I look in the mirror and I see a slowly-deepening line spanning my forehead, a faint 'V' crease between my eyes, smile lines, and silver hairs that seem to multiply by the month. I look down at my hands and see the beginnings of thinning crepe paper skin, and can’t help but notice that I must now watch what I eat in order to not gain weight, despite not having a problem with this just 5 short years ago.
I could feel chagrined that these signs of aging are already being presented to me. Instead, I make myself see the beauty behind these unconventional gifts:
- The line across my forehead is from all those times I raised my eyebrows in wonderment during a heartfelt conversation with a friend, and for all the times I was greeted by a joyful surprise;
- The little creases between my eyes are from all those moments I spent deep in thought, studying the world around me – learning every step of the way;
- The smile lines signify all the times of laughter, all the plentiful reasons I’ve had to smile in my lifetime;
- The silver hairs – the same color as the hair both my sweet grandmothers had that I used to lovingly touch and call beautiful – are a symbol of the overflowing wisdom I’ve gained from real life and from those who loved me enough to teach me;
- The less-than-smooth hands indicate a life of hard work, of cleaning and caring and living and washing away the dirt of life that I didn't let beat me down;
- The extra weight on my hips is from the food I’m blessed enough to have plenty of, consumed during the many celebrations I’ve been a part of that included cake and champagne, hugs and cheers.
These are the gifts I’ve been given and I will continue to graciously accept them with each year I’m blessed enough to be on this Earth.