“Mum, can I use Picnik, please? I want to play around with some photos.”

I logged Sophie into my account and left her to have some fun. Sometime later she called out,” Come and see what I’ve done!”

There on the computer screen was a collage of Andy and me.  And I look gorgeous. Andy looks pretty good too!

“I added sparkle to your eyes, put blush on your cheeks, whitened your teeth and used the wrinkle remover,” Sophie announced proudly.

Was I in need of so much ‘help’?  The girls have always insisted I haven’t any wrinkles, that I’m not looking old. Were they telling the truth? I have to admit I like this new improved me. Since seeing Sophie’s photos I have been thinking…

Perhaps I can ‘adjust’ all my photos before I post them. Normally I sort through the photos: “No! I look awful in that one… That one shows too many wrinkles…. Oooh! That one’s not very flattering.” Does anyone else do this? Do you pick and choose what images everyone sees of you?

Why does it matter so much what we look like? Once our parish priest reminded us we can’t rely on our good looks. One day everything will head downwards and we need to have something else to carry us through life. So I have been trying not to think about age but about my character. But it is difficult.

Recently I was discussing ageing with my sister. I confided my reluctance to get older… well not to get older, but to look older. And Vicky being more virtuous than me (and looking more than 5 years younger), insisted that looks don’t matter. How glad I am that I am only 5 years older than my youngest sister. What if there were 17 years between us like there is between my youngest and oldest daughters? How will Felicity cope when her hair is greying and her skin starting to line, when her younger sister is still very much in her prime?

I think about why I don’t want to look old, why I am reluctant to admit my age. I guess it’s because I am afraid people will think I am too old to be their friend. Will they think I am too old to understand them, that they can’t relate to me?

But now I have a solution to my age problems.  'Online Sue' no longer has to look her age. With modern technology, thoughtfully provided by the photo editing site, Picnik, I can be young and gorgeous forever. I can encourage my children to use only edited photos of me on their blogs. No one need ever know I am 50. Oops! That kind of slipped out.

But what if we ever have that international bloggers’ conference I suggested to Victor? Or what if some of my blogging friends actually do make it to this side of the world and knock unexpectedly on my door?

“Sue? No, you can’t be Sue. She’s a lot younger than you. Are you her mother?”

Perhaps I had better not pretend to be young and gorgeous. Maybe I should remain who I am.

Now what did Father say I needed to do when everything starts to head downwards? Something about virtues? Sigh! I have a lot of work ahead of me....
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  1. Yep, I sort through for the best pic (I don't like my teeth when I smile, there really honest now)
    btw you do look gorgeous even without the photo enhancing.
    but I understand, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I think, "Who is that old, overweight woman?, who is impersonating me!" I feel so much younger, just the mirror doesn't quite match;)
    I do have a sister I am 20 years older than (she is 18mths younger than my dd). We recently took a photo at a wedding and I looked so old next to this gorgeous beauty, loyal darling that she is she insisted it wasn't so. Oh well I was still young enough to dance all night with her:)
    btw I wouldn't have known you were 50! would have thought 40.

  2. "Who is that old, overweight woman?, who is impersonating me!" I feel so much younger, just the mirror doesn't quite match;)- You have expressed it so well, Erin! I think that all the time. The real me doesn't match the outside me at all.

    And I love you for your very kind comment!! It's lovely to have honest friends to grow old with.

    Thank you for stopping by, Erin.

  3. Hi Sue,

    Sophie's photo collage of you and Andy is gorgeous!! You would be gorgeous even without the editing because you have a beautiful and generous heart that shines through... I have no doubt!

  4. This sort of photo enhancement has been done for many years in Hollywood. I'll never forget the time I met a celebrity (who will remained unnamed) and I couldn't believe how OLD she looked in real life! And...in terms of trying to look younger, many women colour their hair to look younger! Great post, Sue! I enjoy your blog very much (and I'm putting together a guest post for your blog as we speak!) God bless you and your entire family! PS A friend of mine once said "if you always want to look younger, just SMILE!"

  5. Wow! I love the pictures, Sue. Can I borrow your sweet daughter for a day or two? Lol! Or maybe I'll get Picnik for Michaela!

    You always look wonderful in your pictures, Sue, touched up or not. I don't have any photo software which is too bad because I DO have wrinkles! More than my older sister who is 49...she doesn't have a wrinkle on her face.
    My profile picture is almost 2 years old now but I haven't updated it because I had less wrinkles two years ago. How's that for vanity? Plus, I was thinner two years ago. Lol! I'll have to update it sooner or later though!

    I went to a funeral recently and ran into an old friend from my teenage years. I recognized her right off the bat but it took her a few minutes to recognize me. I was so embarrassed.
    Now, what were you saying about virtues?

  6. Noreen,

    What a blessed woman I am having friends like you. With kind words like yours I don't mind getting old! Thank you!

    God bless.

  7. Ellen,

    I'm so pleased to have you as a reader of my blog. Thank you for sharing my stories.

    Colouring hair? I've been thinking about that. With all my previous hair disasters, I have decided to grow old gracefully. I don't think I could be bothered with all the work needed to keep dyed hair looking good, anyway. Then again, I could just take my photos to Picnik and touch them up! The other day the girls took a photo of Gemma-Rose and gave her orange hair!

    Ellen, I am looking forward to your guest post. What a treat that will be, having you as a guest blogger!!

    And I won't forget to keep smiling!

    God bless you and your family.

  8. Mary,

    Picnik is well worth subscribing to. Apart from touching up my wrinkles, I've had a great time making blog headers using their software. The girls have had a wonderful time too playing around with their photos. I'm sure Michaela would enjoy touching up any photos for you!!!

    My profile picture is getting a bit old too. But like you,I prefer this photo to more recent ones. Actually, the photo Sophie used is one taken on my last birthday just a few months ago. Not too long ago.

    Thin photos? Yes! That's another consideration. So much to think about when choosing blog images!!

    Virtues? Don't forget, Mary, I read your blog. You might laugh at wrinkles and being vain, but I happen to know you work hard on the virtues too.

    God bless you!

  9. Talking of photos ... when I sent my photo to a dating agency years ago they returned it with a note saying: "We're not that desperate!"

    Talking of wrinkles ... there's this new cream in the UK which promises to get rid of all wrinkles. Aunt Gertrude, who is well in her eighties uses it. Now the only wrinkle she has is the one she sits on !!!

    God bless.

  10. Hi Victor,

    I take it you didn't meet your wife through a dating agency!

    Isn't Aunt Gertrude Australian? Do you post the cream to her from the UK or is it available here too?

    I see you have overcome the unflattering photo dilemma by never posting photos of yourself but instead, you use your book cover as your profile image. That is not very brave, Victor!

    God bless.

  11. Funny! I can so relate! Sue you are perfect just the way you are - beautiful on the inside and out. It's that glow from your big heart that emanates and makes you just sparkle!

  12. Dana,

    You are too kind!! I feel far from perfect but it is wonderful having an encouraging friend like you. Thank you for sharing my stories and for your friendship. I do appreciate you visiting my blog.
    God bless.

  13. I quit coloring my hair 2 years ago... I just ran out of time to ever go have it done and doing it myself was not so professional looking!! I grew up with dark blonde hair and it had beautiful light blonde highlights throughout. NOW? Oh, my... I don't recognize myself with this brownish colored hair!! For Pete's sake, I could color it red (or purple) and recognize myself just as well!

    I hide behind a logo that I scribbled instead of posting a picture to throw around the blogosphere... I recognize my unchanging scribble... would I recognize my own face??? Dunno!!?!!!

    I have enjoyed reading and poking around your blogs... fun stuff, here

  14. Hi Elm,

    Thank you for reading my stories. And sharing your own 'looking older' tale!

    Yes, I also look in the mirror and don't recognise myself. It's funny how our external appearances don't match how we feel inside. I'm sure I should look about 30 or even younger but when I catch sight of myself in the mirror there is this middle aged woman staring at me! Where did she come from?

    I know a lot of women who look absolutely fabulous because they have their hair coloured but I am like you: no time to keep up the maintenance.

    A logo? What a good idea! I rather like those cartoon version profile pictures.

    So kind of you to stop by and say hello! Thank you.

  15. This made me smile! My sis is also 5 years younger than I am and just recently has really started to look it ;-) I've found that suddenly I very much mind looking older! What's up with that wrinkled neck skin anyway?

  16. Hi Beate,

    When I was a child it was great being five years older than my sister. I got to do all those exciting growing up things first. Now I get to do all those middle-aged growing old things first! Not nearly so much fun.

    What's up with wrinkled neck skin? Nothing! I am reading Kate Wicker's book, "Weightless" at the moment - making peace with our bodies. There's a chapter on ageing. I haven't yet got to that part but soon will. I guess, God loves us however we are and that is what is most important.

    God bless and thank you for stopping by.


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