Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Face of Fifty-Five

I'm 55. It sounds foreign to my ears; I still feel like I'm in my 30s. Fifty-five. Wow.

When I was in my thirties, I couldn't imagine why women colored their hair, bleached their teeth, and got face lifts. Honestly, I was pretty judgmental about it. I also held some pretty strong judgments about people who claimed to be on a diet but never seemed to get thinner. Let's just say I've been humbled. We get our lessons one way or another! I don't do those things, but I am very tempted to "stop the clock." And yet, for me at least, I think other people who look their age are lovely. Why cover up those hard-earned signs of survival.

At New Year's I set out to be the best me I could be. I resolved to love with passion and live with forgiveness. One of the people I decided to love a lot more was me. As a result, I have been conscious of not using my mirror to be critical of myself but to see deeply. I have surprised myself at my willingness to accept my 55 year old face. Here it is, unmade up for your inspection:

One of my friends recently suggested that if I colored my hair, people would not guess my true age.  Anyway, she was truly being complementary so I decided not to mix it up with her about self-acceptance, why I've chosen this route, etc. She was just being sweet so I took it in and let the rest float away.

Wrinkles. Well, the beginnings of them anyway, on the edges of my face and around my eyes. There are lots of deep ones on my neck and chest.



Gray hair, as it turns out, is a little translucent. My hair is a lot thinner now too.

I'm more than 2 years shampoo-free now and will never go back to all the chemicals on my hair. While my skin allergy is still in evidence, it is leagues better since giving up shampoo. It also really simplifies travel.

The next close up shows both the allergy and the spritely gray eyebrows.
 I've discovered my allergy is sugar-related, no matter what my dermatologist says. I've cut way back on refined carbs to try to affect a cure.

I first got glasses and bi-focals in my forties. "No-line" tri-focals are my secret to stress-free seeing now. I like myself better in glasses now. It brings my deepset eyes forward.





So this is it. The face of 55. My dear daughter took these pictures and I think looking so closely at middle-age gave her a bit of discomfort.


So she applied my make-up and took an "after" picture.


If I'm in middle age now, I guess I have another 5 decades of changes to record. Let's see if I stay brave!