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I took a photo of myself while painting and then put it up on Facebook. I am getting older and I feel I’ve gotten to where it’s now showing. I used to believe people when that told me I don’t look my age. Seven years ago a twenty eight year old in a bar kept proclaiming, “forty?!!!! You’re forty?!!!! No way!” For hours he would intermittently reappear and start his disbelieving litany all over. It was embarrassing and annoying and yet I was so proud and flattered.

Why are we so ashamed of getting older? Why am I less likely to post selfies that show the lines and the effects of gravity on my face and body? I notice that my older friends post little or no photos of themselves, only pictures of their kids or vacation spots. Why can’t we, as a society, embrace aging and wear our signs of it proudly?

Admittedly, this selfie is still on the flattering side, I have been training myself not to fully smile to keep the deep lines from showing, but I’m wearing no makeup (if you don’t count blue paint) and my hair is dirty. It was a bit of an experiment. I have received 54 likes and twelve compliments on how great I look. I need this. I need validation and I am so ashamed of it.

This is the sort of thing I obsess about when I do not submerge myself into the beauty of art and the world around us. So I’m spending the next few days in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at our family summer home and I am going to try to forget my vanity and concentrate on natural beauty.

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