|With my mom a few years ago...she was in her late 70s when this was taken|
It begins with a few fine lines around your eyes that you never noticed before. Then, you may notice that your eye shadow doesn't go on as smoothly when you're applying it. Then you realize that the skin on your throat isn't as firm as it used to be.
You're getting older. It's inevitable, and it happens to everyone. But what are you going to do about it? Especially when you're talking about how you look on the outside?
You have two choices. You can give up and give in...realize that you're not young anymore, so why should you try to look good? Bring on the polyester and toss the make-up in the trash.
Or, you can decide that you're going to be the best "woman of a certain age" (as the French so beautifully put it) that it is within your power to be.
I decided on the second option, and I firmly believe it's mostly because of my mother.
My mother, my beauty icon
My mom died suddenly last November. She was 80 when she died, and she looked at least 10 years younger.
One simply didn't think of my mother as an old lady. She wore a full face of make-up everyday. Her clothes were classic and lovely, youthful without being trendy. No polyester pants or appliqued sweatshirts for her, and she didn't go out without re-applying her lipstick.
There were some reasons she looked young, I'm sure. Genetics and the fact that she never drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes had something to do with it. Clean living. She did eat mostly healthy foods, and exercised until she wasn't physically able to do much.
But it was more than that. It was the kind of beauty that radiated from within. She practiced joy in her daily life.
After she died, I found a devotional she had presented to a ladies' group. (She was a pastor's wife for most of her life, and continued to be an inspiration to the women in her church long after my dad passed away.)
The subject of the devotional was joy. She listed 10 ways to model joy and contentment:
- Express joy through your words
- Express joy with your voice
- Sing often
- Smile more often
- Have fun
- Live out a joyful faith
- Share your joys with others
- Nurture a spirit of giving
- Focus on the blessings
- Express joy and contentment any way you can
As I read that list, I realized my mom practiced all those things every day! She was, and always will be, my ultimate role model in gracefully aging.
I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge," in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October. Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!