Friday, January 13, 2012

Thoughts of the Week - Aging Gracefully

While searching for the secret to younger looking skin, I came across this article recently of Iris Apfel in In the Gloss. Admittedly I didn't know much about Iris, only seeing her and those iconic glasses making brief appearances in issues of Vogue and Bazaar every now and then. But the opening line of the article intrigued me and so I had to read on. Here are a few of Iris' brilliant little quips on aging, beauty routines, and what it was like to be asked by the makeup giant MAC to help create a new line of intensely colored lipsticks.  The last one has got to be my favorite.

(you can read a little more about Iris and her amazing life here and see her crazy busy apartment here)

"Getting older ain’t for sissies, I’ll tell you...You have to push yourself when you’re older, because it’s very easy to fall into the trap. You start to fall apart—you just have to do your best to paste yourself together. I think doing things and being active is very important. When your mind is busy, you don’t hurt so much."

"I don’t do very much for beauty. I use very simple things on my skin. I haven’t got time. I would always get facials, and then come home laden with product, and pay a lot of money and never use it." 

"I’m not good at putting on makeup, but you have to be a moron not to be able to put on lipstick. Now since I’m older, I don’t do my eyes anymore because when you’re older, your eyelids wrinkle. If you use blue or green, and you’re not really expert, you end up looking like a turtle."

"When MAC asked me to do a collection, I was thrilled and flattered. I never thought I’d be doing this; it’s like some sort of an insane, psychedelic dream.  I worked with them and we picked colors, and I told them the kind of colors I liked—I like bright, intense colors...If you have a little rosebud mouth, maybe for young girls it’s nice—but older women need some color. I think those whitish lips on older women look insane."

"I’m very opposed to plastic surgery...I think it’s very painful, very expensive, and having been in hospitals as much as I have, subjecting yourself to surgery when you don’t need it is not a smart thing to do. But what do I know? I mean, almost everybody does it. I think if women put some more of the time and money they put on their heads in their heads, they’d be better off. I mean, nobody’s going to think you’re thirty-two, so what’s the point?

I think about aging a lot.  Not so much in a beauty age-defying way (despite my post earlier in the week), but more in a mathematical, calculating sort of way.  For instance I calculate how many years we have to save before retirement sets in, and what will that retirement look like?  If Art's 65 when he retires, how many years does that leave us to travel with ease and free of aches and pains?  I look at the people I deliver meals to every week for the last 9 months and I wonder if I'll be more like Lester who, pushing 90 is still spry, at least in mind, or will I be more like Viola, saying a weekly prayer that the Lord will take her to heaven?  I wonder when my own walk will no longer be my own, replaced with the old people shuffle, the point where your heels no longer lift up so care-free, and are instead glued to the ground so that they simply just shuffle you around from place to place.  And even going beyond thinking just about "old age", I also do calculations of what the likelihood of entering the workforce again in 5, 6 years if I were to have another child.  Do companies still hire 40 year olds? 

Of course I know that with aging comes wisdom and knowledge and life-experience that can really only be acquired by age, but admittedly my view on aging at this point in my life is somewhat distorted.  Reading about women like Iris though is quite inspiring.  Maybe Carmen is right, it really is all about a positive attitude.  All this reminds me of an episode of Oprah's Life Class I watched a while back on aging.  The whole episode was brilliant, but it was her closing statement that inevitably brought me to tears for some reason.  At 57 I hope to remember this.  And as positive as Carmen is, I will say that the only thing she inevitably always complains about every single week, without fail, is that the older she gets, the less her kids and grandkids call.  May I always remember to call and please God let them call me!  Anyhow, here's the clip.  What is it about Oprah that makes you just say "Yes!  Exactly!"?  Happy weekend friends.     

Why Oprah Says Aging Is a Blessing
Oprah doesn't dread birthdays—she sees them as a blessing. Watch to find out how owning your age can help you step into the fullness of your life.

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