Monday, August 12, 2013

Why Do We Fight It with Everything in Us?


That's the topic at the very front of my brain at the moment.

Last night PandaPop and I sat on our back patio under my multi-colored garden lights that bring me much joy. I just adore those iridescent jewel-toned rainbow lights gently swinging between the huge oak tree and our house. I would sit under them more, but Texas in July and August is still hotter than hell even at 9pm and the mosquitos like to drink the citronella instead of flying away from it making what could be a delightful sitting under the summer night sky into a sweat bath with pin pricks all over your skin. No so fun.

Somehow the mosquitos stayed away last night and there was a tiny breeze that allowed us to enjoy our time with a newlywed couple for a few hours. We were enchanted by the beautiful lightning storm brewing around us at the same time while not a drop of rain came down. Interesting. Anyway, this darling couple has dated forever and ever. They finally got hitched a couple of weeks ago in Jackson Hole, Wyoming then celebrated here at home with a reception for family and friends this past Saturday night. Yours truly took the photos for the reception. Fun.

Back on track.... these two kids are basically the age PandaPop and I were when we got married. He and I will be clocking 21 years of marital bliss later this month. Twenty one years. YEARS? 21.

Blink, blink.

Twenty one years just went by.

That makes me less than a month shy of age 43. PandaPop just notched 44 years onto his belt last month. We are twenty years older than this couple. Married 21 years longer than them. Age wise, we could totally be their parents. That blows my mind. We sat in red chairs around a glass pub table with our beautiful orange umbrella popped open above and chatted as if we were all the same age.

There was so much I wanted to reveal along the yellow brick road that lies ahead of them, but why spoil the fun of them getting to discover life things themselves? Each of us have to live and experience "life" for ourselves in order to really get it. For one thing I didn't want to burst their brand new bubble of hope and delight. I mean they did just enter into a wonderful time!! I LOVE being married and have loved it 99% of the time. That's saying a lot for a 21 year period with the same person. I adore my man. And he's put up with more than any one person should have to in a lifetime from me. I pray they enjoy each other as much as PandaPop and I have. I am so incredibly blessed by my husband. It was pretty challenging to bite my tongue and not spew out how life throws fireballs right in your face when you least expect it. Why let them know that they really know nothing right now even though they think they do? Do they really need to be given a heads up that having kids, while being a great blessing, is what paints a simultaneously ugly and beautiful picture of our own relationship with God? What benefit is it for them to know that their lovely tight skin will loosen, sag and wrinkle? And that along the way they could encounter people who don't have their best interests at heart? Why tell them that built up stress from multiple areas of life at the same time can be the relentless pounding of a hammer to the temples and chest? Bleh. Those things are too much to hear at a precious time like this. Certainly I did not want to tell them that dreams die. God can and does redeem lost dreams.....YES!!! Yes, He does. Before that, though.....comes the painful death of a dream. Or multiple dreams. God redeems the broken parts of our lives. That's hopeful!!

The acid above was not anything our precious little couple needed to hear. We had so much fun talking about their wedding and new things that lie ahead for them. I have no desire to be back at that age. The thing that gets me is why we middle-aged folk fight aging so much? Why do my friends and I hate wrinkles with a passion? Why do we care if our faces fall and look less like our twenty-something selves? When I am so blessed with a husband who wants to grow old with me,  why can't that be enough? Why do we go "ugh" at the reflection in the mirror or at just the thought of getting older?

Anyone have any thoughts or comments about this? I'm not saying that I am down in the dumps over any of this or that I don't like myself. I do like myself. Most days. Just like other women I know. Some days life is great and others lend themselves to just thanking God for the next breath.

I can't wait to hang out with our newlyweds again soon. It was fun and despite the fact that I used Monistat anti-chaffing cream on my face under my make-up as an alternative to a very expensive cosmetic brand of make-up primer to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because someone on Pinterest said it would work wonders, there was a sweetness to being the older couple with whom these young guns wanted to hang.

In the back yard.

Under the rainbow garden lights.

We are the older ones. I went with it last night.

No fight needed.


  1. I'll bite. I think that aging surprises us. It shouldn't, but it does. I have a picture of myself in my head, and sometimes, the reflection in the mirror does not match. It's not really that I despise what I see in the mirror; it's that my mind is slower to age than my body. There's a strange disconnect. And it takes time for me to adjust the picture in my head to match the reality in the mirror. Which I think is ok and fairly normal.

    When I was in graduate school, I studied this "suprise in the mirror" phenomenon a little. It continues to happen even as people (not just women, btw...) grow very old (80+). I think it plays out in real life in a useful and meaningful way. We have all known an older person with a young sparkle in his/her eye, and we have all known a young person who seems quite old. We can make a choice to be either.

    Additionally, I think aging generally makes our definitions of beauty larger and more flexible, but it is doesn't happen overnight. We have to investigate the wrinkle and acknowledge it in order to accept it, no?

  2. Reckless, you are right on the money. Also, our culture programs (indoctrinates?) us to believe that only young is beautiful. When, like fine wine, age IS the beauty, the best part. It's where we finally become comfortable in our own skin, the parts we like and the parts we don't. We have marinated and all becomes beautiful, perhaps mostly because of the lens we use to see things. We've take off the lenses of expectation and idealism, to look the lens of reality with gratefulness. Would you agree?

    1. Funderstorm, I'm not sure I'll ever take off the lens of idealism, it's part of my hard wiring! But, yes, I absolutely agree. Some people would say if you become too "settled" in your skin (put on a few pounds, don't fight aging tooth and nail, etc...) that you have given up, but I think you've decided to be comfortable with as you say, "the parts we like and the parts we don't." It's okay to age! And it's far better than the alternative! That's one place where it's easy for gratefulness to come in. I get to live another day.

  3. Thanks for chiming in you two. I know y'all both very well. You're beautiful to me no matter what. I'd be happy to share my Monistat with y'all any day. lol. ; )

    1. I have a very crass comment about your Monistat, but I will save it for in person. And why are you using that anyway, you are HAWT!

  4. Yes, I know - PandaMom and Funderstorm will say "Oh, you're not old. You're not there yet." And you would be right. I find myself in that sort of in-between season of life - by no means in the naive honeymoon years, but not yet to a season of looking back over a decade or two of what life has afforded us.

    I'm thankful that I went into marriage not completely naive of what we might face. Yes, our perspectives were about as long as a ten-foot pole, but a series of events leading up to our wedding day gave us a small taste of the reality that life would not bring all we had dreamed up for ourselves. We've had two categories of friends it seems - those who get to around year 4-5 (if they make it that long) with a heart that screams "This is NOT what I had in mind for our marriage! Did I make a mistake? This is not how it's supposed to be!" and those who look back on the years with a bigger perspective, looking back with fondness but also with gratitude at how much they've grown since. Those who fight with the reality miss the fact that YES! Marriage is NOT what it was designed to be - it's the reality of living in a fallen world, married to a fellow sinner in need of the same grace. Through that lens, we make it through each day - the ones that are sweet, and the ones that are...well, refining. "This is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the Promise is for..."

    (And while I don't yet have the early signs of wrinkles/aging, I do have the backend that tells me I just can't drink Dr. Peppers quite like I used to. A switch got turned off when I turned 30, and my energy level has been going down ever since. No longer can I live on that diet of sodas and candy...)

  5. C and I came home from that same wedding reception last Saturday and ended up having an intense discussion in the driveway. My sweet 17 year old did not want to talk about marriage with me because, "You and I have different ideas about love." I kept pushing, of course, and ended up crying. It was tough to see that frustrations about love in my own life had built a little wall between us while I wasn't even watching. Eventually, I was able to reinforce the idea that I loved and trusted her, and would equally love and accept anyone that God brought into her life. Your comments captured this divide in our thinking about marriage and love, while emphasizing the necessity of both. Thank you for sharing!