Achieving Laugh Lines postAge is a tricky thing. When we’re small, we can’t wait to get “old enough.” When we’re older, we do everything we can to defy our age. I’d like to say I’m different, but I’ve looked forward to my frequent visits to the hair salon to get rid of the gray for years now. For one thing, I’ve had gray hair since high school. For another, my stylist has become a good friend, indeed.

I’d like to tell you that I eat right, but I can hear those of you who know me personally exclaiming, “Sure! If French fries are considered ‘eating right.’” Blog fans certainly know my love of food.

I do exercise. Not as much as I should (due to an achy knee that I attribute to getting older), but I do. And I’m waiting, one smile at a time, for those laugh lines to come in. I think laugh lines signify a life well lived.

But the biggest thing I think about age came from a friend’s dad years ago. The entire high school cast of Phantom of the Opera was buzzing about in a classroom, touching up makeup, reviewing lines and steps, and I found myself in a conversation with the Phantom’s parents who stopped backstage to say break a leg. I’m not sure how it came up, but on the topic of getting old, the star’s dad said, “Well, Jody, you know the alternative to getting old, don’t you?”

For a moment, I let myself dream of a magical way not to grow old, to stay a young, bright light in the darkness. But there’s no magical cure. You’re still your age. You must grow old or else you… I looked at him. And I must have had that “light bulb” look that students get and teachers love so much, because he gave me a knowing wink and went about his business. And there I stood, in the middle of a chaotic staging room on Opening Night of the school play, knowing that there was no “old enough,” that age was something to appreciate, to achieve, and to own. From some things, we don’t shy. That was the magic.

For all of the birthdays sharing today with me, may we all continue to get better with age. Here’s to the laugh lines, my friends.

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Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing

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