Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beyond the Surface

   As I was backing out of my driveway the other day, I caught a glimpse of something in the mirror that made me come to a screeching halt.
   Lines....and more the corners of my eyes and around my mouth. Where did those come from and why did I not notice them before? Perhaps it was the glaring sun beaming through the sunroof. I immediately closed it thinking they would magically disappear, with no such luck.
   Today, I am 41 years, 9 months, and 28 days old. Lines and wrinkles on your face are not supposed to appear until you are in your 90's...right? Why is it that I just noticed them a few days ago? The mirror I use every morning when I put my make-up on is much kinder than the rear view mirror in my car.
   I began thinking about the wrinkles and what (if anything) I should do to get rid of them. Getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines makes some doctors a whole lot of money. You cannot look in a magazine without ads for products promising to virtually turn the clock back years. The beauty isle at my local grocery store is full of wrinkle reducers, line eliminators, wrinkly line reducers, puffiness reducers, puffy eye reducers, and every product in between. I would need to get a second job to get all the products to fix the 'flaws' I see in the mirror. A little depressing when you think about it.
   I could forgo the massive over the counter products and see a doctor and get a little Botox here and there. out more money to get rid of something that is going to come back, eventually. Or, I could embrace the little flaws with open arms. I thought I had embraced the few gray hairs which were invading the top of my head until I broke down and had my hair colored. After three weeks, the gray hairs made their way back making me realize they have way more resilience than I do when it comes to the beauty ritual of coloring my hair every six weeks for the rest of my life. What's a girl to do?
   I've heard people say, just grow old gracefully. I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time seeing the new wrinkles on my face and gray hair as being graceful. For me, they are like little alarm clocks all over my face screaming, "! Yeah, you....time is marching all over your face!" When you are in your teens, it's cool to look older. At my age, I have no desire to look older!
   After much thought, here's what I've realized. Beyond the surface of the creams, "miracle potions" and hair color, I am still the same person. The wrinkles and gray hairs do not define who I am. It's all about feeling good about yourself. It's about how you carry yourself and how your present yourself to others. If you walk in a room with all the confidence in the world, will anyone really notice a wrinkle? Puffy or saggy eyes? Most likely, they won't. On the other hand, if all the beauty rituals make you feel better about yourself and confident, by all means do it! Embrace what it is that makes you feel good about yourself.
   Grow old gracefully or do all you can to reverse the aging process...whatever you chose, just remember it's beyond the surface that matters the most.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here we go...

   Yesterday, I registered my daughter for her SENIOR year in high school. I can remember a feeling of excitement and anticipation when we registered my son for his senior year. This time, my feelings were a bit different. Seeing how excited she is about the upcoming year makes me happy, but there is a part of me who wishes I was registering her for her first day of school.
   Driving back to work, I began thinking about her first day of school. This little redheaded, round-faced girl jumped out of the car with excitement and a bit of nervousness. She proudly carried her Barbie backpack and lunchbox as we walked beside her and to her classroom. I could see the uneasy feeling on her face as we walked into the room full of other kids and parents. I kept telling myself over and over again to smile and wait until I got to the car to let the tears flow. That's exactly what I did. I sat in my car for what seemed to be 30 minutes with tears streaming down my face. My little girl was about to embark on her school career and I knew exactly how fast it would go.
   Her morning ritual was for me to fix her hair and breakfast and her Dad took her to school. Years later, I found out they would often stop by the lake that is a few blocks from the school to "throw rocks in the water" because she didn't want to go to school. Big tears would well up in her eyes each morning as they arrived at school. He walked her to her locker until she was in third grade after telling her the other kids might start making fun of her because he was walking her in the school. She finally got brave enough to do it by herself. The first time she did, she stopped at the door to wave at her dad and huge tears filled her eyes. Letting go is even tough on kids. I think it was one of the toughest things my husband had to do.
   I've realized having gone through senior year already doesn't make this time any easier. In fact, it's a bit harder because she is my baby. It will be a year full of lasts and just like her first day of school, I am planning on handling them with a smile on my face and will save the tears for when I am by myself. Tears of pride, tears of happiness and maybe just a few tears of sadness for a childhood which has gone entirely too fast for this mom.
   Senior we go.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How you live

   I was walking into a meeting when my husband called and told me he heard the news of Robin Williams' death. I only knew Williams from his movies, but like most everyone else, I felt a sense of loss. Almost like a friend had passed. The tributes on social media have been touching. He brought a lot of happiness into the lives of millions of people. While he had earthly troubles that were not always public, his life story was full of achievements...three of his biggest achievements were the children he left behind.
   I began thinking about my life and what would be said about me when it's my time to leave this world. Would I be remembered as someone who was kind, generous, sincere and loyal? Would I leave without any unresolved issues in relationships and/or friendships? Would I leave with people knowing how I felt about them and how they felt about me? Would I leave knowing without a doubt I would enter the kingdom of heaven? Would I have truly "lived" and not just gone through the motions of each and every day?
   In my 41 years, I've made a ton of mistakes, but have done my best to learn from them. I've said things I've regretted and I've hurt people who loved me the most. I've struggled, I've cried and I've experienced times of sorrow. On the other side, I've also experienced success, laughed until I cried and experienced times of immense joy. The good has far outweighed the bad and being a work in progress, I look forward to the days I have left.
   It is my hope when I am gone, I will leave a mark on the lives of those who knew me. It is my hope to have left the world a better place. To not have just mindlessly wondered through the day to day, but to have lived. Lived fully and soaked in every little thing along the way; to have helped people along their way and to have left with those I love knowing how much I truly loved them. To stand before God and have him say, " did good, girl. You did good."
   If you've never listened to "How You Live" by Point of Grace, take a few minutes to listen to it below. It is a great example of truly living. 
   "It's not what  you knew and it's not what you did, it's how you lived."

   God bless!