I hear this one a lot now that my friends and I are what they term “middle-aged.” They want to see and choose pictures before they get saved or shared; the confidence and carefree attitude in photos from our youth has slipped away.
It’s not just people my age, though. For example, my father in his 70s comments on how old he appears in photos I take, too. With a full head of white-gray hair, he doesn’t look old, I think… but even if he does? What’s wrong with looking his age? With plastic surgery and Hollywood showing altered appearances all the time it’s almost shocking when we see people who haven’t adjusted their appearance. Maggie Smith (most recently of Downton Abbey fame) has a face as wrinkled as a Shar-Pei, and we love her for it.
Aging isn’t easy. There are cruel sides: bodies that hurt, diseases like Alzheimer’s that strike mercilessly, loss of independence and body control. For sure, I don’t mean to imply that getting old is pleasant.
Aging is, however, the price one pays for living.
I look at getting old as a positive now. To age means to be alive. For some of us getting old is now a pipe dream. I will miss an entire generation of my life. That is the truth about my stage IV breast cancer.
I face the reality that I am not middle aged. I am living my own old age now, in my 40s.1
- the photo above is 4 generations of women in my family, right after Paige was born. My maternal grandmother and my grandfather lived into their 80s, long enough to see two of my children [↩]