Friday, October 26, 2012

Old and frumpy?

I looked in the mirror this morning at my somewhat saggy morning face and felt sort of sad. My skin seems to be loosing some of that youthful elasticity. The wrinkles really seem to be coming out.

For years there, I thought I was somehow escaping any aging. People often thought I was younger than many of my younger siblings and everyone thought I was younger than my husband (who's actually younger than me) thanks to his rapidly graying hair. I'd look in the mirror and think, hey, I still look pretty young - I'm not changing much, yeah me!

But it seems like in the past few months my wrinkles have dramatically multiplied and my skin looks so much older (stress? too much sun all summer?). Plus I found my first obviously gray hair the other day. And my knees and hips are feeling creaky when I run lately. Then the other day, to try to cover my wrinkly forehead and fix the bad haircut I got last month, I decided to cut myself some bangs but chickened out and ended up cutting some very long bangs which are now always falling in my face and driving me crazy.

I think I'm having a style crisis as well. I haven't really thought about it for a while but as I looked at my wardrobe (well, my very small closet, I should say), trying to find warmer clothes to wear as the weather changes, I realized I didn't have any options that I felt very secure about. I hate shopping so I try to buy things that are classic and well-made and pretty neutral so they'll last. But do these "classic" clothes make me look boring and frumpy and old-looking? And are they even "classic"?

I know that looking in the mirror and not being thrilled about what you see is a pretty darn normal part of most women's lives. I don't know about you, but I don't actually think much about how other people look. If I do think about the women I see at the school, at the grocery store or wherever, I'd put the vast majority of them somewhere in the spectrum between looking just fine and looking just great. So I guess I can hope that others see me on that same spectrum - if they think about how I look at all.

And really, why does it matter? Should it matter how we look to others? Should it matter how we look to ourselves?

Whether or not it SHOULD matter, it does matter - a lot to some, a little to others. I think how I look matters a medium amount to me. A lot of the time, I'm too busy to really think about how I look and that's generally OK with me and seems totally fine with my husband and kids as well.

But on a day like today, when I've finished a bunch of big projects for Power of Moms* (did an interview with the Great Parenting Show yesterday where I launched our new POM Teaching Kids About Work and Money program - , the kids are at school, and I've got time to think about it, I'm headed to the store to see if I can find any winter clothes that might make me feel a bit more excited about my appearance. And I'm going to set up a hair appointment to get those bangs done by someone other than myself (but it's scary! I haven't had bangs since the 80's and didn't like them then!). And maybe I'll see if I can find some sort of miracle wrinkle cream.

If I come home empty-handed or end up with another bad haircut, oh well. I only care a medium amount about how I look so I'll just give it medium effort and be OK with medium results.

* The big project I finished yesterday was our new "Teaching Kids About Work and Money Program" that I launched on the Great Parenting Show yesterday - replay is here until tomorrow night if you happen to be interested). I hope the interview wasn't too disjointed - Isaac tried to call SEVEN times during the call because he wanted me to bring him a homework sheet he left at home and all the beeping from call waiting make it pretty hard to stay focused on what I was trying to say! It's hard to know what to do when you get a call waiting beep again and again while on a live radio show. I saw that it was the school calling and knew whichever kid was calling would call Jared if it were a real emergency but it was pretty hard to keep my train of thought!


anna said...

Saren, I know exactly what you mean. I am going to share a link with you of a program I recently was introduced to called "Dressing Your Truth". It intrigued me and and a lot of what I have read really rings true with me. The lady who started this is in Draper but her offices are at Thanksgiving Point, I think. Check it out. You might find something speaks to you as well. It's all based on who you are on the inside and how to reflect that in how you "live your truth" and how to dress according to all of that. You have to read about it. There is a lot of info.

Pam said...

I echo Anna. I just completed the "Dressing You Truth" courses and can't believe what a change it makes.

Jill said...

I happen to think you are absolutely darling and I have met you in person at a Power of Mom's retreat so I know:) I think we all feel a little like this at times. As moms our main focus is on our family, but I would hardly call you frumpy Saren. Funny how we see ourselves sometimes. Wow, and only one gray hair! You've hid it well. Good luck with the bang trim. You have beautiful hair and a winning smile. Keep up the great work with POM! Oh and let me know if you find a miracle cream. I'll follow.

Saren Loosli said...

Jill, thanks so much for your kind words - you made my day! Anna and Pam - thanks for the tip - I'll definitely look into your suggestion. I shopped today and only found shoes - but cute shoes will help a lot (since I've been wearing the same ones for over 5 years now...)

i'm h.mac said...

saren, you are beautiful! i always admire your classy approach to beauty and to life, it really shows in your appearance. i happen to love two online trips a year to The Loft (their clothes survive a few seasons) and also treat myself to regular haircuts from alex at thomas hardy, just down the street from you. those two things were what i missed most when our budget was limited. it's amazing how much a haircut and knowing twice a year you will add to your wardrobe a little can do for a girl! i can't wait to see those bangs at the next learning circle! i think changing seasons cause reflection in all aspects for most people. i appreciated hearing one of the women i admire most is a normal person too!

Cheryl said...

I think you look classy and put together. Who wants to look like they are trying too hard? I alwyas get a few things each season to go along with my basics, amazing what a cute new shirt, boots, scarf and sweater can do for you!

Jen H. said...

You are beautiful. And I think you do exude classy. And I agree that a cute new pair of shoes or a scarf can make a huge difference when I'm throwing on my standard jeans and a t-shirt.

I can't believe you just barely found your first gray hair! I started graying at 30.

I like Cheryl's comment--some people really do look like they're trying too hard. I hadn't thought about that before, but maybe that explains what bothers me about a certain look I see a lot since I moved here.

Eyrealm said...

Somehow I missed this! I haven't noticed one wrinkle, although you deserve a few! I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow (grin)! You are beautiful!


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