The Almost Empty Nester: I Want To Be My Age

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Want To Be My Age

I've always considered myself confident. I grew up in a home where who you are on the inside was more important than how you look on the outside.

Don't get me wrong, I was raised by a mother who deems how one presents themselves to the world is important, but even as a teenage girl, if I was seen without makeup I didn't care. "This is me. Take it or leave it," was my main attitude. It still is.

And I feel I've raised my daughter the same way. She's extremely assertive and confident. She walks tall, all six feet of her.

But let's face it, it's tough to be a woman in this day and age. Where we used to only have to see photoshopped women on magazine covers in the grocery store line, we now can find them everywhere thanks to our handy dandy phones and social media.

And I'm just as guilty as the next woman of following Instagram pages on health, exercise and food, not to mention Pinterest and blogs. But I'm seeing a trend that concerns me.

Young women my daughter's age feel that to keep up, their media sites need to have pictures of them looking like models. Everything is posed and filtered and "perfected." And in truth it's not just her age group. I do it too.

We went to a concert last night. As I was getting ready I was trying to decide if I should wear my hair up or down. I really wanted to wear it up but thought that I look better in photographs with it down. It hit me square between the eyes that before social media, I would have worn my hair any old damn way I please without a single thought about a photo being taken. Maybe one or two for a photo album but let's face it,

We live in a world now obsessed with being camera ready.

I found myself longing for the days where it was fun to get dressed up and go out and have fun. Period. End of sentence. No stress over how the night would be documented.

My greatest concern is the condition of my heart, as well as my daughter's.

If I spend that much time worrying about my looks, is the state of my spirit shriveling up and wasting away? Am I more concerned with what people see in my hairstyle than what they can sense from my smile or my eyes.  

"As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person." Proverbs 27:19 (NLT)

I don't know about you but I'm beginning to get exhausted at how much it takes to NOT be me. Countless articles and books are out there about how to fight aging and be younger. Gone are the days where age and wisdom are deemed valuable. It's as if the main message is, "Who you are is not good enough. Who you are should weigh less, have perfect skin, and be put together 24/7." 

And all I keep thinking is, "I just want to be 44." I want to be my age

A healthy 44. I exercise. I drink lots of water. I try to eat well. I laugh. I cry. I love life with my people.

But I'm done with the days of trying to turn back the clock. 

I'm done working so many hours in a day trying to be something or someone else the rest of the world tells me is beautiful or how I "should" look.  I'll never be the size I was when I was 25 and quite frankly, I don't want to be. I'm done wasting my time now NOT appreciating myself where I am. If I'm not careful, I'll live my life in a constant state of discontentment. 

And I hope and pray my daughter sees that. A healthy lifestyle goes beyond what we eat, how much we exercise, or how we look in Instagram photos. How are we loving and caring for others? Are we a light in a dark world?


  1. I find it amusing in a sad way when I see women I know, those who are younger than me, using filters. I've seen them in person and they don't need the filters. The filters make them look artificial. And I don't think they realize they look more beautiful without the filter.


  2. I'm as guilty as anyone using filters. But I do see how easy it is to not be our "true" self to the world. It's tough. I just would love for women to embrace who they are, at the age they are. :) So much beauty!!