I first observed it in my Zumba class this week. No, not my aching arms being tortured from the strange Zumba weights (hybrids of dumbbells and maracas), but something that felt even more of a strain. I realized I was probably the oldest person in the class. But as daunting as that realization was, I also appreciated that I’m able to easily hold my own in an exercise class full of 20- and early 30-somethings. Which brings me to what I share with Cindy Crawford.
I caught the 47-year-old supermodel with the legendary mole on Oprah’s Master Class on the OWN network the other night. If you haven’t seen it, in each episode, Master Class presents celebrities talking directly to the camera about the life experiences that formed their character and what they’ve learned along the way.
While Cindy was never my fave supermodel ─ I preferred Christy Turlington’s elegant beauty to Cindy’s athletic, all-American look, and found the undeniably wacky antics of Naomi Campbell more entertaining that Cindy’s coolish reserve ─ I must admit she’s always seemed to have her act together.
So I watched her talk about the tragedy of losing her little brother to leukemia, how she got into modeling, marrying Richard Gere and being independently wealthy. Clearly, none of which I share with her. But then she got on the topic of aging.
Aging is a privilege
Cindy mentioned that while it’s not fun, she feels “aging is a privilege” (I guess better than the alternative). And I must admit to feeling similarly about it. No, I don’t like the extra maintenance it takes to look good these days (as much as I love beauty products and enjoy living ─ for the most part ─ healthfully).
Middle age as accomplishment
But I get the privilege part of the aging equation. Like most people my age, I’ve seen several friends and colleagues of my generation pass away from various causes, so it feels somewhat of an accomplishment even to make it to middle age.
Beyond appreciating reaching this age, I also enjoy some of the benefits of growing older. For me that means feeling more comfortable in my skin (even if it’s not as glowing as it used to be).
Growing older has also clarified what is truly important to me and what’s not worth worrying about anymore.
Hands of time
Which is not to say I don’t still have some petty concerns. For example, my hands are on the bony side and, despite my skin-care efforts, look older than I’d like. But then while watching her Master Class episode, I noticed that while Cindy Crawford’s face looks remarkably youthful (note to self: maybe I should stop flipping the channel when the infomercial for her Meaningful Beauty skin-care line appears on late-night TV), her hands haven’t held up as well.
Is there any end to what I share with Cindy Crawford…
So the next time you find yourself unhappy with the way a part of you has aged, just think of Cindy Crawford’s hands. Then think of something you’ve gained along the way that makes up for your younger self’s plumper hands, smoother skin, perkier butt, etc.
If it still doesn’t feel like a fair trade, fret not. There’s always retinol and Spanx.