Live An Extraordinary Life

Bangs or Botox? You Decide

Posted on: February 19, 2012

Photo courtesy of Jano Kray

Bette Davis was right, aging is not for sissies but it is also NOT anywhere near as horrifying as people make it sound. I mean seriously, think about it. It beats the heck out of the alternative, doesn’t it?
Perhaps because I am now fifty-something I find myself reading, writing and talking more frequently with other people about this topic of aging. I have identified a notable pattern: For both men and women, the damn thing seems to have caught us all by surprise.
I can remember my mother telling me when she was in her fifties that she still felt like a young woman on the inside.  At the time I thought that this, shall we say “slight misperception” was the result of the Valium that her doctor prescribed for her menopausal symptoms. But she was right. And I too, still feel like a young woman and I plan to continue feeling that way.
It is the pesky exterior that seems to insist on keeping us fully grounded in reality by refusing to defy the laws of gravity. But here again, there is always an upside. In my case, if I had my hip replaced in my 30’s, instead of in my late 40’s, I would have a 3 inch scar instead of what my graciously sagging bottom has given me, which is 1.5 inch scar.  That is a 50% improvement. There is always a silver lining, even if it now requires glasses to see. 
So you may think the title of this blog is in jest. It is not. I did an experiment.  
I have been blessed with my mom’s great skin, except for a very deep wrinkle in between my brows which begins to resemble the grand canyon when I am intensely listening to people. This is a bit of a problem for me since my JOB is to intensely listen to people.  A couple of years ago I went to see the plastic surgeon who had done a wonderful reconstruction of my left cheek after I had a tumor removed. I asked him what options there were for getting rid of this line. He described several, the least intrusive of which to me was Botox. So, I gave it a go and very quickly I began to see the line start to disappear. But along with the line disappearing, so did my ability to frown or to have any full natural facial expression.  I have to admit that this actually wasn’t all bad. It proved very helpful when my boss at the time said or did something not so smart and my face no longer screamed “What the %#@! are you thinking?” which, I’m sure you can appreciate, was somewhat of a career limiting situation.
However after several months I noticed something that decided the issue for me.  I realized that my face, in addition to not being a run-away freight train of blunt communication, also no longer expressed wonder or surprise or, most disturbing, the depth of the empathy or love that I was feeling.  That is when I took a long look at myself in the mirror, the 7x magnifying mirror.  I noticed that in addition to the most obvious line I was worried about on my face, there were actually many others around my eyes, on my cheeks, at my jaw line and on my neck. 
That day I realized and accepted the fact that I do not have the face of a young woman any longer. But I do have the face of a woman who has been immensely blessed and who lives life from a deep well of passion and emotion. I have laughed until I cried, to which the abundance of lines around my eyes testify, and I have also anguished over the disappointments and griefs that life brings to all of our doors. Those experiences, too, are etched in my face. My face reflects my life and I decided that day that it will continue to do so.  
So basically a change of strategy was all I needed and I found it. I’ve got one word for you: BANGS. When cut well, they cover a multitude of sins.  
I know what you’re thinking but hey, there is a difference between acceptance and apathy. I can accept aging without having my forehead look like the concentric circles inside tree trunks which broadcast my age to the world.  I’m aging, I am not dead!  When I stop doing everything I can to look my best (and OK, yes, I admit it, have people maybe think I’m younger than I actually am)  that will be the beginning of the end. Until then, I’ll continue to do my part to contribute to the economy through the purchase of products and services that keep me and aging on friendly terms.
Sheila Madden is the CEO of Madden Coaching & Consulting where she coaches and consults with leaders of high growth companies, individuals wanting to live an extraordinary life, and new college graduates who are ready to launch their careers with competence, confidence and character. She also reserves the right to change her mind on this topic at a moments notice.
Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved, Madden Coaching & Consulting.

2 Responses to "Bangs or Botox? You Decide"

I really enjoyed this Sheila – bangs sound like a good option – can you wear them under your chin too?

OMG Diana I am laughing out loud. I think I’ll need your marketing genius to figure out the solution for the chin issue!

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