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Monday, May 4, 2009

On Aging Gracefully

I made the realization recently that in my mind, my life is compartmentalized like rooms in a house. There's my childhood room, my teenager room, my college room. That sort of thing. I was recently ruminating in my closet looking at high heels and make-up I no longer wear, like it was another life. I've named that period of time my power suit room. I rarely go in that room anymore. These days I wear Crocs (the ugliest but most comfortable shoes I've ever owned), my fluffy slippers or flip flops wherever I go. Or a pair of LL Bean Mocs. I can't even remember the last time I donned a pair of "FM" stiletto, red-hot, Jimmy Choos. My A-line skirts, silk blouses and power suits have given way to elastic banded yoga pants (my fav pick 6 days of the week) and comfy sweaters. What happened to that other person who dressed up for work, glossed on lipstick, curled and crimped her hair, and got weekly manicures? I'll tell you where - I moved to the family room, which includes a van, a messy house complete with 3 children, a hard-working husband and a golden retriever who sheds.

The clothes one wears tells alot about a person and that person's "state-of-time". When I remember those days of high heels, silk blouses and power suits, it was during my single-and-working era. Trying to impress, show glamour, and be noticed. Now, now that I am married, have experienced the executive job and am less focused on me, I tend to wear what's comfortable, go sans makeup, and am outwardly focused. And I noticed I'm happier this way. Because I'm happier on the inside. Now let's not picture this inaccurately, I'm not a slob, but if I were a room makeover, let's say I'd be more on the shabby chic side than the Ethan Allen or Thomasville. And I do glam it up when it's a special occasion. And it feels great to glam it up. But it's freeing to me to be less concerned about outward appearance.

I have wondered how everyone would appear if we suddently stopped dying our hair and went without makeup? Au naturale. Would it be scary? Or would it be refreshing and liberating? When we were kids we didn't seem to care. Why do we try to stop the aging process, are we afraid to enter that bleak, old-folks room?

I think it's because when we turn 40 or 50, we can't see ourselves getting old. We can't picture ourselves becoming our parents, let alone our grandparents with graying hair, deep wrinkles and unable to hold our gas. In our minds we are always 18. Now that I'm in my (yikes) 50s, I wonder when will I shrivel up and become a prune. I used to wonder if I would fight going into that final room where I may never leave my bed. Well, I've just made a decision. After going through all my rooms in my mind, I decided my final room is going to be my Living Room. I'm going to live until I die, whether I have gray hair or no hair at all. Wrinkles and all, I'm going to make my last room my most memorable. And without any major remodeling but maybe just a paint job.

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