So what’s been on my mind recently…

Wrinkles and lines… my appearance. I made a huge mistake the other day. I looked into the mirror properly. I got right up close in full light and examined my face. I haven’t done that for a long time. I wish I hadn’t. There I was going around feeling young and gorgeous, and then the other day I dropped back to earth with a thud. I am not young and gorgeous in the slightest.

I’m not gorgeous. I’m not young… Could it be I’m not even middle-aged? If I have had only half my life, then I’m going to live to a record old age. So what are people of my age called? 

I’ve been looking at other women. Not outright staring, you understand. Just quietly looking and wondering: Is she my age? Do I have as many wrinkles as she does? Do I look as old as that? Now she is definitely older than me. I hope.

But back to the mirror. Now I’m quite used to the lines around my eyes. I’ve had plenty of time to adjust to them. As Gemma-Rose says they are my smile lines, and if I wasn’t such a happy person, I wouldn’t have them. But that sagging skin around my jaw-line is threatening my natural happy state. The other day, I stood in front of the mirror, lifted my chin, and held that skin taut with my fingers. What an improvement! I can see why women are tempted to have face lifts. Men too. But I remember Pavarotti. No, even if I had the money, I wouldn’t have a face lift. If I smile, the skin lifts naturally... which is good. But the lines around my eyes increase... which is bad. But they are smile lines, aren't they? I will just have to continue being a happy person.

But do I want to be a bald person? I have come to the conclusion that if I continue to pluck out all the white hairs from among the red, I will eventually be hairless. I have passed the point of no return. White hair or no hair? I guess I will be a white-haired happy person.

Of course, I could always dye my hair but somehow that doesn’t feel like me. I am a no fuss kind of person. Could I really cope with frequent visits to the hairdresser? Perhaps I could just put a positive spin on the whole hairy situation by calling the white hairs blonde highlights.

Thinking of no fuss leads me to make-up. Perhaps I should make a fuss. Would smearing some liquid make-up all over my face hide the wrinkles? But would I remember not to touch my face? Should I draw attention away from my defects by painting on some lipstick which I could turn into a happy smile? Or should I just remain a lick-of-mascara girl? Girl? Woman? Old lady?

Old lady? Sometimes when we go running, I tell Gemma-Rose she can run alongside me but only if she wants to run at ‘old lady pace’. She always insists I’m not an old lady which is rather nice. Aren’t children wonderful at making us feel good?

Actually I’m not running at old lady pace any more. I haven’t shared any running progress for a long time. Would it sound like I am boasting if I tell you I’m running a non-stop 6K four or so times a week? I am thinking... Yes, it will be quite all right to tell you because maybe you’re thinking of becoming a runner too and need some encouragement. If you hear an old lady like me can run that far, you'll know you can do it too.

Now it wasn’t easy getting fit. Do you remember I started running on Christmas Day 2011? I yearned to run like the wind, and I decided it was now or never. Get fit or slip into old age inactivity. I was assured by an expert running program that I’d be running 5K in only 9 weeks. I wasn’t. I felt like giving up. I told myself all I needed was a good dose of will power. I visualised running and running and running. But it wasn’t any good.  I’d say, "Run! Run!" And my legs would say, "Stop! Stop!" And I had to obey my legs.

Then one day I had some blood tests and discovered I was critically low in iron and vitamin D. I started taking some supplements and … I started running. What a difference! Six months, not 9 weeks after deciding I wanted to run, I ran 5K… non-stop of course! Wow, what a day that was!

All winter the girls and I trained inside on a treadmill, away from the cold and miserable weather. When spring arrived a few weeks ago, we headed outside for our first run along our bush track circuit since last autumn. I was rather nervous. Is treadmill running equivalent to outside running? Did I set up the treadmill correctly to compensate for the lack of wind resistance and hills? Would I be able to run as far as I thought I could? I did even better. I ran 6K… non-stop of course!

So I have come to the conclusion that although I can’t really do anything about my face, I can do heaps about my fitness. That is still within my control. So I have decided to be the fittest old-middle-aged person (with wrinkles) around here. Actually Andy is getting fit too. He’s been going to the gym. Okay, we shall be the fittest old-middle-aged couple (with wrinkles) around here.

Concentrate on what you can change and not on what you can’t. I'm looking at that sentence thinking there is something wrong with it. The words are probably not quite right but I know you'll work out what I'm trying to say. I doubt I made up that saying. I'm not that clever. But whoever said those words, knew what they were talking about. I am going to take them to heart.

And I am not going to be looking in any more mirrors. I am going to run along the tracks with the wind blowing through my hair and I am going to feel fit and young and gorgeous. I don’t need to know the truth. I am going to close my eyes to reality. And I doubt if anyone in my family is going to disillusion me. They are my family. To them I’m perfect. They love me just as I am. Isn't it wonderful to have a family? I guess God loves me just as I am too. In fact I know He does.

Now that I am at the end of this story, I'm beginning to wonder why I'm making such a fuss about looking old. We're all going to get old and wrinkly (unless we have lots of money and resort to lotions and potions and surgery.) Does it really matter what we look like? 

Does it really matter what I look like? I wish I was so virtuous, I could honestly say, "No."
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  1. Middle age is a time of adjustment, isn't it? For me, I'm just trying to make the most of our younger children's dependent years, at the moment. It makes me feel nostalgic to think that this stage of life will be over soon - I find myself gazing at them and smothering them with hugs and kisses while I still can.

    God bless, Sue:-)

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    1. Vicky,

      A time of adjustment? Yes! I'm coping pretty well with most things. I really love life at the moment, even if the kids are growing up so fast. There are so many delights in parenting older children. I really only have a problem adjusting to my changed appearance. My outside does not match my inside! Inside I am still young and beautiful. It really is a surprise when I look in the mirror. Is that really me?

      Thank you for your comment.

      God bless!

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  2. I just thought you should know that you are a very lovely woman! I read once somewhere about this woman in her late 90's who seemed more like in her 60's. What was her secret? She got rid of the mirrors in her house long ago so that she acted how she thought of herself, younger. She took advantage of the fact that people often feel younger than they look. And really when you think about it, it's only in this modern day age that people can afford the luxury of so many mirrors!

    God Bless You Sue!

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    Replies
    1. Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your kind words!

      I agree with you entirely. Isn't it funny how we can be happy until we look in the mirror? I can go around feeling young and gorgeous and enormously happy... until I see my reflection. Yes, I think I will avoid the mirror. As long as no one disillusions me by saying, "Wow, Sue! You've aged recently!" I should be perfectly content.

      I love your story about the older woman. She was very wise. A priest friend of ours thinks we should all avoid having mirrors (except where absolutely essential) in our homes because it leads to vanity and a lack of peace. The nuns don't have mirrors in the convent and they are very peaceful people. Something to think about!

      I am going to work on being grateful I have a perfectly normal, if wrinkly, face and my good health!

      God bless!

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  3. Dear Sue Elvis. I love reading your posts. You almost always speak to something inside me. As you I see wrinkles, not me, in the mirror, but still feel young. I still enjoy "tigth rope walking" on the kerb, when I walk to the busstop :) I then ask myself: When is your hair too grey for you to be a child of God? I know my children's answer: NEVER, mum!

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    Replies
    1. Uglemor,

      I am so grateful for your comment. Sometimes I write about my feelings and then wonder if anyone else feels the same way. Perhaps everyone else has got this growing old thing all sorted out and I'm the only one struggling along. It's hard to tell when not many people stop to share.

      Then I started to think everyone must be so much younger than me, they can't relate. Perhaps I shouldn't have told people I am so old. They might not want to read my blog!

      I never expected to feel so young on the inside and so old on the outside. It really is strange, as I'm sure you understand! Tight rope walking? That sounds like so much fun! I also act quite disgracefully young sometimes. Luckily my children aren't at all embarrassed but like me just the way I am.

      "When is your hair too grey for you to be a child of God? I know my children's answer: NEVER, mum!" I love that!

      Thank you so much for stopping and commenting.

      God bless!

      Delete
  4. Yup - feel the same way ;-) That neck skin - oh my! I don't feel old!! Not only am I startled when I look in the mirror, but when I glimpse my hands - where did those come from? I think part of the problem is that public figures don't ever allow themselves to age. Our news anchor is in her sixties and she is often so soft focused that I think I must have forgotten to put in my contacts ;-)

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  5. Beate,

    Neck? Hands? Oh no! I forgot about them. The ageing story gets worse and worse. I shall just keep my hands out of sight. In the Texas Panhandle stories, the girls wear half handers to protect their hands from the sun. Perhaps I should have made a habit of washing dishes only whilst wearing rubber gloves. Oh well, too late now.

    I have discovered I look a whole lot younger too when I take out my contact lenses!

    You know what is the nicest thing about getting old? It's having friends to share it with. We are all getting old together.

    God bless!

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  6. :-) Yes, I should have used sunscreen on the hands esp. since I used to spend the majority of my time outside and the TX sun is brutal - like the Aussie sun I'd think? I've also never been a hat person....

    You look great btw!

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    Replies
    1. Beate,

      I'm not a hat person either. I hate 'hat hair' plastered to my head, which is very vain of me!

      Yes, the Aussie sun can be brutal. I never let the kids outside unless they are coated in sunscreen and wearing hats (at least for most months of the year.)

      Delete

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