So we are currently moving. And one of the fun parts of moving is that you find things you forgot you had. My husband stumbled onto one of these so-called forgotten things: a box of photos. Herein lied photos of my early twenties and mid-twenties, the period before I was married and a mom. Some pictures brought back good memories, some sad, some humorous, and some embarrassing nights of too much tequila. The one thing that was constant in all of these photos though was youth. In my hands, I was facing the reality of just how much I’ve aged. From this, a revelation arose in me.
Not too long ago, I would have looked at those pictures and been devastated emotionally. Not only would I have experienced a loss of youthfulness but an overall loss of beauty. In these photos, I looked good overall. I was fit and I was skinny. Pregnancy and motherhood have not been kind to my body in that I am still looking to lose the majority of that pregnancy weight, I have the stretch marks, I wear tired eyes, and am finding more random grey hairs all the time. In this society, we see celebrities give birth and drop down to their pre-birth sizes in mere weeks to months. They walk down their red carpets and attend their formal events looking gorgeous. How does a working mom, or any normal mom, achieve these societal standards when there isn’t the time, the money, or the energy?
Fortunately, “not too long ago”, has passed and I have a whole new attitude. I don’t care. This is not one of those fake “I don’t care’s” you say to be polite or because you don’t want to deal with the issue. I really don’t care that I’ve gotten older and bigger. This does not mean I don’t care how I look though. I still want to feel beautiful, I still want to lose weight, and I still cringe when I see a gray hair. I still like to wear make-up to enhance my beauty, I practice good hygiene, and I work out with the goal to lose weight. But this way of thinking does not consume my life. These things do not make the top ten list of things I concern myself with. I can look at pictures of me in the past and feel happy that I looked good instead of feeling sad that I don’t look that way still.
So as I sat there, thumbing through the memories, it dawned on me that I had aged quite a bit. The revelation was not the aging though. It was that I was able to judge such changes as neither good nor bad. Youth and size were simply descriptions, and this was new for me. To automatically think in such a neutral way about physical appearance feels good. Especially because “the not so long ago” me would of had such automatic negative judgments. My youthfulness may be gone, but it’s still exists and is alive in my daughter and my son, exactly where it should be. Today I celebrate… a new home with a new attitude towards aging.
This post was inspired by my About Me Page. Check it out.