unknown

Over the past year or so, I've started to notice some signs of aging; a gray hair or two, wrinkles around my eyes (which seemingly appeared overnight!) and lines around my mouth that don't cooperate. By that, I mean for picture-taking--If I smile unabashedly, they all proudly broadcast themselves. If I try to smile more gently, I don't look truly happy. Of course, there's also the age spots, which have been the hardest of all for me to accept. (Shoot! My mom didn't even get any til a couple of years ago! I'm only 47!  Why couldn't mine wait til I was 80?!)

Some people embrace the "I earned every one of those wrinkles," philosophy, and others go kicking and screaming, denying the inevitable by applying plastic surgery or Botox techniques. The former attitude seemed more my style, but it still seemed like b.s. to me--I knew I could never adopt it sincerely. Whatever works for you is great.  I had just have been kind of stuck in a resentment of the whole issue; resigned, yes, but somewhat bitter about it.

But then, one day, Eternal Lizdom wrote something that finally made this aging thing click for me; I discovered my road, not only to acceptance, but to loving the fact that I am aging.

A few weeks ago, Liz wrote:

"Whenever I post about one of my struggles with parenting, I always hope that Mrs4444 will swing by and offer advice. Whenever I share joys and successes in being a mother to my kids, I always hope that Mrs4444 is proud of me. She’s someone that I cherish for her opinion, insight, and experience."

And it clicked for me, big-time. Liz's words made my heart soar, and it reminded me that, like most people (I hope), I just want to make a difference in this life. As a teacher, I get that opportunity all the time, but the idea of making a difference to adults younger than me appeals to me very much, as well. Growing older; having wrinkles and such, means that I am that much closer to being wise, having enough life experience to be revered as a matriarch, being loved by grandkids, retiring and taking it easy. Wrinkles mean that I'm that much closer to reaching some wonderful life goals:

***I want to be that grandma who makes you feel like the center of the universe when you're small, and who believes that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to; that grandma who lights up because you entered the room and who knows just what you need when you are hurting. I look forward to sharing my TUMS with my grandkids when their tummies get rumbly in church, having all kinds of time for tea parties and baby snuggling.  That grandma blooms when she's retired and not so tired from work that she's worn out. I look forward to that kind of blossoming.

***Some day, I'll be the wise woman with even more life experience than I already have.  I want to be the mom/grandma with whom you know you can talk about anything at all, because she won't judge you and is way past being afraid to talk about embarrassing subjects. It takes years of experience to know enough to be quiet at the right times and offer support, too. It takes time to become that grandma, and I know I have plenty of it, but I'm excited.

***And some day, I'll be even more like my mom, who goes out to breakfast on a regular basis, has time to visit her many grandkids' school events, and heads regularly to the YMCA water aerobics class for seniors, not really for the exercise, but for the socializing (and birthday treats)!

It's not that I'm in a hurry to get to "wise old woman" status, mind you. I am however, excited about the prospect. I know that getting wrinkles does not mean the end of youth, but rather the beginning of a different kind of wonderful, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm not looking backward, with regret any longer; I'm looking forward, with joy.

Of course, I'm not there yet!  I've got plenty of wrinkles (and years, hopefully!) to go before I'm soaking my teeth in a cup, wearing red and purple, and dropping farts that I pretend I don't hear.

So, thanks, Liz, for the epiphany; you're a gem.

P.S. The photos are of Mr.4444's Grandma Florence, who was a top-notch grandma and great grandma that we think of often and miss very much.


  1. I enjoyed this post so much! Thank you for sharing and making a difference... Have a great day!

  2. Ah Barb! You'll read this and think about the liberties we bloggers can -and do -take with each other, I bet. But ya know, I don't know you personally cause we've never met in person, but somehow I feel like I've known you for a long, long time and your Mama too. Perhaps that's because everytime I see a photo of you -or your kids -or your beautiful Mama -I see a smile -either across your face or in the twinkle of the eyes that is caught in the camera's work and that smile speaks legions as to who you -and your kids -and your Mama -all are, deep inside. And wrinkles are just laugh lines turned upside down now and then, until they get upended to their proper positioning.

  3. I don't stress much about my wrinkles, but I admit, I hate the gray hair.
    But you, on the other hand, are wonderful, I totally agree with Liz's post! xoxo

  4. I'm with Liz on this one. You are one of those people in my life that I constantly look up to in a 'what would Mrs4444 do' kind of way.

    Your wrinkles are my road map.

  5. Omigoodness, you guys--Such incredibly sweet things to say. Wow. Thank you.

  6. A great post, Barb, with a very wise outlook on the future. I'm there already with the grey hair. I inherited pretty good genes so I'm not too wrinkled--of course I hardly ever look in the mirror, so who knows!

    But I cherish the time, the wisdom, and the experience you summed up so well in your writing. Rock on, youngster!

  7. BEAUTIFUL post! when i grow up i hope I am just like YOU!

  8. I love this! "Grow old with me the best is yet to be" It will definetly be the "best" with your outlook! You are wise and fun my friend, and that is a great combination for aging I'd say!

  9. Maya Angelou once stated, (takin' the liberty to paraphrase here)"what a child really wants is for your eyes to light up when they come into a room." I want to be that grandma that my 'little people' can see the joy they bring by the spark in my eyes as I come into their presence but baby I'm gonna do it with a tube of Retain-A in my hand! Heeehehehe!

    May God bless your day sweetie!!!

  10. I've got tears in my eyes. Seriously- you just totally made my day, maybe even my week. I needed this today- thank you.

    And I meant every word. I don't take words lightly and aim to always be sincere with what I say.

    I love your attitude on life and living and am beyond flattered that I might have had even a small part in that.

    Thank you for being YOU. No matter if you have wrinkles, spots, stripes, gray hair, no hair, or whatever... you are always genuinely you. You have the eyes and smile that light up a picture. You have the positive attitude that is infectious. You bring joy to many people through your words, stories, and pictures. By you just being you.

    That's a gift.

  11. Such a beautiful post, my friend! LOVE that quote, too. XO!

  12. I love this post, Mrs 4444. I'm right there with ya.


  13. In addition to being a night-time blogger, I maintain a blog about aging (called appropriately enough "All Things Aging") as part of my day job. I think that we will see more and more people embracing the possibilities and opportunities of age, rather than running from the challenges of aging. I'd love to link up this post at ATA.

  14. The 53 yeard old man I am agree's with you.

    I look at it in a different way -

    I have my wrinkles, and am seriously folically challenged now. Whats left is "salt and pepper". I'm not going to change it. Its my evolution.

    And I'm still me. Never grown up grown up. Same jerk since I was 20. LOL and I intend to be that way.

    I'm a father, a grandfather(sooner than I wanted) and love it.

    being appreciated is a wonderful feeling. I'll say I enjoy reading your blog and take in things too. you have a good perspective on things. Probably from raising your family and being exposed to so many other personalities at school. Rounds you out they say.

    Wise old woman? Thats just age. You're at your game now.

    (me too!) LOL


  15. great post! I'm about to turn 40 and oh my god the grays are taking over. Well, they were taking over til I got to the salon, now they are hiding. I am try to grow old gracefully yet fight it every step of the way at the same time. botox? probably not in my future, but I've learned never to say never. My biggest gripe is that after years of plucking my eyebrows I'm having to fill in the empty spots with a brow pencil! that says "old" to me more than grays and wrinkles!

  16. What a compliment! You do have a great voice, but to hear that reinforced is probably pretty amazing.

  17. What a fabulous way to look at aging!

  18. Oh you have wisdom that you don't you have. This post shows it.

    I love being a "Papa" but I must say they wear me out much quicker than their parents did. My advice get in shape for the grandkids.

    (oh the quote sounds like Steven Wright - I like this one - "Babies don't need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach... it pisses me off! I'll go over to a little baby and say 'What are you doing here? You haven't worked a day in your life!' )

  19. I have to disagree with that quote, wrinkles do hurt, when you look at them it hurts :-)

    I do not mind getting older and wiser at all. I have enjoyed every stage of my life so far and look forward to all that hopefully are still to come. But I do wish I could get older without the physical signs, I don't want to look like a 20 year old but I do want to be able to run around with my daughter and hopefully one day my grandchildren.

  20. This post has me deep in thought, which brings out the wrinkles in my forehead, beautifully!! (That's a good thing, right?)

    In all seriousness, I really enjoyed this post! It was very touching.

  21. The sun damage I could live without. The gray hair didn't bother me until it bothered my child. The wrinkles might get Botoxed someday. The extra curvy midriff really could be changed if I tried. So what matters? I think you said it best.

    I happen to agree with Liz. You are a terrific mom. I love to read about your relationship with your kids. But what I love most? You aren't living vicariously through them. You're living life right beside them. You really are an inspiration :)

  22. I agree wrinkles equals wisdom plus they tell a story.

  23. I don't get why everyone wants to get rid of their wrinkles and grey hair. My Mom has started getting more salt & peppery hair and I think it's beautiful! Wrinkles are your life and can be beautiful too.

  24. I believe only "real" people have wrinkles or as I like to call them "character lines". Wrinkles show that we are humans with emotions. Only people who laugh, cry, smile, frown have wrinkles so people without wrinlkles are "plastic" and fake. All the women I know are all the more beautiful because of their wrinkles.

    P.S. I've missed reading you every day!

  25. I'm so sorry that it took you soooo long to start the fun adventure of grey hair and wrinkles!! I'm just tickled that I get to enjoy these things now, at 35, instead of having to wait another 12 years for them!!

    I figure all my most favoritest people in my life had grey hair and wrinkles!! I'm privileged to join the group!!


Your 2 cents...