Getting Old and Looking Older
Whether you’re 25 and starting to get concerned with some hairloss, or 45 and worrying about bags under your eyes…oh and let’s not forget about wrinkles, at some point, the majority of us will become concerned about Getting Old and Looking Older.
As soon as I finished writing Toby, who is with my wonderful editor Wendy, I began Mr 303 Part Two and in both books, the ageing thing came up. Toby is only in his 20’s, so ageing isn’t a huge concern, but he did start to think about it. In Mr 303 Part Two, Sian – a pop star – is one of the few survivors. You start to understand that even before the world went to shit, she was already dying a little inside from watching those who are much younger than her, become more successful. She’s so obsessed with ageing in fact, that it’s a part of her personality.
Like most, I’m not immune. As soon as I hit 40, I began to avoid looking in the mirror because I still see myself doing handstands after a few drinks or being that 20-something in a bar, telling hilarious jokes and thinking I’m kinda funny and I don’t want the mirror to remind me that I’m getting old and looking older. My physiotherapist does a good job of that already with, “you’re not 21 anymore Fox.” I’ve since switched Physios. I’m kidding.
The sheer terror of waking up one day and noticing that your beard has grey specks in it – I’m not talking like a strand here and there – I’m talking, it is a grey beard with some specks of black in it. Desperate measures needed to be taken because while I’m not obsessed with ageing, I do realise that with a white/grey beard, it gives my entire face a really pallid look. Especially in winter.
I brought some beard paint and decided I’d paint away. I don’t know if this is a guy thing, but I don’t bother reading instructions for things that look pretty intuitive. I painted it on, noticed some grey hairs around the sides of my head and on the top, so I decided to dab a bit here and there too. Then sat at my laptop and responded to some emails for a bit. I eventually got up and showered and got dressed. Unlike most people, I don’t bother to look in the mirror before I leave the house. I know what I look like and I don’t have hair to worry about, so I don’t bother looking. Besides, on this particular day, I had to get a train from Florence to Pisa, then board a flight to London, then get a train from London Gatwick to my other home in the West London area.
I’m at the airport in Pisa, I’m boarding the plane and I walk past a vending machine and catch a glimpse of my reflection and FUCK! Holy shit! I have black stains around my head, face, temples. Then it dawns on me, people have been staring at me and laughing at me and here I am, the journey from Florence to London looking like a chimney sweep boy who got sent into the future and aged accordingly along the way. There was nothing I could do about it except put my beanie on and try and look away from people so I wouldn’t get noticed. That did not work.
There’s no fix, there’s no cure…yet. We just have to look at others around us and realise that we are not alone. This is the circle of life, we get old and we die. The end. Up until then, do things that matter, be the best you can be. Don’t do stupid things like I did and fly across Europe with a black stained face and head. I can only imagine how I must have looked.
Did I mention the time I read online that you can put hemorrhoid gel under your eyes to reduce bags? I thought I’d give it a shot…several hours before an important work function. Needless to say, I am clearly gullible and stupid. Hours later, my flaming red bags were a beacon and conversation starter. When I looked in the mirror, I had highly irritated eyes – we’re talking, zombie kind of red – and bright pink under-eyes.
Don’t get me started about the time I read online that you can put garlic in your ears to…I’ll save that story for another time. My point is that Getting Old and Looking Older can cause you to do stupid things.
So, before I go, here’s a couple tips I recently discovered both men and women can do to reduce under eye bags and wrinkles:
- Salt dries your skin – duh – so therefore, reduce salt in your diet and hey presto, less wrinkles
- Sleep face up – when you sleep on your face, gravity pushes down so…
- Cold things reduce puffiness under your eyes, just don’t use a cold jar of chili like I did…
- Don’t smoke – smoking is one of the biggest contributors to premature ageing
- Water – drink your body weight in water, you might spend your entire day on the toilet, but…
I think I of all people have learned a valuable lesson from my own trials. Enjoy the now and don’t fret about the future; you can’t change the future but you can sure as hell change the now!
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