When I was fifty, I was sure that cosmetic surgery was not for me. I had investigated it, met with the doctors, discussed the options and decided no. I was satisfied to go the natural route.
Well now I am sixty two and I feel good. My energy is good. I have a sense of purpose and, most days, I am pretty sure my contribution to life counts.
So why does the woman staring back at me in the mirror look so tired? Who is she, this old lady with the bags and dark circles under the eyes?
Jane Fonda, when asked why she had succumbed to the knife again said, "I just got fed up looking so much more tired than I felt". I have to admit I was a tad judgmental of poor Jane. I mean come on! Jane ended her book My Life So Far sharing that she had her breast implants removed to look more natural.And now she had her face done?
I apologize Jane, for being so critical and for opening my mouth about your face before I had experienced my own tired eyes staring back at me. Now I get it. It is a disconnect, one's face should reflect how one feels. I am not sure who this woman is in my mirror but quite frankly she could with a little rest. I have started to question myself...am I more tired than I realize, am I ill? Is some horrid, as of yet undiagnosed disease, lurking behind those dark lines under my eyes?
So am I going to join the 15 million people worldwide* who voluntarily lie down on the operating table every year and say, "OK doc...do your magic "?
At this point I still think, no. But I really did need to be honest about the fact I have seriously considered it and I totally get it Jane. I admit I just would not know when to stop. If I get some work done on my face today then what about my neck, the cellulite on my arms, my tummy bulge and the saggy butt? What is next? Where does it all end?
My plan for now is to keep on the acceptance path because it is my belief that acceptance will take me further and be my best friend in the years to come. The other day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and my husband, trying to be helpful in that "special " way only men can, said "it could be worse". I threw back, "it will be". And where will I be then if I have not befriended by looser, lower self(speaking of gravity here).
A recent UK survey* by Grazia magazine shows that the number one reason Brits go under the knife is to increase confidence. Don't they know that an increase in confidence is one of the top gifts of aging described by my interviewees when I was researching for Fifty& Fabulous! Aging breeds confidence. Maybe just surviving this long breeds confidence but I think it also has something to do with awareness and lessons learned along the way. Apply your aged confidence liberally to those wrinkles once a day and I guarantee their appearance will diminish in 2-3 weeks.
Consider what we erase when we remove the consequence of days spend at the beach with our children or nights danced in the arms of someone we love, or tears wept for loss and brows furrowed from worry. If we go too deep to smooth those lines we risk erasing our visual history, ironing out our life story.
I love ancient buildings converted to modern use but it is not the new bathroom fixtures which awe me. It is the cracked stone walls and worn rugs and ancient mosaics. It is the sense of all the living that has happened in this place over time which engages me. Surely our bodies can be treated with the same respect by resting in our greater truth.
To the Jane Fondas of the world let me say that this decision of mine is exactly that...mine. You are free to make your own decisions on this topic and with a little Grace I will keep my opinions of your decisions to myself. I do not walk in your shoes, only my own and they, by the way, get flatter every day. But that is another story of acceptance.