Jun 052011

Is a Limited Budget Impacting Your Massages, Pedicures and Haircuts? Embrace Aging (With or Without Spa Days)

It’s official. Yes, it’s finally happened. And just when I decided that it would never really happen to me.

I was on Facebook today, and decided to check out some older posts since I had not logged on in a few days. I was checking out the informative updates, making comments to posts, and perusing some lovely uploaded pictures of long-lost friends.

It was nice to see reunion pictures of my friends’ mothers, and reminisce about how I miss everyone, including all the generations from days gone by. You see, growing up down south, everybody knows everybody. We know each other’s mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins….

That’s when it happened. Reality struck. Wait. Make that horror struck.

We’re Getting Old

Those weren’t pictures of a maternal reunion as I previously thought. They were reunion pictures of my friends! My same-aged friends!

On the one hand, it was interesting to notice how we really do grow up to look like our mothers. But truth be told, I was shocked. So, I ran to the mirror to look at myself with a fresh perspective and a baggy set of eyes.

Yep, there’s no denying it. We’re all old(er). I always think I’m younger than I look. But I’m not.

Something definitely happens between ages 40 and 45. It seems to be gradual until one day, it jolts you. You no longer can fake it, especially when surrounded by a group of similarly-aged women. No matter how hard you try, there’s just no getting around the fact that you’re no longer in your 20’s, 30’s, or even early 40’s for that matter.

Older. And Better.

Don’t get me wrong. I have never been one to buy into those youthful creams or whatever the trendy fountain-of-youth, treatment-of-the-day is. I’ve stood strong in my belief that one should grow old gracefully, wrinkles and all. Actually, I find people who fight the effects of aging in extreme ways and at all costs quite repulsive. It just seems wrong to me, like you’re disrespecting those blessed years God has gifted you.

However, somehow seeing this Facebook picture has me challenging all those previously held beliefs. Actually, to be completely honest, I think I’ve done a complete 180 on that long-held theory, so much so that I now have whiplash to add to my aging process.

It’s not that my girlfriends looked overweight or ugly or tired even. Actually, just the opposite. After a longer look, they look quite beautiful to me, just as they always have. More mature, but lovelier than ever.

Father Time Has Kicked In

It’s just that there’s no avoiding something that happens to us all: Father Time. It’s simply just the look of years, period.

I’m sure part of it could be blamed on past and current beauty regimens too, like dying your hair year after year after year. Maybe we should all be bold and sport a new trend: the bald look. Yes, let’s shave off all our hair to give ourselves a breather and start anew.

Or sometimes it’s the familiarly-dated coif that’s the aging giveaway. There’s also something about the clothes; no matter how hip or new or expensive, they look conservatively typical on those softer, middle-aged bodies.

And I can’t help but mention those firmly-held glasses of wine — you know, the ones that look like a lifeline that we’ve all been known to grasp.

It’s Time For A Spa Day

So, after the shock subsides, you can rest assured that I’ll have a new item on my to-do list this weekend: spa day.

To hell with the damn budget, I’m tired of resorting to do-it-yourself maintenance. I’m sure you can relate.

Why is it that YOU are the first to go when money’s too tight or you’re too busy or you’re too old to give a damn. You seem forced to choose: Clairol vs. Carol. Bushy vs. waxed. Rolling on a tennis ball vs. getting a massage. Trident vs. dental whitener. Chipped nail polish vs. model manicures. And don’t even talk about the feet…let’s just say tennis shoes vs. flip flops!

To keep up this self-deception, I tell myself things like:

“who needs to pay someone a whopping $15 a pop so their eyes look refreshed and full? Brooke Shields eyebrows are back in style now anyway.”

or, “maybe someone won’t notice the bandaids covering two of my fingernails.”

or, “flip flops crack my heels.”

or, “my roots don’t look that bad.”

Well, no more. I’m done with the denial of aging gracefully. I’m scheduling that massage. I’m calling Carol for a cut, color and highlight. I’m hitting the nail salon. I’m throwing out ratted and torn clothes. I’m taking a walk…no, make that a brisk walk. I’m rejoining the club b/c I need weights to lift, steams to take, and people to meet.

Yep, this weekend, I’m getting whiter teeth, fresher eyes and new toes. Screw the budget. I’m going to the spa.

Ahhh….can’t wait to be 29 again!

Contributor: Connie Hammond

~ Read more from The Local’s Perspective ~

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Have you been cutting back on your beauty regimen? If so, what is it doing to your self esteem? Are you ready to splurge and have a total makeover? Share your story (and if you enjoyed this story, please share it via the link below)!

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