I was getting ready to spend the entire day outdoors today. The fact that it’s afternoon already is immaterial; I spent my morning talking to my mother on the phone and it made for time well-spent today. I carefully put on sunscreen because it’s a beautiful sunny day and that calls for certain precautions. I was in my bedroom near my dressing table where it was starting to feel hot and stuffy. I didn’t open the windows in my bedroom after coming back from my holiday three days ago and the curtain had remained drawn three quarters of the way too. I felt the heat and suffocation and pulled aside the curtains and opened the window. The weather is pleasant, there’s a cool breeze and the room instantly felt more comfortable to be in. When the sunlight poured in, I caught sight of something in the mirror and leaned in to look at it more carefully. When I saw what it was, my first reaction was to grin and then break out into laughter. Then I called my mother back and told her about it. “Thank you for sharing that,” she said, oh-so-sweetly.
On the phone, I said, “I know you’re busy so I won’t take too much of your time but I simply had to tell you this: I just saw the first permanent line on my face! It’s otherwise known as a wrinkle, I suppose.” I was still laughing and I told my mother why. It is near the left corner of my lips, a little semi-crescent buried in the skin. It’s a line created when I smile, grin, laugh. It’s a line that shows itself when I react happily to something.Yes, it’s a sign of aging, but it’s also a sign of how a life has been lived so far. It isn’t at all upsetting because you know what it’s indicative of. Strangely enough, the sight of it brought me contentment!
It’s inevitable, right? We’re all going to get older and we’re going to lose our youthful looks someday(unless you opt for Botox and plastic surgery and other unnatural means of looking younger). What matters at the end of the day is how you have lived your life. Have you lived it to the fullest possible so that you aren’t afraid of getting older? Have you lived it so that your age merely represents the number of years you’ve spent chasing happiness? Has your life been a journey containing the things that make you happy? It doesn’t have to be stuff you spend lots of money on! There are little things that can put a smile on your face, bring you joy, make you content, aren’t there? Each line that age marks on you could represent something. The question is: What do you want it to remind you of?
I wonder if acceptance of the process of aging is merely a matter of perspective. When I get crow’s feet at the corners of my eyes those are going to speak of the expressions I have had over all these years. (I make sure I always wear sunglasses outdoors so, no, it won’t mean I squint a lot in the sun!) It’s going to show me that I have smiled honestly often, that I have frequently laughed whole-heartedly, that I have been happy many, many times. It’s going to mean the same thing as this little line near my lips which tells me that I’m getting older, but happily so.