2011-02-15 11.31.23

Daily Prompt Challenge: “When I look in the mirror, I…” Well, this daily prompt truly is a challenge!

As I was growing up, I never thought that I’d struggle with things like going grey, wrinkles. These are just natural stages of life, correct? “Growing old gracefully” seemed as though it would be not effortless, but just a natural progression of going with the flow. Why fight what is inevitable? Good question, but sometimes things are much easier in theory than in practice.

Things change, that’s for sure. As a woman who is fast approaching 50 years old, I have my share of grey strands peeking through the dark brown. (I have so earned every one of them, mind you!) Wrinkles around my eyes are getting deeper with time. And the weight gain issue? That’s a tough one as I have not really struggled with that most of my life, and yet recently, my clothes are not quite fitting the way they used to. When I step on the scale the figure I see is not anywhere near to what I have been accustomed to in the past.

So, the external is changing. I look in the mirror and I see a woman growing older. Is the internal keeping up with the external? That’s part of the dilemma because I can still go back and feel as though I’m twenty-five years old. I can listen to my eighteen year old daughter share about an issue, and I can go back in my mind to that time so quickly. I love that, but it sure can make it disconcerting when I look in the mirror and see a woman who has a 30 year high school reunion coming up in the Fall. (Oh, and that’s a whole other issue, because I have seen photos of my classmates and they look so old!! Am sure they see the same when they look at my photo!)

I am not 18, nor do I want to be. I am not a young adult. I am a woman who has most likely lived more than half of her life. Growing old gracefully may mean that I give myself a bit of grace when I look in the mirror. That each line and gray hair tells a bit of a story. I want to look my best, but honestly, I need to take into account that ‘best’ at 50 is so very different from ‘best’ at 25. And that’s okay. I will use the lotions, exercise, eat well, and maybe even venture out to get my hair highlighted so that the gray does not too quickly overtake the brown. But I will make more of an effort at internally accepting that person staring back at me in the mirror. She is pretty good at giving grace to others…and might need to shed a bit of grace on herself as the years pass and the reflection changes.