Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly Fly the Years

Something happened today that has put me in quite the funk.

I looked at a picture I took of myself with my phone.
And I did not like what I see.
The image in the picture did NOT jibe with the one in the mirror, and certainly not with the one in my head.

And because I know I often see what I want to see, rather than what is actually there, I showed the picture to Hubby and asked if that is what I look like.

He said.  "Not really.  Well, kind of.  In the morning, yeah."
And it just went downhill from there.

He tried to make me feel better, he really did, but saying things like "There are just a few wrinkles and gray hairs" and "we're all getting older" did NOT help, because, although we are the same age (and, in fact, he's a few months older), he does not have ANY wrinkles or gray hair.  At 44, he could still pass for early 30's.  On stage he still looks like he's in his 20's.  He's barely gained an ounce since we met 18 years ago.

It was bad enough that I'm currently 40 pounds heavier than I was then (although, to be fair, I WAS anorexic...), but I don't want to look 20 years older than him, to boot.
It was bad enough knowing that, as a mom in my 40's, I'm basically invisible to society. But to have completely lost whatever looks I had, at (not quite) 44, is a huge blow.

I look at pictures from just 5 years ago, and I have aged A LOT. Heck, even from 2 years ago.  Gulp.

Granted, these past few years have been eventful.  Continuing, of course, to raise our 2 autistic children, losing my dad to cancer, my mom getting cancer (which is in complete remission, thank G-d), losing our home, moving in with the in-laws, and now facing pre-adolescence with both kids.
Add to that the lack, for a long time, of any kind of creative or social outlet, and it's not very surprising that I now look the way I do.

But it's making me ridiculously sad.
I was never all that confident about my appearance.  But there were a few good years in there.  And when I look at these recent photos, I don't see the person I feel like I am. I see someone old and tired and worn.  Yes, I'm frequently tired (the whole 2 kids thing), and I joke about not getting any younger, but I don't FEEL old.
I'm NOT old.
I just LOOK old.

I always told myself I'd age gracefully.  Which is easy to say when you're 29 and dewy.  When you're 44 and look like you're older, it's a lot harder to accept.

So, what to do?  Botox and surgery are absolutely out.  I want to look natural, thankyouverymuch, and I'd like to be able to move my face.
Juice fast?
I've got the juicer.
But I kinda like chewing stuff.
High raw vegan diet?  Drink even more water (and spend even more time running to the bathroom) than I currently do?  Cut out all caffeine (The Horror!)?  I don't smoke or drink, so I can't cut those out.
I honestly don't know.

Hubby said the reason he has no wrinkles is because he uses moisturizer.  Well, so do I.  But I have to be careful, because  I STILL break out like I'm 15.
Plus, now I'm getting facial hair!!!!!
How is this at all fair?!?!?!
Why am I hairy AND wrinkly AND pimply AND fat?!?!?!?!  Can't I have ONE good thing, looks-wise?

I'm also trying to remember the last time I had a real night out with friends.
And I think it's been about 13 years.

Surely that is not what I intended?!

Obviously I have got to make some changes.  I've got to start doing some things once in a while that are mine.  And not just to make money, either.  Yes, the yoga helps, A LOT, but so many things have been left by the wayside.
Like that improv class I was going to start taking.  A year and a half ago.
That never happened.
Maybe it's time it did.
Just for me, for fun, while the kids are in school.
Because I used to do comedy improv, and I LOVED it.  And, to toot my own horn here a bit again, I was pretty darn good at it.
Maybe it's time to start working those muscles once more.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I can SO relate to this as I feel much younger than my age, but the face in the mirror is startling and doesn't feel like "me." I tend to live in denial, carefully selecting photos that have just the right light and only looking at the mirror from flattering angles, but yeah, it's tough for women. Especially those of us who didn't get the right genetics for flawless skin.

On the other hand, when I see active strong women in their 60s-90's, I don't think "look at those wrinkles" I think: "wow she looks really fit for her age!" I guess I just need to look at myself from that same perspective.

Geosomin said...

Hey you - try not to be so hard on your self. You seem like a wonderful person to me :)
I know I find the way I see myself tends to ebb and flow, where I look good and then...well...not so much. I've tried to focus on being healthy and happy and moisturize myself and try not to be my own worst critic.
I turn 40 this year, and it's kinda freaking me out. I feel like I'm still 30, but when I look in the mirror I know I'm not...
Already, having lost weight before, the person in the mirror doesn't feel like me all the time and if I get too thin or gain a few it puts me in a funk too... it's a wierd balance of emotions just trying to be healthy and happy.
Just do what feels best - for you.