Growing up, i never really worried about getting older. I don't know if it's because my mom was 40 when I was born pr because there was never a conversation of her "getting old" or "growing old" or "getting wrinkles/grey hair".  I remember people would ask, "How come your grandma picks you up from school?". ha! (sorry mom )

I also owe a lot to my mom because I never grew up hearing her comment on her weight or looks...ever. Sure they did the diets, exercises and fads, but I never heard her talking about it. And i'm grateful for that. Once lucy reached around 3 years old I realized that I had to really alter the way I talk around her. I had two girls, there was a lot of pressure in my mind, to be a good example about body image and the conversation we have in our home about that. I've tried (probably with no avail) to teach them that you are beautiful when you use your talents, your mind, and are a friend to everyone. That it's not what you wear, but what's in your head that really matters.

The world will always judge people by the way they look. That will never change, or at least, not for a very long time. But I truly believe that beauty (as tacky as this may sound) comes from the inside out.  Real, honest to goodness beauty. Not the kind that is applied with products or trendy clothes. Beauty that people can feel and sense and physically feel when they are around you. I feel powerful when I feel beautiful, but the catch is that I feel beautiful when i feel confident and powerful.

I haven't minded the wrinkles as they have come. I found 8 grey hairs in Taylor Hall my freshman year in college ( i was 18!). My grandmother and mother have always been my role models and mentors, and i think both of them aged gracefully and with power and beauty. I can count on my hands how many times I have seen my mom in pajamas and not ready for the day.

But...the other day, oh. I was somewhere with awful fluorescent lighting, and I saw my face up close and the wrinkles somehow have multiplied overnight my friends. Deep, deep wrinkles.  All those years of swimming and lifeguarding and hanging outside is coming back to bite me. I walked out of that bathroom feeling awful. I looked at ty and did a little pouty face. "what's wrong?" he asked.

"my wrinkles", i sighed. and he just patted me on the back and we kept walking.

So what, i have more wrinkles now. i also wear less make-up most days. i wash my hair almost every 3 days. i bought a new pair of sweatpants at Christmas time and they might just be making more of an appearance than on Sundays. But I feel comfortable, I feel powerful, I feel beautiful.

Even in sweatpants and wrinkles.

So, I don't know what the point of this was. But I am getting older, it's showing, and...I'm ok with it. All that I've experienced to get the wrinkles was worth it, I wouldn't go back for a minute.

*for some reason, my collars just pop up on their own. wink wink.

When or what makes you feel beautiful? I'd like to know.


Myrna Foster said...

Love this post! Being happy and healthy makes me feel beautiful. I don't think that wrinkles are ugly on my friends, so I don't really worry about them. I do worry about eating right and getting enough exercise, but I don't obsess, and I don't think it's a bad thing for kids to be conscious about those things. I DO agree think it's important for moms (especially moms who are in pretty good shape) not to worry about weight where their daughters can hear them!

angela michelle said...

You're looking lovely to me! Remember this is the youngest you'll ever be. In a few more years you'll look back on how you look now and wish you had enjoyed it more. Good reminder to watch what we say in front of our daughters. My mom never schlepped around undone either. How did they do it!?!

Anonymous said...

What makes me feel most beautiful is when one of my kids looks up at me and tells me so. Gavin did this Saturday morning when we were sitting on the couch in our pjs. I find it very important to not obsess about weight and looks of ourselves or anyone. For my daughters to help them feel good about themselves because of their goodness and for my boys to see that (in the far future) they need to not just fall for a girl because of her jean size and the make up on her face. I want them to learn to see the beauty in people from the "inside out".

Audrey said...

I love you Annie! I love your honesty, your beauty and I love this post so much. Beauty does truly come from the inside out. We all need a reminder of this sometimes.

Melodee said...

beautiful post, and you are just your confidence:) we should all focus on growing old gracefully :)

my name is becky kelly said...

i can't wait for you to read this when you are like 60 and be like "whaaaat! what was i thinking? i wasn't old and didn't have wrinkles then!" haha. please call me on that day and we'll put on our purple hats and go out to lunch at the inside scoop.

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