These last few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to take better care of myself. I’ve been going to bed early and getting up early. I’ve been starting my day with a good hard run. I’ve been trying to eat better and even eliminated my beloved diet soda from my life. (I know…such an annoyingly predictable habit to break in middle age. Welcome to your forties and the decade of moderation; sugar and gluten will be next to go.)
I’d like to think that this recent self-care has blossomed from a new and mature place inside of me, wherein I’ve finally decided to prioritize my health over my looks. (read: I can’t stay on a diet, so I’m putting all of my efforts into sleeping more.) And though I haven’t lost any weight or wrinkles, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that these last few weeks, I’ve been exuding a kind of ethereal glow. Maybe it’s from the sunless tanner I’ve been slathering on every night (it’s “smart,” not vain!) but I gotta say, when I walk around town after my good night’s sleep and my good morning’s run, I fairly float from one place to the next. Probably I look something like this.
Surely the luster of these new habits are shining from my persona. If passersby no longer whisper “there goes that hot girl,” they are at least whispering “there goes that glowing lady!” Glowing is the closest we not-so-young-moms get to hot. The years are passing quickly, and I’ll take what I can get.
And so you can imagine how shocked I was when I ran into an old friend yesterday and, instead of commenting on The Glow, he looked at me for a moment and said, “You look tired.”
Um, excuse me?
You look…tired? Really?
Every woman on the planet knows tired is code for old. I hadn’t seen this friend in several years and, if memory serves, upon our last meeting he said “You look great!” But that’s when I was in my thirties. Welcome to your forties and the decade of eating right, exercising, getting eight hours of sleep a night and still showing up looking “tired.” It brings to mind the day when a different friend saw me without makeup and asked, with genuine concern, “Are you sick?”
No, my friends: I am not sick, and I am not tired. I am just old, and wrinkled, and deeply unattractive. Thank you for the reminder.
And have a nice weekend. If you are over forty, may you feel better than you (apparently) look.