Thursday, July 30, 2015

Here's to Aging, Gratefully

"Look at those wrinkles!" I have said more than once when I look at the pictures Chuck has taken of me. 

"I love your eyes, and your wrinkles, just the way they are. They are part of what drew me to you in the first place."

My eye, in all its glory

As I try to let that sink in, I decide I'd better close my mouth; I'm pretty sure a closed mouth is more attractive than a gaping one. 

I do not know what I have done to deserve the love of this man, but I don't want to lose him now that I have him. I am wrinkled. I'm soft. Gravity and time have not been kind to me. And he loves me anyway. Go figure.

The title of my entry today was an idea I kicked around earlier for the name of my blog. I think it's already taken, but it's a concept that is growing on me, the older I get. I don't think I'll age gracefully, but gratefully I can do.

Photographs are always being processed around our house. The sheer volume of pictures the two of us take sees to it that most get the axe, some good ones get ignored, and the best ones get spruced up. There are a few effects we almost always use to make our pictures pop. 

Cropping an image to showcase the story we want our photograph to tell is the first step. Then we make sure the exposure is where we want it, and adjust contrast and clarity. The final touch is just a hint of vignette to soften the edges of the picture.

Chuck has a program for portraits that is used to smooth imperfections and beautify faces much the same way as the fashion industry edits their models' shoots. He was showing me how it works. 

The creator of the software has figured out a way to smooth out wrinkles, even skin tone, and improve on a model's looks, according to whoever is in charge of deciding what improvements are needed. He had told me early on that he has to be very careful not to overwork a picture, or it starts to not look like the person. 

As one who has been bemoaning her laugh lines and age spots for more than a decade now, I was quite curious to see what the program could do for me. Here are the results. Laugh lines gone. Teeth whitened. Age spots erased. Cheekbones even look a little higher. See for yourself.

This is me.

This is over-processed me. 

Guess what I decided? It's okay to look my age. I'm making peace with my wrinkles and my age spots. I'm embracing this older, gentler, and hopefully, kinder me. I've learned to be nicer to others; it's time to be nice to myself.

I don't want to be younger; I want to be just what I am: a middle-aged (if I live to be 110!) wife and mom who is looking forward to growing even older with my husband, living life to its fullest, and rocking lots of grandbabies. (Hint. Hint. You know who you are.) 

I love my life, and with time, I think I'll be deepening those laugh lines even more. Here's to aging, gratefully. It's a lot more appealing than the alternative, if you ask me. 


  1. Such wisdom in this. This is beautiful and so are you!

    1. Thank you for always being so positive. Your encouragement is a bright spot in my day.

  2. This is beautifully said and pictured. I like the unprocessed you. Not so sure that is a good way to say that, as we are all processed as we live, but you know what I mean. I am with Chuck, the lines tell stories and yours are beautiful.

    1. Ah, Stella, you say the nicest things. Thank you!

  3. Loved this post and here's to aging gratefully for me as well. My husband's heart attack saved both of us. We are both healthier and feel better. You two are enjoying life and it's obvious. I'm so glad for you. Thanks for giving value to the laugh lines we get. I've seen people age with the bitter lines. Nope, I'm all for the laugh lines.

    Yesterday I was talking with my 4 year old granddaughter, Ruthie. I said to her, "One day you'll be a Grandma too." And she responded as she gently touched my hands. "Then I'll have veins like you." And I just smiled. I always smile.

    1. Thank you for your perspective, Anne. Your grandchildren are so blessed by you.

  4. Shirley S. SullivanJuly 30, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    Denise, you are beautiful. I am old and wise; and I know what I am talking about. You are beautiful. Believe it.

    1. Oh, Mrs. Sullivan. Thank you. You have always been so kind to me.


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