I took a selfie the other day. I mean, what else are you supposed to do when the lighting is great and the makeup you put on for Mass is still on point at 5:00 pm? So, no, I guess taking the selfie wasn’t all that unusual. Instead, it was what happened after that when I looked at the picture that kind of threw me for a loop. Wait, I thought, is that really what I look like? Aging with grace, friends. Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.
A mental disconnect
I stared at that picture of myself for several minutes. In fact, I kept coming back to it again and again over the next day, taking inventory of what I saw. White hair, saggy eyes, the beginnings of (heaven forbid) jowls. Some general puffiness, faint lines, but no real wrinkles to speak of. It almost felt like I was staring at a picture of somebody else. Someone who, granted, looked a whole lot like me, but that couldn’t be me…could it?
I mean, this is not what I see in the mirror and certainly not what I see in my mind’s eye.
And this picture only showed my face! Move on down the topography of my person and there’d be even more to add to the list. Underarm flaps, a big soft belly, and cellulite. The difference with those things, though, is that I do see them in the mirror. But again, in my mind’s eye, they just don’t exist. Weird, right?
And then I got to thinking. Is this phenomenon something that only lives in my head? Or is this something other women deal with, too? So I decided to find out.
Strength in numbers
This is the picture I’m talking about. On Monday, I posted it to both Instagram and Facebook with the following caption:
“One of the things I find most fascinating about getting older is the disconnect between how I *think* I look in my head and how I *actually* look in pictures.
I still, more than 5 years since my last dye-job, think of myself as some with dark hair. Can you believe that? I’m still shocked by how white my hair looks in the sunlight! I think of my skin as still quite firm, not so saggy…my eyes not so puffy. And I usually picture myself as a young woman! I know, I know — I still am, relatively speaking. But I still think that people should be shocked to find that I have a son who’s ready to leave for college. Most of the time, though, they aren’t surprised at all.
…in my head, I still think I’m somewhere around 35.
Aging with grace
What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and he might weep when they are gone.