#34 ~ Wrinkles … wear them proudly

What’s the very first thing you think of when you hear the word WRINKLE?

On Monday, I blasted a very unscientific Facebook and Twitter poll asking this question and here is the response I received:

  • 23 said “old” or something along those ‘lines’ (pun #1)
  • 18 mentioned products ranging from skin creams to Botox
  • 14 said Shar Pei dogs
  • 8 said “baby butts” – which is just too funny!
  • 7 said things related to ironing (I do not iron, for the record.)

My favorite (no offense to the others who graciously participated) were the 13 who mentioned things such as …

  • “Wrinkles only go where the smiles have gone,”Cindy (quoting Jimmy)
  • “I think of wisdom, a life well-lived and that more people should embrace them.”TweetingMama
  • “Sprinkles? Ya, I love cupcakes. Oh, you said wrinkles? Who cares. Beauty is fleeting.” ~ Linda

There’s a phrase that has been stuck in the wrinkles of my brain (pun intended and thank you Marci for that line) for decades. I overheard some adults in the family talking about a friend…

“She’s aged so much recently.”

I was maybe six or seven at the time, but I understood what they were talking about. Live long and hard enough and you’ll grow a few wrinkles of your own. I have.

It saddens me to see such enormous focus in our society on ridding the evidence of our lives. I was driving across town the other day and noticed a ginormous billboard on the side of the freeway advertising how to look 10 years younger by getting rid of the wrinkles. Erase your story.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in love with aging. Who doesn’t want to have perfect skin? I am just choosing to focus on how they got there rather than dwelling on the fact that they aren’t going anywhere.

Is it strange that I’m proud of my wrinkles?

The thick one on my forehead … that came from the painfully stressful two weeks I worked with a private investigator undercover to find my missing cousin.

The other ones on my forehead … those came from the stress and heartache of when I almost lost my husband.

The ones under my eyes … they came from the seven weeks of crying and worry when my premature baby was in the NICU.

The ones between my eyebrows … they come from all the hard times life deals you on a daily basis whether it’s working on maintaining a healthy marriage and family or helping friends through the difficult times.

The crows feet and lines around my smile … well, those are from my insanely large smiles and laughs. You can hear me belt out a chuckle from across the room. I’ll only apologize for it if you’re hearing aid is turned up too high and it physically hurts you.

Now, the itty bitty lines around my lips that cause my lip liner to not stay in the lines? Those just drive me nuts! I haven’t a clue where they came from either. Just age, I’m sure….or from whistling. I whistle songs all day long.

This week I encourage you to embrace your wrinkles and share the stories that brought them to your life. Whether from pain or joy, sorrow or laughter, you have a remarkable story and you have the evidence to prove it!

“Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.” ~ Lauren Hutton

What stories do your wrinkles tell?

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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24 Comments »

  1. Courtney said

    Beautiful post, Mel.

    I have these crazy little wrinkle-looking things on my hips. I think it’s evidence that I have too much skin and could possibly grow a few inches taller….what do you think? 

  2. I like my laugh lines. They remind me of all the time I spend smiling, which is a really good thing!

  3. Mari said

    I think of little old ladies. I’ve had a few of my residents that have lots of wrinkles, and I think it is another type of beauty.

  4. I think that our wrinkles just show that we have LIVED our lives and I think that we have earned each and every single one. I know that the ones around my mouth are from laughter, and who can complain about that? I wish that getting older was embraced a little more gently by our society instead of everyone trying to turn the clock back and going to extreme measures to do so!!

  5. Rachel said

    Love these thoughts!! They are SO true!! 😉

  6. Erin said

    That phrase “she’s aged so much recently” would explain the last almost three years of my life. I’ve always looked younger than I am. But my wrinkles say how strong I’ve become. I was able to survive almost losing my son to a childhood stroke, three months after the birth of my third child who came one month after moving from a different state. That’s a lot to have happen in a 4 month period of time. The deepest wrinkle came during the three months Colby was in the hospital from recovering. The stress of having a non-verbal, non-ambulatory son has continued to deepen that one but thankfully my laugh lines have deepened as well. The smile lines around my eyes are bigger to. Every achievement and obstacle he overcomes or our family overcomes makes them more hard earned and I”m grateful for every one of them.

  7. Kind of interesting that so many people mentioned babies–that’s certainly what came to my mind first. Which made me think: babies are all kind of wrinkly and people find that endearing, so why can’t everybody feel the same way about the wrinkles we get at the other end of life?

  8. Sarah Ruth said

    Wow. Such a powerful message. Honestly, I don’t have many wrinkles, because I’m only 25. But I am not afraid of getting them. I see the wrinkles that my mom has and I know how she got them. Good and bad. I hope to share my wrinkle stories with my children someday.

  9. iyampam said

    i do not have wrinkles. i do not age. i am in complete denial about my true age. i drink heavily.

  10. KellieS said

    Mel,

    I like the way you think…

    I don’t really have very many wrinkles (don’t be hatin’); I have been blessed with good skin genes. However, I understand that line “she has aged so much lately”. I feel that the forehead (deeper) lines have appeared almost in a couple of months. They are from being a mom of six and having survived all that entails. It’s still nice for people to think that I am my oldest daughter’s sister. ;D

  11. Pj Perez said

    One day I’ll have wrinkles with stories. Right now I let my gray hairs tell the stories.

    Not for nothing, Mel, I don’t know if it’s the wrinkles or not, but I think you look more fabulous now than you did pre-adulthood. So there you go.

  12. Crystal said

    Beautifully said! I need to remind myself of this more often 🙂 With age comes wrinkles, oh, I mean wisdom 🙂
    I loved everything you wrote about this, we need to embrace it, that’s for sure.
    You need to tell us the story of your cousin. Sounds crazy, and interesting!

  13. This reminds me of my favorite quote from Steel Magnolias,”Time marches on and sooner or later you realize it is marchin’ across your face.”
    It’s really sad that in todays society we don’t embrace aging, but most of us go out of our way to hide it. Botox, peels, expensive potions and going under the knife…

  14. Renee said

    Oh Melody – I love this post! The crowsfeet came when I spent too much time in our pool right before we decided to sell our home in search of our dream. And I gained my main forehead wrinkle when I started my first business from scratch 4 years ago. Funny how we can recall these things, isn’t it?

  15. Kim said

    What a beautiful way to look at life! I have some wrinkles on my upper behind (stretch marks). When I see them, it reminds me of my three wonderful children. 🙂 I love it! No quick fixin for me! Praying for gracefull aging!!!

  16. Martha said

    I just claim the michelin man as a relative and blame it all on him 😉

  17. Brandie said

    LOVE this post Melody.

  18. Jayna said

    I, too, am six feet tall and I am convinced that my wrinkles are in direct proportion to the number of pairs of pants I have tried on to find one pair that is long enough divided by the number of curse words uttered while trying on said pants.

  19. What a great post, Melody! I have not been able to wear eye makeup for three days now and BOY do I see my wrinkle but you know what? I would not trade for the wrinkle-free life I had ten years ago.

    My wrinkles come from an alcoholic father, a failed first marriage, an ex-husband who continues to be addicted to drugs, the death of said alcoholic father, and many other “little things” that combine to make big lines on my skin.

    I’m a survivor. That’s a beautiful thing and the lines are my road map. I’m embracing it (well, also because I have to…:))

    Beautifully written, Melody!

  20. I just recently started to see that my wrinkles don’t vanish when I stop smiling like they used to….I love it. It means that I’ve smiled a lot through the years.

  21. Andrea said

    What a great post Melody. I, too, think we should embrace our wrinkles. I once showed a picture of my sister to someone and they said something to the effect of, “she looks rough”. I think she looks fabulous. She has aged a bit too much over the past 5 years or so, but she’s a Breast Cancer Survivor! Some people just don’t think when they are making comments about people’s wrinkles. There is too much emphasis on how we look!

  22. Thanks for visiting on my special SITS day. I’m glad I can make you laugh. 🙂

  23. Fern said

    Thank you for this post. Loved it. I googled the words “embrace every wrinkle” and your post came up. I’m so encouraged by it! I now follow you & tweeted a link to this post. I think that’s such an encouragement from the Lord “embracing your wrinkles” – I wish society would get that. Those anti-wrinkle ads make me sad too 🙂 Nice to “meet” you Mel.

  24. Thanks for finally writing about >#34 ~ Wrinkles wear them proudly | Life:
    6 Feet Over – Blogging through my bucket list – Melody Fritchley <Loved it!

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