The panic started with a broken nail. Not because of the broken nail, but because of the forgotten bag that had the nail clippers, and everything else in it.
I arrived at my parents’ home this evening ready for a weekend of fun with my mom and friends at Women of Faith. As I headed upstairs to get my nail clippers out of my bag, I had this sinking feeling that I had forgotten the everything bag. The one that has all the things you can’t replace that easily or cheaply – like makeup and skincare and contact solution and vitamins and thyroid medicine.
I grabbed my phone and called Ked, who confirmed I had left it in the bathroom. My brain went into hyperdrive. I could live on cheap face soap for a few days and replace a few basic makeup items, but the vitamins and prescriptions, I had to get tonight or I’d be feeling miserable by morning. Mom and I dashed out the door to Walgreens and I moaned the whole way.
The funny thing is, as I was packing that bag of everything this morning, I felt a little vain. I looked at the pile of stuff on the counter – to make my hair smooth and my face colorful and my wrinkles less noticeable and my teeth white, and I thought to myself – this is a bit embarrassing. It takes so much to look….what? Presentable? Average? A couple years younger? Exactly what is the goal of using all this stuff? I wondered if any of it made any difference and how little I could actually get by on. I wondered if my values have been warped by cultural expectations? Do I need all this product to age gracefully? The wrinkles are going to come no matter what I do. You can’t stop time, nor do I want to. And aging gracefully isn’t about avoiding wrinkles anyway, I see it as an attitude of the heart. So what exactly is the point of all this stuff?
Now, not that I’m going to drop everything and start going au naturalle, but I think it might be time to evaluate what I do to maintain this shell and how much of it is truly good stewardship of my body and how much of it is trying to stay looking 20 something.
As I wandered around Walgreens waiting for my prescriptions and debating on shades of foundation, I remembered this article I had read recently on Guidepost about a woman who had forgotten her makeup bag. It’s so fitting, and worth the read!
What about you? How are you focusing on aging gracefully? How much “stuff” do you think is necessary? Are you embracing your laugh lines?