I'm no spring chicken. I'm hardly past it but I think it's fair to say that the first bloom of youth sailed over the horizon quite some time ago.
Every so often, I have a good, hard look at myself to monitor the gradual but inevitable slide in to middle age. Overall I don't think I'm doing too badly. I still have all my own teeth for example! I feel fairly fit and can cartwheel across the lawn should the mood take me. I can't quite remember what colour my hair is but I don't suppose that really matters.
But the place where the tell tale signs of ageing really matter to a woman are on the bits that are on show the whole time - her face, hands and neck. It doesn't matter how spritely the rest of me is feeling. If if look in the mirror and all I see is wrinkles that I swear weren't there the last time I looked, then I can't help but feel age creeping up.
I have reached the stage where, whilst I long to keep my laughter lines ( don't you just love that little euphemism?) at bay, I am old and sceptical enough to know that wonder products are a bit of a con. In the end, how my skin ages is down to a few factors, not all of which are within my control. I drink a reasonable amount of water, I take care in the sun and I don't smoke.These things I have a say over. I can do nothing about my genes. Whilst they don't appear to be doing me any disservice so far, they are what they are and I can't change them.
So, I'm not about to spend the housekeeping money on expensive creams and lotions, hoping against hope that one of them might actually manage to hold back the sands of time. Instead, I have decided to help myself. I have abandoned sparkly make up and heavy foundations which emphasize the creases. And I smile a lot, so you can't spot the lines that are there when my face is in repose.
As the winter plods closer and the sun kissed tan of the summer becomes a memory, I have to accept that each year the position is slightly worse than it was the year before. The eyelids are lower, the wrinkles deeper, the skin tone patchier. If I think about it too hard, I mourn my lost luminescence which no amount of miracle make up seems able to recover. And I really don't like the thought that this is as good as it's going to get and that it will only get worse from here.
I don't like it so I don't think about it. It's not about what you look like but how you feel apparently and I feel great. Yes, it takes the skin on the back of my hand a disconcertingly long time to 'spring' back when I pull it but how often do I do that in my daily life? I truly think I'd rather have the wisdom that I've acquired along with the wrinkles than go back to when my forehead was smooth but life was a mystery. And I have my beautiful daughters around me so that I can see clear, peach smooth skin every day - it just isn't mine.
I have reached the conclusion, as with many other things in my life, that I can't do anything about it so I'm not going to worry about it. Yes, it will continue to get me down from time to time but so do all sorts of things that I can't control. Better to make the best and carry on. How very British!