Monday, July 14, 2008

On Aging

My skin care routine consists of soap and whatever else I nab from hotel rooms. The extras don't happen very often as I don't go anywhere. So I'm coveting these from my last hotel stay. They look almost identical don't they? I've just discovered I've accidentally been putting hair conditioner on my face this past week, which would explain the weird breakout I have on my cheeks. Why bring up this mildly embarrassing piece of trivia? Because I can. Because at 41, I just don't care.

Here is my pseudo-scientific theory of aging. Since most physical aspects of aging suck - the sags, wrinkles, weight gain, aches, pains, etc., mother nature has left us one aging grace - mild oblivion. I'm convinced some of the brain cells that die off with age are the ones responsible for excessive self-consciousness and anxiety. We mellow. Which explains why parents are an embarrassment to their teenage children and are usually fine with being told so and old people talk excessively to cashiers. You just don't give a sh*t what people think of you so much anymore.

At 21, I wanted to do great things, change the world and I passionately hated and loved everything. I thought I would die of a broken heart because of a rocky relationship. I believed I was so utterly unique and unusual that there could be no one on the planet who could truly understand me.

Now I know, everyone questions themselves at times, life is never certain and even though the degrees vary, everyone feels the same emotions. A friend said to me, 'everyone is just assembling'. We piece a life together from fragments that fit us comfortably. Some seem to do it easier than others, some struggle a bit more, but it's all just one beautiful, crazy journey and when you age, it gets easier to settle in for the ride.

In the words of Jack Handy, ""If you ever go temporarily insane, don't shoot somebody, like a lot of people do. Instead, try to get some weeding done, because you'd really be surprised."

Yep, that's mellowing.


self taught artist said...

OMG i laughed at that...once i gave my sister some hotel shampoo but it was really conditioner. It took her several times of washing to finally figure out why her hair was so oily.

your so right about all this...last year i was horrified by the puffy morning eyelids and now i dont care. i got living to do, who can worry about the deconstruction of the body?

good post, made me laugh and smile. and with that, i'm actually off to go do a few hours of weeding for the crazy gardener i free lance for.

Melody said...

Great post. So very insightful. I think that is why our eye sight starts to go as we get older so we really don't notice all the changes in our faces. Until of course we put on our reading glasses which magnify everything. Can be scary. But who cares....I'm 47 and I have more important things going on than worrying about what essentially is the natural progression of life. You know, "The Circle of Life" oh, I think I hear Elton John singing

katie jane said...

Wait another 15 years! It just gets worse. I start a sentence and halfway through I forget a crucial name of someone or someplace and all is lost while I stumble around, trying to remember.

I still try to work out almost every day, but I wonder who I'm doing it for? I guess so I'll look good in the grave. That's the important thing, right?

dinahmow said...

Just yesterday, The Man called my attention to a magazine article on acrylic finger nails.The writer makes the point that "pride rides the same rails as addiction."
So, in the case of people like us who worry less about what people think of them...are we off the rails!
Thanks for the chuckles.

Ellen said...

Paula: I've done that too. I bought conditioner thinking it was shampoo, and thought, "why isn't it getting sudsy?" And yes, your weeding work, you should get that Jack Handy quote printed on a t-shirt, see what the crazy gardener makes of it.

Melody: I like your eyesight theory. I like getting older. Yes, the circle of life, it's too bad we have such an obsession with youth in this culture and fight age, we'd be so much happier to let life take it's course, it will anyway, no matter how much botox someone injects.

Katie: 15 years? I already do that all the time. Good for you on the daily workouts, me, (sigh) needs to start that pronto.

Dinah: Perfectly happy to be off the rails. Addiction to your looks can definitely have it's horror side, two words - Michael Jackson.

Sharon said...

Very amusing. I always thought aging happened to other people...

Caroline said...

Oh oh! Shows they do actually put different things in those packages afterall!

Me? I use grapeseed oil - best beauty ingredient ever and very cheap... But even that I don't use everyday I think skin needs to be kept producing its own moisture, mustn't let it get lazy!

(Sorry I've not been around much - I've not disappeared off the planet just off the computer for a bit... hope to be back in another week or so)

andrea said...

At least one of us is mellowing. I'm just rotting. Really good read as usual. Aren't you glad you didn't put the face cream in your hair? I have to agree with Melody's eyesight theory though along with that comes the terrible shock when you unexpectedly see a photo of yourself.

Ellen said...

Sharon: Thanks for stopping by! One thing I've noticed about aging is that it's so gradual that you don't notice it. I always find it hard to match the middle aged face I see in the mirror with the age I feel like inside, anywhere from 11 to 14 (I'm immature).

Caroline: I know! it doesn't all just come out of one huge vat and then bottled. Good to take a little online break. I'll be doing the same this week.

Andrea: Glad your back! The photo thing is a bit frightening as is walking past a really reflective window. Ah well.

my croft said...

Years ago, there was a funny (but as it turns out kind-of eerie) anecdote in Reader's Digest. A woman wrote in to say that "I just read that President Reagan is 72. I'm 72 and if he's anything like me, sometimes he walks into the Oval Office and says: Now, why did I come in here?"

The older I get (53 next month), the happier I am. Long may it wave.

Ellen said...

my croft: I love to hear that! -getting older and being happier.

When Reagan was campaigning for his presidency, my friends brother-in-law, a psychiatrist, watched a debate on tv with Reagan and concluded he had some neurological condition, possibly early Alzheimer's. That's always stayed me as it's pretty darn scary.

patricia said...

Without a doubt, this is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. You've expressed EXACTLY how I used to feel when I was younger, and how I feel most of the time now. I still have my moments (I'm 45) when I weep big fat tears looking at my big fat thighs. But I know I cannot be bothered to be as obsessed as I once was about my appearance – there are just too many other wonderful (and important) things to think about and do. I need to remind myself that on my deathbed I'm sure I won't be saying, "I wish I had done more sit-ups."

Oh, and I LOVE that quote. I will definitely be stealing it for my Facebook page!

Ellen said...

Patricia: Thanks and that's just it isn't it? Putting into perspective all the things that won't concern you at the end of your life, including, "I wish I had that (fill in the blank - whatever material item)." All irrelevant...