On a recent visit, my three-year-old nephew Henry asked, “What’s there on your face?”
It took me a minute, but I realized he was asking about the worry-lines between my eyebrows (wrinkles). I smiled and said, “Those are just my wrinkles. Look I have more when I smile” and pointed at the crow’s feet formed on the side of my eyes.
The next day Henry asked why I had those spots on my face and arms. I told him they were my freckles… spots where the sun kissed my skin. He looked innocently at his arms and said, “My freckles are still sleeping.”
While his noticing my wrinkles made me a little sad, his discovery of my freckles and statement about his sleeping spots was super sweet and made me think about the freckles, wrinkles, and other characteristics that appear with time.
I know we can all relate to our adolescent desires to be taller, fuller, thinner, or whatever-er, but once we are doing the adulthood thing, how often do we give ourselves credit for the features that are no longer “sleeping”? Or how do we celebrate the differences between people? Do we point out the idiosyncrasies of other’s appearance in positive or appreciative ways?
While I may not love my worry-lines, I know that those crinkles came from years of hard work and loving others enough to worry about them. My freckles may be a part of my complexion, but they are also signs that I’ve been out in the world and done some pretty terrific stuff. Each speck is it’s own reminder of places I’ve been, people I’ve met, or things I’ve seen.
The pessimist in me says that wrinkles and sun spots are sad and inevitable. It’s the optimist in me that is excited about the “sleeping” freckles that have yet to reveal themselves and the wrinkles that still have to make their way to the surface, because I know with the appearance of each one I will have had a little fuller life. I have to go with the optimist on this one, and I hope you will too.
Today take notice of the signs you have not slept your life away and that your experiences are on display in each wrinkle, scar, freckle, and dimple. Be grateful for the lines that come with every grin and enthusiastic about each mark that says you’ve made some wonderful memories. Get excited about those freckles that are still “sleeping” and allow yourself grace for the changes that feel less than fabulous. They are all a part of beautiful, wonderful you.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. It’s still a good idea to use sun screen. You don’t want to wake too many freckles.