Anti-aging. I am being actively recruited to join a radical movement. You probably are, too. I am not sure how I feel about it. On some days, I am completely on board, I grab my weapons of choice ~ face creams, supplements, scrubs ~ determined to beat the enemy before me. On other days, I am resigned to the fact that this is a movement that cannot succeed, in the end the battle cannot be won, no matter how hard anyone fights against it. I have to ask myself – do I really want to join the anti-aging movement anyway? And if so, at what cost?
There are some aspects of aging that I am less than excited about, like changes in my body shape and face. Changes in my biochemistry have altered once high energy levels and are interfering with a good night’s sleep. I can no longer ignore the fact that I am heading into a new season of life. But recruiters for the movement assure me that there are ways to stop this whole aging process; well, if not actually stop it, at least slow and mask it.
There are surgeries available for almost every aging body part ~ limbs, eyes, mouth, breasts, chins, jaws, butts, thighs, even body parts that no one sees and I am too embarrassed to mention. All of these problem areas can be lifted, tucked, smoothed, and tightened. If you have enough money and guts you can get all kinds of work done and have everyone asking, as though at a carnival guess your age game, how old do you think she is?
I am ashamed to admit I find myself engaged in this very catty game of comparison. And sometimes it makes the recruiter’s propaganda sound pretty good. In fact, I am not saying that I won’t, at some point and in some fashion, join the movement against the enemy known as aging; I don’t know. I certainly want to maintain good health as I age. I want to be physically fit and in good shape, to take care of my skin and teeth. I want to have a good level of energy and get the necessary amount of sleep to allow me to do all that God requires of me. And I might need some extra help to achieve the kind of health that will enable me to maintain my active work and personal life. So, at this time I can’t say…
But what I can say is that I want to start paying attention to the propaganda and my own focus on aging. Personally, I want my life, in this next season, to be rich in relationships, filled with satisfying activity, doing things that have eternal significance. I want to learn more, pray more, smile more, laugh more, see the good around me and give thanks more. I want to feel the swell in my heart when I think about my Savior and when I consider what is important to Him. Ironically, I don’t think He spends much time thinking about how droopy or tight, how wrinkly or smooth, how young or old my body looks ~ I think He spends much more time thinking about the condition and state of my heart, mind and soul. So instead, maybe the energy should be put into figuring out how to age well rather than engaging in a fight against inevitable aging.
The next question becomes, how shall we define “aging well”? As we age, do we want to be judged by the smoothness of our skin, or do we want to be judged by the content of our character? Hmmm…something to think about the next time the anti-aging crusaders make an appearance.