looking straight into the mirror

Author: angiem, 09 17th, 2009

I will seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement rather than fashion.  I will seek to be worthy more than respectable, wealthy and not rich.  I will study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly. (William Ellery Channing)

On this, the eve of another birthday, I have come to the realization that my life is so marvelous and filled with love and blessings that I do not mind getting old, all that much. For many years I have dreaded birthdays because I dreaded getting old and wrinkly. It seemed so unfair and humiliating. Throughout my teens and twenties, I had worshipped the sun’s rays, not so much because I liked their feel on my skin, but rather because of the glow they gave me. Once I reached my thirties it seemed so silly and pointless; nonetheless, I was addicted.

I remember a summer a few years back, when I went tanning every single day. It was fashionable. Being tanned, that is. And I wanted to be fashionable. I admit it, I have been successfully brainwashed to believe in the importance of fitting in. But anyway. Fashion is important to me. And just so you know, I’m quite the fashionista - in my own mind.

In the spirit of a wish to be elegant, which I’m assuming is a wish for every woman past thirty-five, I have given up tanning. Wouldn’t you know it, but my skin is all the better for it. The love I have for myself has matured - I hope, but honestly only time will tell - from an obsessive, all-consuming love into a forgiving, accepting one.

And really, all I want  on the eve of my eightieth birthday - besides recognizing my face in the mirror and my children’s face around me - is to look at the reflection of my wrinkled face and not regret a single line.

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12 Responses to “looking straight into the mirror”

  1. Jena Says:

    I love that last paragraph. It is beautiful and true. Happy Birthday Angie. May all your dreams become a reality!

  2. Carmenica Says:

    Well put Angie, happy belated birthday!

  3. Susan Mills Says:

    I agree with Jena. I love that last paragraph. It is such a great reminder. Happy Birthday!

  4. elena w Says:

    Happy birthday Angie! :)
    …this is so beautiful - I don’t know you very well, but I really like you ;). You have a way with words like don’t many have - I really enjoyed reading this :)

  5. Stephanie Faris Says:

    Happy bday! Is it today? My bday is tomorrow…I’m 39. (Gasp) I needed to read this today. I’m not really worried about it…I just see 40 coming…

  6. angiem Says:

    Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes! It has been a beautiful day, and your words have made it even more so.

  7. angiem Says:

    Stephanie,
    Yes, I’ve just turned 37,and although it isn’t such a great age, when I was a kid it seemed ancient. By the way, you’re absolutely gorgeous, you have nothing to worry about. Happy birthday to you, enjoy the journey!

  8. audrey Says:

    happy birthday Angie. your post is quite beautiful, and it is true, you do have a special way with words. congratulations on all that you have accomplished… a loving family, happiness and contentment and self love. i’d say it’s worth the trip to get to such a beautiful place in life. enjoy!!

  9. Michelle Miller Says:

    Happy belated birthday Angie! What an excellent post…so eloquent! I know what you mean about getting older. I turn 41 next month! But I don’t feel old and I really do not look old (my sun worship ended before I was 30). I’m content except for the fact that I hope I get to read all the books I want to before I leave this earth! =o)

  10. angiem Says:

    Thank you Audrey. I certainly am lucky and blessed. I intend to enjoy my loved ones and myself every single moment!

    Michelle, thank you. I feel the same way about reading. And happy early birthday!

  11. Ani Says:

    Ohhh… I feel terrible… I missed your birthday! Sorry Angie… Well, it’s never too late to wish you a happy birthday! :-) My sister Lola’s birthday is on September 17th as well. God bless you with many more birthdays to come. You have come to a great realization. I do have to admit, tough, that I had a really hard time turning 30… now, I’m ok, cause I’m already 31! lol… but turning 30 was hard.

    God bless… and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  12. Ruth Says:

    You will age gracefully!

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