In her 40s, a woman is not in blossom anymore; she is a ripe fruit of nature, just ready for the harvest, full of juice and sugar. Beautiful, fertile, confident in her judgment, understanding her needs and wants like never before. Oh, how I've been enjoying the past few years! My daughters don't need me every minute of the day anymore but still need me enough. My career has been flourishing, just like my garden, I have become the connoisseur of the little things and the delicious things and the remarkable things in life.
And yet… in the back of my mind, a slight shadow of anxiety seems to have settled in.
Being a life-giver has been a substantial part of my identity for three decades. I am a woman, my body is a miracle. I give life and I bow to no one. I have loved womanhood passionately, with all its challenges, in all its glory.
And so when the day had come and I noticed the one-too-many small changes in my body, a shiver of anxiety ran through me as I was quite suddenly torn out of denial.
I can no longer keep concluding it’s just bad lighting. I can no longer keep telling myself this line has always been this deep, this shadow has always been this dark, my face has always been this skinny. I’m facing my reflection in the mirror and I cannot un-see it. I am aging.
The implications briefly race through my mind, coming down to various more and less rational losses. Am I ready? Will I ever be? What will I become when I am not a life-giver anymore, what will the rest of me amount to?
Yes, this is when in a frantic search for solutions to how to postpone the inevitable, I both temporarily poisoned my forehead with botulotoxin and found AHAVA. And yes, I have been amazed by the results of both. But this is not a sales pitch.
My curiosity eventually led me to really look at my mother and at other women who may mourn the former suppleness of their cheeks and the plump pout of their younger lips and who may be counting their losses here and there… but what I mostly saw in them were not their losses but their gains. Most of all the palpable freedom. Perspective. Calm strength. Humor. And persistent beauty that doesn’t care to comply with society's expectations.
I wish this was my optimistic conclusion. It’s not quite. My shadow of anxiety is settled in or at least gives a small occasional nudge. I keep trying to postpone the inevitable with solutions that have proven themselves worthy (like AHAVA, yes) and I like to keep a healthy distance from my mirror when using it. But I do know now that with the losses come gains. And I hope that one day, I will read this small text, free and strong and aged, and will think to myself what a silly little girl I was to had been afraid to cross that bridge.