Thursday, February 5, 2009

Youth is Wasted on the Unaware

Here's a picture of Zoe and I from last night. I hate to have my picture taken because of my rotundity. And to make matters worse, I'm wearing my No Make-Up Face. In other words, my Every Day Face.

I'm sharing this rare picture with you because yesterday was my birthday. My 43rd birthday. Yes, I'm getting on in years. Please, don't anybody send me another Sympathy card. I get it. Yep, I got it and I burned it.

To celebrate, and to be fair, I'm posting this picture so I can rip it apart. Hey, it's only fair that I do it to myself as well as the ones I love, and what better time than around my birthday, right?

For the past ten years or so, I've been noticing, usually several years after the fact, the subtle and not so subtle signs of my own aging. Since hindsight is 20/20, looking back I laugh at my naivete. That's because the aging process begins so slowly that you don't notice it from one day to the next.

For me, it's usually when I see a picture of myself that it hits me like a freight train on fire.

The first thing I discovered amiss was my chin, or rather, my jaw line. When I was 32ish, I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper Bay Area traffic in California, when I flipped down my vanity mirror and noticed that my jaw line at the chin was lumpy. What the Heckito?! I moved my face around for closer inspection, but it could only be detected from the one angle with my chin on my chest and looking up at the mirror. I dare you to try it the next time you're in your car.

I'll tell you this, I was not amused.

Looking back, I know it was the beginning effects of gravity on my face.

Then we moved to Idaho and I forgot all about my lumpy chin. Five blissful years later, when I was 37 and after getting our family pictures back from the studio, I looked at myself in the picture and I said "What's wrong with my eyes? I think my eyes are fat?!! Yes, they're all puffy and there's extra area above my lids. Dang, there's acreage. Well that's it, I have got to lose weight once and for all. For crying out loud, if my eyes are fat, then it's high time to do something about it."

Yeah, whatever. You can see I heeded that wake-up call.

Okay, I'm 37 and I've got a lumpy chin and fat eyes. What's next? Well, I'll tell you what's next.

Crow's feet. Don't even bother zooming in on my picture to check it out. I already erased them in PhotoShop. If I knew how to thin out my face without it looking like part of it had been amputated, then I would have done that too, believe me. But my skills as of yet are limited and clumsy, so I do what I can.

I also have parentheses surrounding my mouth, but they don't bug me like the fat eyes and the asymmetrical chin. The thing I'm really dreading is the whole turkey wattle neck that I know is just around the corner. When that happens, Peanut Head is going to have to just remove the poultry scissors from the house. It will be the last straw.

Yes, yes, I know this is all so superficial. I get that. I get it, but it doesn't change the way I feel. The saying that youth is wasted on the young really resonates with me at this point in my life. Really, if we could age backwards, we would appreciate youth so much more. Of course that's not the way it is, which I guess is one of those little ironies of life.

Throughout our lives, I think we have this image of our best self in our minds, and when we start aging, it forces us to realize that "Hey, you're never gonna be cuter than you are today, so get on with it."

For the most part, I still feel young, so I'm sometimes surprised when I look at myself in the mirror. Since I know it's out of my hands, I'm just going to try to not worry about it and see if I can age gracefully.

Oh please, that is such an oxymoron because everyone knows I'm a clutz. I think I'll just leave you with that little ironic tidbit.

SPECIAL NOTE: While I was composing this post, Zoe accidentally hit my mouse and published it before I was finished. I was left screaming "No, no, no! I wasn't ready for that! I have to get it back! I have to get it back!" It didn't work. When you hit the PUBLISH key, it's gone baby.


  1. I think growing old is an honor...yeah stinks...the worse for me is the visible hairs on my chin,,,arghhhhh (((hugs)))

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  2. Well, I've got a couple of years on you, sistah, so I bet my chin hangs lower than yours does...nanana boo-boo...and my crow's feet are embedded so far, I like to think it's cause I smile and laugh so much. what do you want me to do??? Post a pic of myself? Is this like true confessions?????? oh, yes and the random hairs.....and the parentheses.....two or three sets, more like brackets!!! You are still young, hush up cause you're very pretty, and obviously Zoe loves you and is so happy to be having a Kodak moment with her precious mommy. It's the talent, I tell you...your talent ages you because you never stop thinking about good recipes, cute scrapbook pages....slow down girl and get a massage and a little time to unwind. :) oh, by the way, neighbor, Happy Birthday!!! ;)

  3. Hey, I think you look just fine. Your skin is free of blemishes, scars and wrinkles. You are very blessed to have such nice skin. Also, the color is great! I only wish I looked as great as you do without makeup!

  4. Well, Happy Birthday!

    I think you look great. I don't see your crowe's feet, fat eyes or a lumpy chin. I do however totally understand how you feel, which is why you will rarely see a recent photo of me on my blog.

    When you figure out that photo shop thing, let me know!

  5. Oh man, I have been experiencing the exact same thing this year. I turned 40 and I swear a switch was flipped to make me look much older. Plus, I joined up over on Facebook and found a bunch of my high school friends, and they look so OLD! That can only mean I look that old too! I don't think I'm mature enough to look mature. I decided to fight it all the way to 50. Then I think I'll let my hair be gray and be the crazy gray haired lady with funky reading glasses and big swirly skirts and lots of bracelets and rings.

  6. Happy, happy birthday! Hope it was a good one!

  7. Jill, you just spent 18 paragraphs ripping yourself apart!


    You are beautiful, Jill! Inside and out!

    (Oh, and happy birthday!)

  8. If that's your no-makeup face, you should be happy! My no-makeup face is scary. I was NOT blessed with good skin. Blech. I think you look great!

  9. I think you look beautiful! I would never look like that without makeup. I love ready your blog and seeing your talents. Thank you for what you do!!!

  10. Happy Birthday, Jill. I wished I looked that good without makeup on. Loved reading your post, I had to chuckle but in all honesty you are a beautiful lady inside and out!!!! I've never seen any of those blemishes you talk about!!!

  11. I hope you had a really happy birthday! I think you look great!

  12. Oh Geez, Some of you all are so SERIOUS. You are so sweet with all your compliments and well wishes. Thank you. I do appreciate it.

    I'm feeling guilty for all the complaining, but seriously, I was just trying to get you all to laugh with me a little. This blog is really not so deep. I am not the type to jump off a cliff because my face is on it's way to Texas.

  13. Happy belated Birthday Jill!

  14. Happy Birthday! Your beautiful inside and out!

  15. You look great to me! Your daughter looks so much like you, it's a beautiful picture.

    Hope you enjoyed your special day.

  16. Happy Belated Birthday! You shouldn't be too hard on yourself (didn't you just read my post?) I think that you and your daughter look so sweet together! Also, your face looks fine and even thinner, but I only have one picture to go by (the one below your profile). Hope you enjoyed your day--enjoy your age and wisdom that comes with it.
    Did you ever do your pull-up? I'm still rooting for you! Have a great weekend too and talk soon...

  17. Everything I was going to say has been said so I will just say ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Oh, and if it helps, you will always be younger than me! :)

    Cheers, Kiy