I now wear glasses. All the time. Until such time as I can bring myself to submit to laser surgery or deliberately stick a bit of plastic in my eye, I wear glasses to walk around in the world. I am still figuring this out as I have prescription sunglasses with a bifocal, walking around glasses and reading glasses for the computer, books, smart phone, canned goods labels, instructions… you get the idea. I now wear glasses.
This is just the latest stop on what we call the developmental journey when its about our children and plain old “aging” after we pass 40. I think the point at which it becomes clear that you are “aging” happens differently for everyone. Some people fight tooth and nail against lines, crows feet and gray hair, all those external signs that slot a person into the old box.
I’m ambivalent about the gray hair and lines. The facials, creams and serums don’t stop me from looking my age, they merely keep me from looking even older. I learned long ago that small things – a little jewelry, some nail polish, a swipe of lipstick – can go a long way in impression management. Glasses don’t equal “infirmity” or aging, they just remind me that nothing is static.
What really made me feel old & infirm recently was a stomach virus I picked up last week. I have always hated to vomit. I know no one likes it, but I loathe and fear it so much I’ll go to ridiculous lengths to prevent myself from vomiting. Armed with will power and saltines, I successfully fought the nausea through my whole pregnancy. An unpleasant new twist to the hated experience is that now after I vomit I have broken blood vessels on my face, neck and chest. This means I am sick and disgusting and splotchy all at once. All I can do is whimper.
I’m already a bad patient (ask my husband and daughter how cooperative I am about “laying around doing nothing”), and the new twist makes me whiney on top of it. The broken blood vessels aren’t permanent, they go away after about a week, but they are still an external reminder of new improved Amanda on her “developmental journey.” Maybe that’s why there are so many articles about “Aging with Dignity and Grace”, its not actually possible.