2/12/09

It took 1.5 years to age me

Posted on Thursday~February 12th, 2009

I've had the same person cutting my hair for about five years now. She does a really good job normally. Not so much on a particular day a couple of weeks ago, but oh well, it's just hair. I look much like a mushroom, but I'm not that concerned. I've never been all that concerned with how I look. Sure, in high school and college I compared myself to the stylish girls and made half-hearted attempts at keeping up, but I never really cared.

It was easier to get away with not caring when I was younger. I'm not sure how it happened, but I've started to feel a bit ashamed of how I look. Not in a way that concerns what other people think, just in my own eyes.

While I was getting my hair cut that day a couple of weeks ago, my stylist started laughing to herself and shaking her head. (Not a good sign.) It turned out she wasn't laughing at my mushroom head even if she should have been. Instead she was thinking back on the years I've been coming to her to have my hair cut. She said it's funny that when I first came I was "blond, had long hair, and no kids."

2004
This is my dear friend, Kate.

When the stylist laughed I did too, but I didn't know what to say. And then I thought about it on the way home and had to shake my brunette head, wondering how starting a family turned my hair short and brown. I realized it does kind of relate. I keep changing my hair because first of all, I think it's fun. And secondly, I think I'm trying to make myself look different than the aging person I see in the mirror.

Here's the funny part. I honestly didn't think I would age. I just didn't go there in my head. And if I did, I just assumed the negative aspects were going to somehow skip me. No wrinkles or sagging for this girl! I realize that's ridiculous, but I've just always felt so young on the inside, a kid even. The fact that my outsides wouldn't match sooner or later was just something somewhat foreign and hard to grasp.

I actually was kind of pulling this off too. I sprung back to my previous pregnancy self after I had Miles. I lost all my weight and more, I had no stretch marks, and I felt really good. Sure, I had some proof of time ticking by, making itself known in strange places, but it was very slow.

And then it happened. We had Asher.

I don't know if it's possible to spring back after you have a 10 pound, 10 ounce baby, but I know I didn't. And I don't know if you can ever look rested again after colic, but I know I don't. And I don't know how a person can avoid fine lines and wrinkles, sprouting of gray hairs and bags under the eyes after medical issues steal your ease. But I didn't. I would look in the mirror in shock at how fast it was happening. An aging freight train.


(Am I really sharing this photo? I must really want to make my point.)

I don't really know how to come to terms with these fast changes. But it's all there now, more prominent after the last year and a half and moving at the speed of light. And yet I pretend it will all just magically disappear.

BING!


Nope, not happening.

Dangit.
(my favorite part, the frown lines between my eyes.)

I suppose I should get to know this new me and try to keep her around awhile, learning to like and accept her, giving her a work out and slathering on some anti-aging serum every now and again. After all, I should probably get used to this whole aging thing, it's bound to keep happening.

Here's to hoping that something even more drastic happened on the inside during this past year and a half. More strength and wisdom, maybe? A deeper faith and love for my family, definitely!

We all know this...Asher is more than worth every bit of the evidence of him in the mirror.
No matter what I look like, every time I lay eyes on him, he steals away my youthful heart. And I love it.

60 clicked right here to comment:

Angie said...

Oh, I feel you. I look in the mirror and wonder where the wrinkles and sags came from. I still think I'm 18 on the inside sometimes. And our beauty-obsessed culture says we should still look like 18 even if we're in our 30's. Then I look at my babies and see real beauty.

And those frown lines. Got those, too. Let's just say they're evidence of deep thinking. :)

cassie said...

I could never have imagined you with blonde hair! You look beautiful either way! I think we all go through this some way or another. I am only twenty one so I don't quite have the face wrinkles. However, after a seventy two pound pregnancy I have more stretch marks than I imagined. Sometimes it is hard to realize I am so young and my body will never be the same.

You look great momma!

happygeek said...

We have child-less friends who don't look a day over 35 and they are both pushing 50.
But I think they would trade their youthful looks in a heartbeat.
It's good to look like a mom.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I think you should keep your focus on not caring how you look. Don't let society push you into feeling old because you look differently.

(But I totally understand your point about aging ALL OF A SUDDEN in a short time frame. I do think that happens. It can just ambush you.)

Kristina P. said...

I will be 31 this year, and I haven't really noticed a lot of aging chnages, other than the freaking hair on my neck!! No gray hair yet, not really any wrinkles. Oh, and I already have the stretchmarks. Can't wait for pregnancy!

K and/or K said...

It's only fitting that we are seeing a play "for all ages" tonight! I'll go out with until we are in walkers my dear!

Amanda said...

(here from BSU) The first baby does often change your look fast. But, don't worry. In about ten years you will feel better about yourself than you did before you had kids.

I love being in my late 30's. I feel more confident and comfortable with how I look and who I am than I did when I was 25. And that's with an extra 25 lbs and much shorter hair! LOL

Elizabeth said...

I feel the same way since I had my third. I feel so young on the inside, but what the heck happened to me on the outside?! I just don't know what to say about it.

But you're right, she's worth it. And I don't really care either, even though I do a little.

Erin said...

It is hard to look in the mirror and see fine lines (aka wrinkles). But I like the "wisdom" I am picking up with age!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I think we get better with age...and kids age us like no other :)

You've had a beyond crazy year and a half, your body will recover...the sleep depravity will subside ;)

joolee said...

I love that you posted a picture that isn't totally flattering! It takes maturity [don't read "old"] to do that. You are a beautiful woman with beautiful priorities. :)

Sara@i.Sass said...

I'm sitting her quietly. I know I've been bad...I want to comment but I think you'll shush me, cuz, well you know...I was a bad friend.
I do relate to your post today. I never thought I'd *gasp* get old either. You can call me saggy baggy if you want. It is true, instead of junk in the trunk I got saggy baggies.
I'm really sorry for forgetting :(

Heidi Ashworth said...

What I have noticed, in my many more years than you, is that people age in chunks. So, every five years or so, they suddenly age five years, like, overnight. It's kind of cool in a way. It's scary when that overnight thing happens, but it's great to look 40 from age 40 to 45, if you know what I mean. BTW, NO ONE thinks they are going to age. Not really. It is a shock to all of us. You are a beautiful and still young girl!

Heidi Ashworth said...

What I have noticed, in my many more years than you, is that people age in chunks. So, every five years or so, they suddenly age five years, like, overnight. It's kind of cool in a way. It's scary when that overnight thing happens, but it's great to look 40 from age 40 to 45, if you know what I mean. BTW, NO ONE thinks they are going to age. Not really. It is a shock to all of us. You are a beautiful and still young girl!

Heidi Ashworth said...

So sorry that posted twice--I don't know how to erase it. But, naturally, I have MORE to say! I got my hair cut last night--it was at least four inches longer than it is in my profile pic, maybe six. It is now shorter than my profile pic. My 7 year old tried to convince me not to get it cut and was styling it for me before I left, hoping I would like it fine and cancel my appoinment. He was still mad at me this morning when he got up. He thinks the long hair makes me look younger (and he's probably right!)

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Such a great post - because so many of us can relate to the changes. They are not easy to get used to. - But it is SO worth it. The reasons we age; kids, new expereinces that teach us alot, heart ache that we grow stronger through.
Good stuff!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peanut said...

I'm starting to get those frown lines too. I'm trying to convince myself that I like the outside of me because it shows the scars of what I have done for my family... but I'm not always convinced. I think back to what I looked like at 19... wow! (But the sad thing is, I didn't believe it then... will I look back again in 10 years and think the same thing about myself now?)

I do however like the older version of me on the inside. 10 years later, I'm falling apart on the outside, but much more happy with myself on the inside!

Tooj said...

I guess that we might be around the same age...not sure if we ever discussed this?? But I hit a certain age that happened to coincide with my second baby, and BAM...I'm really noticing all the changes as well. I keep blaming my facial flaws on pregnancy and hormones and nursing, but I'm beginning to wonder....it's comorting to hear you put it out there for us all to sigh at, and feel in good company.

The Mom Jen said...

HUGE HUGS!! I know that feeling well, and I have the NUMBER 11 too between my eyes, the bags, the drooping everything, the grey. WAH.

...sensible of shoe said...

It's nothing Nick Arojo & Carmindy can't fix!

LexiconLuvr said...

I love your posts. They are so heartfelt and thoughtful. It's like getting a dose of goodness every day. Thank you, on behalf of another mommy who feels like she sometimes lost herself---only to find myself in the eyes of my little ones.

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

So funny! I went form blonde (and funky short) to brunette (and long in ponytail).

I'm loving you here.

Abra said...

I look in the mirror and think Geesh! I look old. I've done this for the past 10 years. Funny thing is, when I look back at pictures of me over the last 10 years, I think "Wow! I sure looked young!" And then I think "I look better as the years go by." I think it's because I've learned more, I'm still growing, and my spirit is strengthening. I think kids keep you young and I thank my kids for that - not for the stretch marks...

Sabrina said...

You always look great! I got my haircut yesterday... so this post was perfect. Oh the hair... the changes. So fun to look back.
See you tonight.
It's Quangs for sure. Did you get that email?

LisAway said...

I have to see that I can't really see much age in the picture. The only difference is cosmetic (quite literally :) But I do know what you mean. I'm 32 and I am just starting to see a tiny bit of evidence of aging.

And the few stretch marks I have are from before pregnancy. Whatever that's about.

Annette Lyon said...

I've managed to escape the wrinkle thing thus far, but now I have a teenager. In two and a half years, he'll have a drivers license.

Hence, I'll be wrinkled and gray mid-2011.

Francesca said...

i don't see age, i see wisdom.
No seriously, i HEAR you and lately i feel it too. I found 6 white heairs yesterday and my frown lines are permanent and altho i feel mentally like i am 18 physically i feel 80.
But Heather, i keep telling myself that it will pass and we will retrieve some of those years. As soon as we start sleeping a bit more and getting a bit of rest. And those things will happen. I pray they will anyway. I have a 1 and a half year old too and he suffered with GER and would wake every 2 hours at night for the first 12 months of his life. Vomiting all the time. I look like a shadow of my former self. But i am confident that with time i will get the old me back. or is that too literal and exactly what i will get ??? an OLD me!?!?!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I am not a fan of getting old... BUT I've been feeling pretty good about myself since having kids. I don't have as much time to obesses over my imperfections. I also don't have as much time to snack. So I look better and I feel better. Of course I say all this while the crows feet are still shallow...

Keyona said...

Your beautiful to me doll, frown line and all!

Kelline said...

I don't want to age either, look wise that is, but I enjoy the fact that I now know a little more about life...just wished it didn't come with the bags, sags, and extra padding!

Kim said...

Oh I hear you my friend. As it was my birthday yesterday, I was actually thinking about this. I don't really mind getting older. I like to think that I am wiser now than I was back in the day.
Yeah, my hair is also shorter and browner...but I am more tolerant, calm, and have learned a lot. I don't think i'd trade it. I bet you wouldn't either.
Of course perky boobs would be nice to have again! ;)

minnesotamom said...

Don't take this as cliche, but you're beautiful. Seriously. The mommy-ness of you is a large part of what makes you beautiful, too.

I noticed MUCH aging post-Anja. I was really sad about it, too, because I also thought somehow that time would stop for me. But she really is worth every wrinkle, eye bag, stretch mark, and pound. And fortunately, Husband still thinks I'm beautiful! What grace, huh?

a Tonggu Momma said...

Sigh. I don't have pregnancy as an excuse. So what in the world should I say?

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You already know how I feel about this. There's nothing more beautiful than a life sacrificed for others.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

My hair keeps getting shorter too. I keep telling myself it is because it's "in" and practical but really I think it is more for the practical. My hair is starting to get more and more natural highlights too, I guess my attempt to put a positive spin on them doesn't hide the fact that said highlights are really just gray hair.

Brooke said...

Some days I feel like a 12 year old, wondering where all this responsibility came from, then I go look in the mirror and realize that I'm almost 30. Yikes! I have the lines between my eyes, too. You're a cutie.

Melanie J said...

I used to be excited to get old because my grandfather was the coolest guy I knew and so I thought being old would make me cool, too. I still look forward to aging. There are lots of upsides. But, I have admit, my body aging with my growing maturity is not my favorite part.

Melanie J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RosyRose said...

I really get the holding on to young as long as possible. Not weird like a teen young but you know..20something young:)
Oh well, I don't want my daughter's boyfriends hitting on me anyway cause that would be creepy. So I guess a couple wrinkles will set me a part:)!Ha!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I'm in a weird place in life, not as old as my mom, but definitely not young anymore. I, too, have posted some very unflattering pics on my blog, which I NEVER would have done years ago. I guess I'm realizing it will happen to everyone at some point. Some days the aging bothers me more than others. I keep reminding myself from where my worth comes, and not in the estimation of anyone else.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Age...that magical elixir that numbs our minds into thinking that we still feel as young as we did twenty years ago.

Girl, I am so with you.

Jules said...

Hi! I've given you a blog award - stop by and check it out!

wendy said...

First off...you didn't speak of the eyes . That is where you are holding your beauty. The love for you child, your husband your life will shine there!!! Those eyes full of compassion and self-sacrifice is what people will see and they will see beautiful.
BUT, I understand aging. at 57 it gets painful to see more and more signs of "old" when you really feel youthful and spunky on the inside. I believe in graceful aging...admitting it will happen and letting your spirit/soul carry you past those dang wrinkles, spider veins, and "where the hell" did those bulges come from.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

In my head I am still 22 years old. And so when I look in the mirror there is a huge disconnect with what I see and what I feel. Weird, isn't it? I have a GROOVE between my eyes that no amount of cream or plumper will ever smooth out, but I guess it's all part of it. And if I have to blame pregnancy for it, then yes...I agree that our babies are worth ever wrinkle and sag.

Veronica Boulden said...

I was really humored and encouraged by this post. Thanks for the honesty.

Kazzy said...

Wow, I am comment #47, so this is obviously a topic women are thinking about in their own lives. I feel so similar to the way I did in high school, and especially in college. I remember my mom saying things like that and doing a mental eye roll, but it is so true. You learn lessons, you grow, etc., but the basic "you" is still there. Look at it as a way of proving you can look healthy and happy at your age. Each age has its beauty. I know it sounds trite, but I really believe it. You are adorable. You are doing those boys a great service by taking care of yourself and taking an interest in your appearance without it becoming to self-centered. From what I know about you, you could write a book on the topic!

Gabe's Girl said...

You know I thought I would not age either. I told my hubby just today that I needed to start looking the part I was in the older pictures of me. He told me that I was still beautiful. I am glad he sees it (or says he does) cause I don't see that same thing. Oh, well. Thanks for writing what we all think. I do like the comment by Kazzy of each age has its beauty!

JustRandi said...

That's such good perspective, Heather. Some days I wish I were as (mentally) mature as you!!

charrette said...

You are just adorable! Your youthfulness shines through in your writing. And so does your maturity. That's the trade-off for aging. (Take it from one who's already crossed the threshold into her forties.) Sometimes I do not even recognize that person staring back at me in the mirror. But I do know the girl inside...both sides of her.

Oh, yeah, and moving to Utah aged me! :)

radioactive girl said...

I totally understand. I'm not sure why I thought I would never age...it certainly doesn't seem logical when I type it out, I just somehow thought the rules didn't apply to me or something. I am often shocked by what I see when I look in the mirror. I don't look bad, just not how I expect to see myself.

You are beautiful, by the way, in all the pictures.

Lara said...

You do have great perspective.

I'm trying. But I am a little obsessive over my own frown LINE. There is only one of them, and it's hardly even from frowning. It's from SQUINTING at the bright sun with my super-sensitive-to-light eyes.

You are beautiful though. Even in the pictures that you think are horrid.

Growin' with it! said...

i don't know about the "aging" part but i do know i miss my blonde hair terribly! let's be blonde and old together someday!!☺

TUTU Monkey said...

Oh...what a great post...I am with ya!! The lines on my forehead have to go.....BOTOX...here I come!!

Jessica said...

I know you may not feel it, (we ALL have those days), but you are beautiful, inside AND out. Your blog proves it . . . And after the past year, you have nothing to be ashamed of and Much to be proud of . . .

Jessica said...

I know you may not feel it, (we ALL have those days), but you are beautiful, inside AND out. Your blog proves it . . . And after the past year, you have nothing to be ashamed of and Much to be proud of . . .

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

I am old. And wrinkled. Thanks for reminding me.

;)

Kimberly said...

I have the opposite problem. I keep looking in the mirror and wanting to look older. When will the baby felt melt? When will the blemish ridden skin stop breaking out?

It's not fair, dangit.

MoziEsmé said...

What a cute Valentine head! He's worth it all, I know...

Kristen said...

I could have written this post. Seriously. In the last few years, I have sprouted a moustache, developed "jowly cheeks", and most of my hair is gray. My arms are jiggly and my forehead is a permenant scowl. Sometimes I barely recognize myself in photos.

Alas, what can you do?? Shoes, I say. We will always have shoes.

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