There is a beauty about reaching 60 plus. It is a reason to celebrate. I am so lucky. When I think of all the people I have known that never reached the number of birthdays I have, it makes me wonder why I have been so blessed. With every year I live I see more and more beauty in life. Of course my face today has the lines of age but I find an attractiveness in it that I failed to see at twenty. When I look at pictures of myself as a young woman I see a beautiful person . My skin is smooth, smile is wide and lovely, shoulder length hair shimmers and my legs are long , waist is narrow and I exude confidence. That is the old photograph.
But that is not at all what I saw when I looked at that photo forty years ago. Then I saw a girl who needed to lose weight, whose legs were too big, hair was ok, teeth needed fixing and skin was mottled. I must have been crazy. How could I have had such a low opinion of myself? And it didn’t stop there. It went to my very core. I never felt intelligent enough, talented enough , popular enough or generally good enough. I was a wreck. How crazy was that?
Now I have lines around my eyes, my hair is turning grey, my waistline has disappeared, my legs have shortened ( no kidding, I used to be tall, now I am looking up at everyone) and I struggle to play the guitar and sing. So why is it that I am so pleased with the way I am today? One would think I’d be reluctant to go around the door.
Not so. I like me more now than I ever did as a young person. What has changed? Well, for one thing ,my focus is not on me any more. It is on everyone and everything around me. I love the feeling that goes with a good laugh. I relish the moments when there is harmony around me, both in music and in relationships. I fill up on sunny days, long drives, my granddaughter’s hugs, my mother’s rich laughter when we talk on the phone and the smell of a raisin cake baking in the oven. I don’t need a million dollars, a large house or fancy clothes. I can take the wrinkles, the grey hair, the missing teeth, and maybe later ,stooped shoulders. These are the trophies that go with my years , not to be mourned but to be applauded.