Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Sunday, July 07, 2013

May Joy Be My Skincare

Is there anything like a class reunion to ignite a firestorm of latent vanity that lies deep within?

Talking to my friend on the phone the other day I heard her crunching away. "Whatcha eatin?" I asked.  A true kindred spirit in the What's For Lunch Department, I usually don't even have to ask, I just know. She's eating tortilla chips and fresh, homemade salsa. Most often, while we have our respective, identical lunches and solve every one of the world's problems together, I am reminded of what I long ago realized, we are sisters she and I, separated only by completely different DNA donated by two our unique sets of parents. But on this day she surprised me. "I've got my reunion in a couple weeks so I'm having snap peas for lunch." We both laughed.

I know it's true though. There is something about a class reunion that takes us all back to high school again - the place where evaluating one another based on physical appearance is normal, to be expected, second nature.

As I think about my own 20 year (!) I know! 20 years! reunion coming up in just a handful of days, I look at the lines on my face and I can't help but wonder how I will rate. I curse the days I worshiped the sun, lying for hours on end on a silver reflective mat, using Crisco (of all things!) as tanning lotion in an attempt to develop the deepest hue humanly possible for a freckly white person like me. I stand in the mirror and try to decide if I am recognizable as the girl I was back then. I turn to the side and suck in my stomach, conversing with the image I find staring back at me, asking if I should I consider dropping a few unwanted lbs? I remember, my Stryder and I made cookies together. Should I have snap peas for lunch and skip the dessert he is so proud of?

Then I decide, to heck with it. I won't try to be any extraordinarily enhanced version of myself. I won't waste time or thought over what I can not control - the passage of time. It has been a most generous gift, granting me the inexplicable beauty of ever evolving self acceptance and genuine self nurture and worth found in service and purpose and love.

I am what I am. I happen to be every single moment of 38 and a half years old. I strive to care for myself so I can feel healthy and vibrant and strong, so that I may live long on this earth and enjoy the good treasure of years spent with my beloveds. I have a wonderful life bursting with people who love me just as I am, every line, every crease, every pound. They cup my face in their dirty little hands, kiss me on the cheek, and tell me I am beautiful. They truly believe I am. Before the reunion I will say goodbye to them, after it I will come home to them. And I will continue soften into their words, to press into what they say, to hide the truth they teach me in my heart. I am beautiful.

Son, go ahead and pass me one of your cookies.

They are delicious.

I will allow joy to be my skincare.


Erika Stanley said...

I know this wasn't you asking for compliments, but I'm here to give them. For one, you are one year younger than I; all this time I thought I had about 5 years on you - maybe I'm not as old as I think!! You are a tiny darling little lady. Your inner youth shines through any wrinkles you may have. We (those of you who see your face on the computer) don't even notice a single one of them because, well, you're so fun and full of love for your kids that we notice only that!! I skipped my 20 year. You are brave. Have fun. And remember, you're beautiful, you have a handsome hubby and seven amazing children. Any wrinkle you may have was earned and can be cherished.

Lindy said...

Love it! And what a fun picture of you and Clover True! My 20 year from high school is in October...I might re-read this a time or two. :)

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