Monday, 13 October 2014

Aging - embrace it or fight it?



Aging - embrace it or fight it?


‘I am getting a Botox’ – said my girlfriend Christina over a lunch one day, as she sipped her Chardonnay. I looked up at her beautiful, smooth face wondering if she was in fact serious - she was. The week before she had her veins injected so that in 5 to 10 days the world would be presented with sexy, drop-dead-gorgeous legs. And now she set her mind on Botox.
Christina is the kindest and the loveliest girl I know. She bargained everything for a big love but the odds were not in her favour and she lost. At barely 40 she is now freshly divorced with three kids and a vast task to rebuild her self esteem, business and evidently her body.
I knew there was no point me trying to convince her not to do it, so I didn’t. Instead we merrily toasted to ‘single and fabulous’, talked shoes and scarves, and after drinking her yearly supply of wine we powered on her laptop and started researching the new exciting word in our vocabulary - Botox.
Later that day I was running a few errands and needed to pop in to Boots to get a few essentials. While browsing, I started noticing what I never saw before - all the anti-aging creams that had words on them like ‘revitalizing’, ‘pro-collagen’, ‘anti-wrinkle’ and ‘intense hydration’. I felt like I had just crossed the great divide into the world of 41+ (that’s my scary age), the world of accomplished, experienced, confident women who go on expensive holidays, drive big cars and have afternoon tea with their girlfriends’ at the Ritz. The world where I didn’t belong. Yet.
And as I was looking at various magic portions with expensive and patronising words on them that promised eternal youth, I couldn’t help but wonder, whatever happened to aging gracefully? In a vain attempt to stay young and parting with a small fortune, are we missing the point of life seasons? Why are we so scared to get old?
That night after removing all the make-up, I spent good 10 minutes staring at my face in the mirror. And the longer I was staring the more imperfections I saw. There were two faint lines on my forehead, dark circles under my eyes, a handful of blackheads on my nose and I even convinced myself that I had crow’s feet. No longer 18, I was officially a Balzac-aged woman.
So in honour of getting old, I decided to treat myself to a pamper session. Out came the big guns – full body exfoliation and subsequent generous application (well, more like smothering in this case) of body butter, feet soak and massage, face mask, fizz, Ben and Jerry and Sex and the City.
And I don’t know whether it was legendary amount of alcohol consumed or Sex and the City which always cheers me up, but that night I firmly decided to embrace this getting older business gracefully, with dignity and in a lady-like manner. After all it is inevitable and unavoidable. So with my comfy pjs on (the ones you never let your boyfriend see!) I drifted to sleep feeling most content and with a smile on my face.
The following day, on the way to work I stopped by Boots and picked up my first ever anti wrinkle cream.