Wednesday, March 19, 2014

through others' eyes

Yesterday was one of those days. I was out of sorts. My legs ached. My eyes hurt. I was tired and just plain cranky. I was feeling my age. 

There is no denying the fact that I am 63 years old, and although most of the time I still feel like I am 20 on the inside my body tells me something different. I am aging and with that aging comes changes that are both physical and emotional. 

We live in a society that judges people by their youth and their physical appearance. This is especially true for women. Let's face it. Ageism is alive and well, and it affects our self esteem. We are often ignored. Younger people look through us as if we don't exist. We are denied jobs. 

My eyes have been hurting.....a lot. I am going to the opthalmologist in a couple of weeks and I know that I am going to have to get glasses. Glasses that I may have to wear all of the time instead of just for reading.My first thought was "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" Where in the world did that come from? It was buried somewhere from my childhood. 

I wonder to myself why I care so much about my aging looks. My grandmothers looked like grandmothers. They wore sensible shoes, their hair was gray, and they didn't seem to worry about what others thought of their appearance. They seemed happy with their aging selves. Would they have been as accepting of their aging if they lived in today's youth oriented society?

I thought my grandmothers were perfect. I saw them through my child's eyes. Yesterday as I slogged through my day, my phone rang. It was my own 8 year old granddaughter. She called to tell me about the exciting things that are going on in her life, and before she hung up she told me she loved me. It made me think that maybe, through her eyes, I look perfect. 

Smiling, I went to pump gas, and as I was filling the tank a very nice looking man looked over and smiled at me. 

Hmmmmm!!!! Maybe this aging process isn't so bad after all, but maybe I should just know that it isn't all about seeing myself through other's eyes, but liking who I am through my own eyes. 

P.S. You should also check out Claudia at Mockingbird Hill's post on the stranger looking back at her in the mirror. You can read it here.



  1. Oh Laura, how do you always know exactly what I'm going thru? Someone told me that they loved my new blonde highlights and I was shocked to discover just how much white and gray I currently had on my head. After a quick cry, I've scheduled to have my hair colored and cut today by someone I've never even met. Why am I stressing so much over aging when like you said I thoughtmy grandmothers were the most beautiful ladies on the planet and neither of them ever colored their hair in an attempt to not look older. My Mammaw went gray well before her 40th birthday and it was the prettiest white, soft hair.

  2. Our grandmothers were less active and did seem old! I am determined to stay active and be as young as I feel. Haven't you heard - 60 is the new 40 :-)

  3. So wise, Laura. We live in a terribly youth-oriented society with ridiculous expectations for perfection and eternal youth. Coming to terms with who we are at this stage of our lives is not always easy. You look beautiful, my friend, with that light in your eyes and your lovely smile. And yes, others see us with love. We should see ourselves with love. Thank you for this post.


  4. 'Youth is wasted on the young,' a saying I once heard that I thought was so true. I think that as we age, we need to keep up with technology and what's happening in the world and to make our voice heard, even though the young people, for the most part, consider us irrelevant. Those young people are often so self centered that they're not paying attention to the real world around them. I think we need to embrace the fact that we're the 'grownups' and take that responsibility.

  5. I need my mom to read this post. She's 81 and thinks those very same thoughts. I keep thinking to myself, when is she ever going to just accept her age and quit comparing herself to younger people? She gets offended if I remind her of the generation she comes from. She says I'm stereotyping her. I'm sure all of this just comes from her own insecurities. She's constantly focusing on how to live longer and look younger. That's not a bad thing in of itself, but I can't help but wonder if she's missing out on true happiness by just living her life and not being so competitive about things.

  6. Time goes by so fast. Those young ones who you feel are ignoring you will be collecting social security before they know it. My point is, life is so short and so very precious. None of us should waste one precious moment fretting over appearance. Another thing to remember is that everyone is self absorbed to a point. Whenever you start to think that they are noticing your wrinkles, just remember that they are most likely worrying about their own pimples, bad hair day, etc. My grandmother was one of those "grandmotherly" types. Her hair turned white when she was quite young. She wore comfortable shoes and matronly dresses. But she always had a twinkle in her eye, a kind word for everyone and a smile on her face. She was content with herself. I never noticed a wrinkle on her face and I don't believe anyone else did either because she was a ray of sunshine. I'll tell you what I did notice though ~ Kim Novak's face when she presented an Oscar. I felt so sorry for her. She is 81 years old trying to look decades younger. A tragedy. Keep smiling and being your lovely self Laura. You are beautiful just the way you are.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  7. Oh you sound exactly like me except you have I want grandchildren it sounds like it is the best. Hug B

  8. I've always felt younger then my years, but lately it all seems to be catching up to me. I'll be 64 in June and I'm more concerned with my energy level then how I look I must admit. Still the looks of love that my sweet Grand gives me makes me feel wonderful. I am trying to age gracefully and hoping that I can embrace all the changes ahead of me! I think you look wonderful Laura! Hugs, Linda

  9. Mature women are the wise ones.. and have so much to offer our society. For those of us that are in our fifties and beyond, I think we should feel fortunate to have reached this point despite our issues (my night sweats are driving me crazy and I too need to visit the Ophthalmologist;) Well written post and an important one. I've got something coming up on my blog in a couple weeks that dove tails with this post.. stay tuned:) xxleslie

  10. I can see what you mean with aging in todays society. Everything is geared towards the young more then ever and many of the younger generation truly don't respect people 40's and older like we did as children. We feared our parents, todays parents are their children's friend instead parenting many times. Being 48, I often feel as though getting older is such a drag but then I think of all the things I know now that I didn't t hen and the struggles of not knowing when younger. I am much wiser and have much more patience and knowledge of others and for others.


  11. From someone who is knocking on the door of 60 I totally relate to everything you are saying

  12. I totally understand what you're saying. I just try to eat healthy (most of the time), exercise and do something fun as much as I can. We can't stop the aging process, but we can control how we react to it. Oh, and btw, you look much younger than 63. :-)

  13. Laura, this is a great post and I understand you so well. I am the same age as you (64 in July) and am starting to notice the reflection in the mirror doesn't totally reflect me in my mind's eye. I think you are a very young looking grandmother. You are right about 'we need to like each other through our own eyes'. I read Claudia's post too, and found it very interesting. And Jen, from Muddy Boot Dreams has a similar post today regarding taking selfies. We are our own worst critics aren't we? Thanks for sharing this topic today.

  14. You are beautiful and there's no way you are 63! No way! I am 53 and you look younger than I.


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