a battle I will never win

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Warning: If you are 25 years or younger I forbid you to read any further. Come back in 10 years.
If you insist upon reading, I must demand that you file this post away in your mind until such time as it applies to you. And believe me when I tell you that day will come before you expect it. This post is not for the judgmental, nor is it for my daughters. It is for me, for the humor I need to find in the process of maturing. For the internal struggle I feel as a living, breathing, aging human being. Naysayers and critics keep out. Having said that I would like to assure you that I do know beauty comes from the inside. I do believe that extreme vanity is a waste of time, and not of eternal importance, but at the end of the day, although I am a girl who knows that she is beloved by God, I am still a girl, and I want to look the best I can.

I am turing 35 this year. I cannot believe that I can say that. Granted, it is not until December, but still.
Imagine this: As soon as you turn one year older the calendar flips over to the next year and you can, having been this new age for only 11 days, say that this year you will be yet another year older. It is depressing. But I digress.

I remember watching a commercial at least 15 years ago, I do not remember what they were promoting, but it was filled with beautiful women of different ages, some with laugh lines, some with a full head of gorgeous silver-grey hair. The premise: growing old gracefully, accepting the affects of time and loving yourself anyways, and even more so because. It was truly inspiring. I just knew that I was going to be one of those women who would love and embrace every new line and grey hair. These would somehow speak to the world of my happy life, the skin I was confident in, and the inner peace I had come to feel.

Contrast this with an episode of Oprah aired around the same time. She was interviewing Cher who spoke openly of her resistance to aging. I felt so sad for her, and I thought it kind of pathetic. She was beautiful, she always will be, but she was no longer young and would never be again.

In my early twenties I was given a bottle of wrinkle cream in a sample kit of beauty supplies. I promptly gave it to my mother, not because I thought she needed it, but because I certainly did not! And then I blinked my eyes....

I feel as though I have reached the apex of the hill of life. The incline seemed to exist in real time. But now that I am at the top (or was a short time ago) the decline seems to only be available in fast forward. Why is this? One thing goes, and is inevitably followed by three more. A wrinkle here, a grey hair there, a spider vein below, a sun spot above. The list goes on. And the cold hard truth is I am not being swept along gracefully like I thought I would be. I am digging in my heels. I am attempting to swim against the current and looking for ways to reverse the sands of time. It seems ironic to me that the moment I began to feel really good about myself, all those childish insecurities gone, is the moment that the signs of age have decided to invade me with their unwanted presence.

I recently came across an audio book from the library by Nora Ephron called, I Feel Bad About My Neck. When I picked it up and read the back I knew it was for me. I am taking it as entertainment and not gospel, and so far I am really enjoying it. I will let you know if it goes horribly wrong. I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when she got to the part about her mustache. I laughed out loud! As much as it embarrasses me to admit, I could relate. If you cannot, count your lucky stars, but you may not find it as funny, which is a shame. 

The two worlds must unite. I need to accept the fact that I am and will continue to age, while trying to look the best I can at whatever age I happen to be.

I cannot promise, as sinful as some may think it, that I will never turn to Botox, and I am sorry to say that I am not interested in your judgements of me, nor do I care about the health concerns of this procedure. Let us remember that I have not yet done it. I am only pointing out, and quite honestly so, that I will never say never. I won't win the battle, but I do intent to keep the opposition at bay as long and, for now, as naturally as possible.

I do not pretend to have any vast knowledge in the beauty department, but I have learned a few things thus far in my not quite 35 years of life as a female. There is nothing life changing or unexpected here, only things we all know, but usually overlook in their simplicity:

1. Drink water, as much as your bladder will hold.

2. Stay out of the sun, at least keep your face out of it. Use sunscreen. Wear a hat.

3. Eat healthy, or don't complain - simple as that.

4. Take your vitamins.

5. After a certain age, don't ever look down into a mirror at you face. It will depress you.

6. Don't try to look 20 when you are 30. Be the best 30 year old you can be, and so on throughout the years (this one I learned from a dear friend).

7. Remember that beauty, quite literally comes from the inside. I know, I know - That is something mothers say to make their daughters feel better. But I am sure we have all met someone we thought to be very beautiful and upon getting to know them better have quite changed our opinions upon the matter. Take care not only of your body, but your health, your spirit, and your soul.

8. Get enough sleep - period.

9. Less is usually more. The older I get the more I realize that make-up doesn't always stay were it is applied. It ends up in places it was never intended to be, leaking into fine lines and wrinkles, and transferred as if by magic further and further up my eyelid.

And last but certainly not least,

10. If you think it's beautiful, forget about what anyone else thinks. Be yourself.

My beauty tip for the week: Calamine lotion. This helps to shrink acne spots. At night, after I have washed and applied cream to my face, I dab calamine lotion to spots when needed. It is not a miracle drug, but I have noticed it helps quite a bit. Some times I have had overnight results, drying up and healing spots. Sometimes it takes longer, but it is a great, natural, gentle fix. The best part, it costs pennies a bottle.

I know life is not fair. I tell my wee ones at least twice a day, but really, should anyone have 
to fight wrinkles and acne at the same time? In the words of my 6 year old, "That's not fair!"

One thing is for sure, though. I will never be too old to enjoy good music!
I am one of those crazy, kitchen dancing moms that imagines in some alternate universe
I could have had a fabulous career in theater.

This is a great song (thank you Katie and Krista)
If you can keep yourself from dancing, I do not know what's wrong with you.

And because I really like this version too.......


  1. I was feeling a little bummed about my age since turning 30 last week! This blog was great and made me feel better! I laughed about the mustache part, since the other day my little boy announced to me while snuggling in bed "Mommy, you have a mustache!" gack! Time to crack out the old bleach again, sigh! Lol! Thanks for sharing Shelly! You are one of the most beautiful people I know!

  2. Funny, funny stuff. That book sounds great! I'm glad we're all aging together anyway :)

  3. I am a singing dancing in the kitchen gal as well. I love those songs, they are on my running playlist to remind me that I am beautiful. Personally I think you look fabulous.