TITLE: 50+ readers only
By Arlene Showalter
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I cannot pick up a magazine, listen to the radio or watch TV without being constantly bombarded with the urgent message that I need to look younger. Looking younger will make me love myself! Looking younger will solve all my problems! Looking younger will make me attractive! No matter what the cost, I just gotta look younger!
Get real. I cannot liposuction or tummy-tuck my way to success. Even if I managed to take 20 years off my face and body, my bones know how old they are. Though I am in good health, I can’t move as quickly as I did at 20 years ago. And what good is looking younger if I have a sad, mad, greedy, or disappointed heart?
Being fulfilled is much more important than feeling younger. At the end of the day, am I satisfied how I filled those hours granted to me by God? Did I spend quality time with people I love? Did I do my best at whatever job I have, either in the home or at the workplace?
Recently, as I strolled through a meadow, I allowed these heavy thoughts of getting older to weigh me down. Suddenly, I realized the sun’s warm, the balmy air. On a whim, I kicked off my sandals and walked barefoot in the cool grass. I waded in the creek. I inhaled the aroma of pines.
I don’t buy into the hype of superficial skin-deep-only beauty. A pure spirit and honest heart are far more important, not only to me, but those around me. My husband loves the internal me, not my looks. My friends appreciate my kindness, not smooth skin. The wrinkles about my eyes and mouth are tribute that I have laughed a lot. I have cried a lot. I have LIVED.
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