Faded blue bulbs
I noticed that the holiday lights decorated around our fireplace had different blues. Some were very faint blue, almost white – some had a cool azul, while others were rich and dark.
I finally asked my husband, “So where’d you get those cool blue lights?” He replied, “Those? Oh, those are just an old set that have been around for a while now.” “Well they are beautiful!” I said, with some mild amazement.
In fact, this old set was prettier than any of the newer light strands we had bought for this year.
This got me thinking about aging and how many of us have been “around for a while now.” And for many, having “another” birthday is a gift because the brevity and preciousness of life has been realized. I also was thinking about Lindsey Lohan – who popped up in one of my email pages this week – and I felt sorry for her. Not just because her own mother is a bigger partier than she is, but I thought about how young she probably was when she first started getting plastic surgery. Now grant it, life in front of a recording camera does dictate the most refined look one can produce, but our culture seems to overlook the beauty of natural aging – and this befuddled actress does not even look like the same person she was in those movies my kids used to watch.
Our culture seems to miss the uniqueness that we express as we move through the years. Externally we show legitimate signs that we have been around for a while and earned a seasoning that has given us variety. Variety that should be embraced instead of being prematurely surgically corrected! Instead, we are conditioned to look down on crow’s feet or to even become disgusted by an aging body. Now grant it – a “lifestyle lift” can truly be a gift at times – but sometimes the beautiful parts of aging get missed in a culture that wants to artificially smooth out every single wrinkle (and maybe do so by using chemicals that hurt).
Beauty will always be subjective, but it is never solely an external thing to assess – because even the smoothest brow or most wrinkle-free face will come across as sterile and less appealing without beauty that emits from inner joy – a joy that (in my opinion) can only come from having a “relationship” with God and enjoying the people He has placed in our lives. Inner beauty is a reflection of how we have embraced our uniqueness and coped with this up and down journey of life.
When we have inner beauty (and contentment) we begin to see wrinkles in a different light, and as corny as it sounds, it can put a bounce in our step. Proper perspective can in turn soften those wrinkles even more because determined confidence on the inside trumps needlework and shots on the outside! Sure, we all want to age with grace – where good nutrition, good moisturizer, good sleep, good lovin’, and God’s buffering are essential, but so is “corrected” perspective! We dictate how we VIEW the aging process.
My husband told me that he almost threw out those little blue lights. I feel grateful that he gave them a chance. Each time I walk by that area, I catch a new sparkle from one of those older, faded bulbs, which are more beautiful than any new set.
The next time you look in the mirror and see aging spots, new wrinkles, or who knows what- well think of the seasoned blue lights that sit around my fireplace. The dozen different shades of seasoned blue cannot be bought; instead, a decade of use has allowed one of a kind expression to develop.
Your years of life have led to aging that reflects maturity and uniqueness. Don’t let the conditioning of our culture rob your joy when you look at an aging reflection; instead, know that when you are 70, you would likely appreciate the way you look right now, which is quite beautiful and seasoned with different “hues of you” – things that you may not even be aware of. An appreciative perspective will emit from you- and can become a sort of sparkle to those around you!
Don’t you forget that your seasoned patina – the very “essence of you” and who you are still becoming – is a gift to others, especially if it is embraced by you with confidence.