March 10, 2011

Surface level

Over the weekend, I bought an age-defying moisturizer. On purpose.

I've never been one to care overly much about age. I liked looking older when I was a kid, because I felt older. I've also kind of enjoyed the fact that since turning 18, everyone has thought I look younger than I am. Pale skin comes in handy when in comes to age, because staying out of the sun preserves you better than just about anything else! (Though I don't like feeling like people must think I'm more immature if they think I'm younger.)

When I was at the end of my 20s, I wasn't upset or freaked out by turning thirty, like many people seem to be. And when that milestone birthday actually arrived, I was too busy dealing with terrible morning sickness with my second pregnancy to care about something as paltry as my age!

So, thirty came and went without much notice on my part.

I must say, however, that the year after turning thirty and now the first (roughly) half of thirty-one seem to have taken a visible toll. I probably notice it more than anyone else, I'm sure. In so many ways, I think I look better than ever (and my husband agrees, which is nice). I lost some extra weight after S was born and I feel very comfortable with this weight. As women (in particular) age, they also lose some of the "baby fat" in their faces and I like the way my face looks as a result of that. I'm wearing a smaller size in clothes, and since I'm working again and older now I've also started updating my wardrobe and am very happy with that.

On the downside of this phase in life are all the age-related things I'm noticing. My crows' feet and laugh lines are pronounced, especially in certain pictures and bright light. My hands look drier and more wrinkled. Since having K, I've gotten more and more grey hairs all the time (even though I still mostly cover them with hair dye). When putting on eye shadow, my skin moves around since it isn't as firm anymore. All small things, and pretty insignificant overall. But I do notice them.

I've never been a slave to beauty. The opposite, really. I wear make-up, but not much and I always go for a more natural look. And I won't spend much money on it. I've cleansed and moisturized my face twice a day since my acne started as a teenager (and then never went away, like everyone promised it would!). The last few months, or year, have found me slacking in this practice, though. When you've been trying to keep your face clean for over 15 years, in the hope of reducing or eliminating acne and it doesn't seem to work, it is easy to lose hope! But I know I shouldn't give up on good habits now.

I practice good hygiene, try to eat well and stay hydrated, I don't overly product or style my hair, don't take unnecessary medications, stay active in my regular life (take the stairs, go for walks, play with the kids, etc) and (when I'm on my game) I work out.

However, it appears to be the time to take more premeditated action, or risk the compounding effects of the aging process. The timing couldn't be more frustrating, though. I have a baby and a pre-schooler, and I work part time, and everything else that goes along with life. Sitting through a whole meal is difficult. Showers are usually interrupted. I don't sleep through the night. After all that, it doesn't even seem worth it to THINK about how to keep myself looking good. But, there is no denying the fact that life seems a little brighter when you feel good and feel like you look good.

So, a few new pieces of clothing make me feel more professional and put together (and not like a spit, food, and snot covered mama). And the age-defying moisturizer does make my face feel softer and look more "radiant", as they say on the package. I hope the little things I do can make me feel younger and more confident on a basic level, and that they help my body and skin to look and feel healthy in the long term.

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