If you’ve been on Facebook at all over the past few weeks, you can’t have missed the latest “challenge” asking you to post your first Facebook profile picture side by side with you current picture. The point is to see how you’ve aged…
Here’s me in 2007 – I was 28, with 1 child on vacation, loving life. I hadn’t buried someone I loved, lost a job, dealt with many crises or realized yet my heart could grow double in size.
And here is today’s profile picture, taken last week after I was done shoveling my driveway. A friend was in Hawaii posting gorgeous selfies on the beach, so I had to show him just how much (fake) fun I was having living this this arctic snow hell we all love:
I admit that I’ve enjoyed seeing other people doing this challenge. It’s fun, and the results are usually adorable as we see glimpses into our past lives. But it also makes me feel a tad icky. I mean – should I feel ashamed that I have aged? That my face is fuller and the wrinkles around my eyes are more apparent? The fact of the matter is that I have aged in the past 12+ years.
I’ve had another baby, survived my kid’s infancy and toddler years, changed jobs, nursed my husband through a handful of surgeries, got into a major car accident, made friends, lost friends, said goodbye to people I love with my whole heart and welcomed new family members that I adore. My weight has gone up, then down and then slowly settled in. I’ve battled a major hormone imbalance, had surgery, pushed my body harder than I thought possible, started to color my hair. I’ve traveled, I’ve put down roots, I’ve lead a PTA, wrote hundreds of thousands of words, taken thousands of pictures, started therapy (twice!), wiped tears, butts and boogers.
In other words, I have lived my life. I have washed my face every night before bed when I’ve remembered, gone to the gym as often as possible, ate healthy(ish) most of the time, wore sunscreen and moisturized every day. I try to drink water and get as much sleep as I can. But…life happens. Sometimes I’m too tired to wipe my makeup off and way too busy to get to the gym to lift weights 5x a week, so instead I settle for stolen 30 minutes on the treadmill with Netflix. Sometimes grabbing a pizza on the way home is the best I can manage – but hey, the salad I pair with it has to count for something, right?
So, yup, I’ve aged.
I’m 40 now and so very blessed to have the amazing life I have. I’ll be damned if I’m going to apologize over the fact that I don’t look the same. For what it’s worth, I *like* the way I look. I adore how my eyes disappear in my face when I smile so big it hurts – because I’m lucky enough to have family and friends that make me laugh so hard. I’m so freaking proud of the fact that I can deadlift 205 pounds even if my body isn’t the skinny one I used to have. And let’s not even get into the changes that you can’t see – how stronger my sense of self is and how much bigger my heart is.
So, yeah, aging. Bring it on! Did you participate in this challenge? What do you think about today’s you?