Tag: aging

Wendy Whelan’s Story Begs the Question: What’s Wrong with Seeing a Woman in Decline?

Wendy Whelan’s Story Begs the Question: What’s Wrong with Seeing a Woman in Decline?

I need a reminder now and then that getting older is a good thing. I found one in Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, an extraordinary documentary about her retirement from the New York City Ballet. Here’s a piece I wrote about it for The Huffington Post — Wendy […]

How Cameron Diaz Helped Me Deal with the Anxiety of Aging

How Cameron Diaz Helped Me Deal with the Anxiety of Aging

Toward the end of one of my play productions a few years back, the actresses and I were having one last get together before we said our goodbyes (none of whom were Cameron Diaz, by the way, in case there’s any chance that needs clarifying). […]

I Don’t Look Young Anymore: Worry Journal Exercise

I Don’t Look Young Anymore: Worry Journal Exercise

People have been telling me for a long time that I look young for my age, but that means something a lot different when you’re 35 and look 27 than when you’re 43 and look 38. Besides, who’s to say what 38 looks like when plenty of 38-year-olds look 33…or 23…or 43, for that matter? It’s all subjective anyway. The truth is, I have no idea how old I look these days. I just know it’s not young and I’m struggling with it more than I like to admit.

Situation / Trigger

Looking in the mirror

Negative Thought

I don’t look young anymore.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

8

Evidence For

My skin is covered in spots – brown ones here, white ones there. On my forearms they’re all gathered together, forming a big blotch that pretty much covers the whole area. I fancy that, from afar, it looks like a tan, which still isn’t that great of a look when the rest of me is white as ghost. It’s also crepey in places, which up until recently I didn’t think happened to women under 60.

I have smoker’s lines around my lips. I quit smoking cigarettes 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I quit smoking weed (not because it was making me anxious and depressed, but because that’s when I noticed the lines).

Just in case they’re not visible enough, the smoker’s lines on my mouth are punctuated by parentheses that beg me everyday to rethink the promise I made to myself to never fill my face with poison.

I have laugh lines around my eyes (which I actually don’t mind).

Evidence Against

Some of my skin is smooth and unblemished.

I feel young. That has to come across in how I walk, how I gesture, and pretty much every other way I use my body to move and express myself.

What’s More Likely

Parts of my body look like they’ve aged more than others.

Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation

I look like a woman. I look like I’ve lived. I look like I’m alive.

Anxiety Level (1-10)

5

What’s Worrying You?

Keep your own worry journal and work it through. I picked up this tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Inevitably, my anxiety level at the end of the exercise is less than it was when I started. I hope it works that way for you, too.