Let me start by assuring you that this is not some desperate, forced “EMBRACE THIS OR DIE” thing. This is an honest and rather quiet appreciation of Forties Face. Specifically, mine. Other people’s faces are their business.
I mentioned in my first post (“*ping*”), that I rather enjoy being in my forties… now. I had a decent-sized crisis when I turned forty, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. While I knew the milestone was coming, and I gave my life what I thought was a pretty thorough inventory and frankly liked what I found, I was still rather blindsided. And by blindsided, I mean there was a lot of seemingly-inexplicable crying for a while, enough to get my butt back into therapy for a bit to see if I couldn’t figure out just WHAT THE HELL. Enough for me to go to my doctor and ask her to check my hormone levels.
(And before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, I am NOT a person who blames everything on hormones and periods and the vapors. This emotional swing was so drastic that I just wanted to eliminate a big smoking gun if I possibly could.)
My levels were fine. DAMMIT. It was time to get to work.
So I went back to therapy for a little while, and it really helped. I didn’t get any hard-and-fast answers to why this was happening in an otherwise peaceful and fulfilled life–sometimes we don’t get to know why. There IS no why, and often, that’s just fine. What I did get was a quiet place to lay it all out without judgment, with an impartial party who’d seen this about a jillion times before.
(The older I get, the more comforted I am by the knowledge that I am not what they call “terminally unique.” It’s a massive relief, actually. I wish someone had told me in my twenties… ‘course, I’m sure they did but I was NOT listening.)
So, yeah, I rather like my lines. I wear them like a badge. It is fine by me that I am passing into that “invisible” territory that women enter once they’re past a certain age. Like many of us experience, there was a lot of unwanted attention when I was younger and conventionally hotter, and I’m not sorry to see it go. I see younger women dealing with that crap now and it’s just nauseating.
Fewer and fewer people are telling me to “smile!” when I don’t feel like it; this is a fine thing since fewer and fewer people might take an elbow to the face. I can’t imagine anything more selfish, entitled, or presumptuous than to tell a perfect stranger to change her demeanor for you.
We are not your monkeys. We are people walking down the street, trying to go about our business like free, unmolested humans, just like you are. Instead of worrying about my face, why don’t you shut yours?
But I digress.
The point is, my face is just fine. I will continue to cleanse (pretty well) and moisturize (usually) and use sunscreen (most of the time), because I believe in taking care of myself. But I have laugh lines because I laugh a LOT these days. I have creases in my forehead from when I used to fret what felt like all the time. I keep ’em around to remind me that I don’t do that thing with my forehead much anymore.
You know those high-water marks you see in towns near rivers to show how high the flood waters came? I’m keeping mine. Those waters recede.