Isn’t ageing a horrible thing? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be in my late 50s. I wouldn’t like to go back to being a teenager or a young mum. I like the wealth of experience I’ve gained over the years and still feel young inside. However, I do not like the face that looks back at me when I look in the mirror.
From around 14 years old, I have looked after my skin with lotions and potions promising me all manner of good things. I’ve cleansed and toned and moisturised. I have always used sun protection after noting what the sun did to my mother who used something resembling vinaigrette dressing on her skin when I was little. Actually, I think it WAS vinaigrette dressing. It certainly smelled like it! No, I use high factor sun cream, protecting me from UVA and UVB. I even understand what SPF means!
I have spent over 7000 hours of my life caring for my skin. (Yes, I did work this out on a calculator). What thanks do I get? Wrinkles. Around my eyes, around my mouth, wrinkles. And jowls. How I hate those jowls. My eyes, once my best feature, now look like saggy slits. I hate trying to take a good photo of myself and have to delete, delete, delete until I get one that is in any way complimentary. This person in the mirror is definitely not me. The real me is only 28 and completely wrinkle-free.
I know that those wrinkles were caused by years of laughing and chatting and smiling. I know that they are a result of hormonal changes beyond my control. I know that they are a natural event which everyone goes through. But it doesn’t make me like them at all.
How long before my grandson says to me what my own daughter said to a lady friend of my father’s. Feeling the skin on her face, she commented
‘Where did you get all those shrinkles?’
She never was one for tact.