I’m 30 years old. In two months, I’ll turn a year older. I’ll admit, making that transition last year from 29 to 30 was a little difficult. In your twenties, you’re as free as you’ll ever be. You can go on the big road trips, make the big career moves, and the big mistakes. You can stay up late and get up for work early the next day and only feel minimally achy, and you can run and stretch your body with ease, giving not a second thought to things like bad knees or iffy backs.
Yet, as soon as I turned 30, it was like a weight shifted somewhere within me. Sure, I felt older, but I also felt wiser, and though it hurt a bit to give up the recklessness that my twenties defined, I was ready for this life shift. With two little ones now, my priorities have changed more than a little. I don’t care so much anymore about staying out until the wee hours of dawn, and even my career focus has changed. I’m living and working for a different purpose these days, and it honestly feels like the shake-up I’ve needed and craved for a while.
For all my new ambitions and renewed sense of purpose, however, I’d be remiss if I neglected to say that I’m not loving some of the physical changes that turning 30 brought along with it. From thinning hair to adult breakouts and a host of sore muscles and popping joints in between, I’m definitely feeling every bit my age! I blame a little of that on trudging up the stairs multiple times a day, and bending down to play trains and dolls with my energetic brood.
I look in the mirror now, and there are a few wrinkles around my eyes. I plucked my first gray hair from my scalp last month and literally shed a tear right there in the bathroom. My first inclination is to buy all the products and undergo all the treatments to hold onto my youth as much as possible.
Then, last week, my daughter helped me regain some much-needed perspective and see myself in an entirely new light. I was leaning against the bathroom counter, my elbows down and my hands holding a slanted eyeliner brush gingerly. I was trying to draw a cat eye, and becoming frustrated because every time I winged the liner upward, it would get snagged in a little crow’s eye wrinkle and look silly. My daughter, the three-year-old human sponge, watched intently throughout the entire process.
Finally, I doused a cotton ball in makeup remover, swiped it over my eyelid, and sat down on the bed. My daughter came up to me, gathered my face in her hands and said “Mommy, you are SO beautiful.” Tears streamed as I gathered her in a big embrace. What a blessed and precious reminder, from the tiniest source, that beauty really is what we make it to be. She didn’t see my frustration, and she definitely didn’t see that tiny hairline wrinkle that was bringing me down. She saw her mother in her bathrobe, leaning over the sink and fixing herself up just so. She saw my messy bun and my unwashed hair and thought I was as gorgeous as a supermodel strutting down the runway.So maybe I’ll dye my hair for the rest of my life, and maybe I won’t. As I get older, maybe I’ll embrace treatments like retinol for wrinkles, or maybe I’ll let my face wear naturally. Only time will tell, but if my daughter’s innocent reaction is any indication, the ones most important to me will be there no matter what. Lord willing, they’ll still be cheering me on when I’m 85, reminding me that the truly beautiful things in life aren’t what we see, but what we feel.