The Older I Get, the More Colorful I Become


I made a dermatologist appointment the other day to figure out what the heck was going on with my fingers. The doctor-who-looks-like-he-is-18, told me “Oh, that’s just a sign of aging”.

Add it to a lengthening list. My fingernails are torn and peeling; my knuckles are thickening, age spots play tag on the back of my hands, and arthritis-inspired blisters are etching deep ridges into my fingernails.

I observed out loud to the doctor-who-looks-like-he-is-18, “Well, my hands are certainly not very beautiful”.

His response? “Oh, but they are! They are the hands of someone who creates beauty.”

He didn’t say this because I’m an artist (he doesn’t know I am). He said this as one lovely human being to another. As someone who sees all shapes and sizes and ages and stages of bodies every day.

He’s right, you know – when we look at it the right way around, aging is beautiful and the things we create more complex, and thoughtful, and creative and beautiful the older we get. In fact, each stage of this path our bodies wander along is beautiful, it’s just that beauty looks a little different at each point along the path. It turns from outside to in.

I had to have portraits taken 10 years ago (it was a marketing thing) and told the photographer to please back up so my wrinkles didn’t show! Her comment: “Each wrinkle tells a story, and yours are beautiful.” She too was right – laugh lines and eye crinkles are the story line of the complex, humorous, thoughtful, creative people we all are.

Just thinking about it in a different way, has changed my mindset – not just when I look at others, but most importantly when I look at myself. I don’t plan to fight aging, I would prefer to waltz along with it, generously sprinkling it with grace, self kindness, compassion.

Oh and lots and lots of color!