Substance


Despite my rather minimalist efforts at giving myself substance through writing, my life, like warm water, just keeps on slipping through my fingers. Rendering my time on this earth meaningful, making it count, seems as futile as collecting snowflakes on my tongue. Once I realize something I have, it inevitably starts to flee farther and farther away from me. I can never grasp my qualities until they start to disappear. Now I feel frazzled, scrambling behind all the things I used to have. Potential. Especially potential. I guess as you get older you no longer have potential. If you are lucky (and a hard worker and a well-balanced human being) you can dust off your trophies and feel proud for what you were. I suppose that letting go must be hard for those people too.

So far, up until now anyway, my intelligence and my wit are still intact. Alcoholism does seem to be deteriorating my memory and my attention span a bit but luckily, so far, so good. I am incredibly fortunate to have good physical health because I have done little to earn it. I recently read a phrase in a book by Delphine De Vigan that I wanted to quote except that now I can’t find it…it said something like, “She looked like an aging actress playing her toughest role, that of an aging actress.” which, although I’m not an actress at all, made me cry a little because no matter how vain it may sound, losing your beauty is a personal tragedy. Physical appearance falls into that same drawer of things you didn’t really know you had that at some point , after you’ve dumped the content of the drawer into the trash, you begin to realize its utility. Truly beautiful women are beautiful because they feel it. They age better because they are at ease with themselves to begin with. I never imagined that I would be so lacking in self-confidence for this long. I figured I would grow some, like a chin hair or something. Guess not.

26 comments

  1. jayne

    I relate to these words very well….. although what gets me is the average person in good health lives to be around 80 or more so basically – another life is ahead….whaaaat?! We better get it together. We’re not teenagers anymore! lol Seriously – this was poignant like a knife to the carotid artery.

  2. G

    You probably read it all the time but it is so true for me. I look back on the photos of me in my early twenties and I hated my looks then but I didn’t have reason to. I wish I could be that thin, young, vibrant now in my thirties. And I realize that I’m going to look back at my thirties with the same envious eyes when I’m in my forties. And fifties. And sixties? At this point I *stop* !! I will appreciate what I am and what I have, and see the years ahead as my chance to grow back into the person I was then if that is what I want or grow into that person I had looked forward to changing into.
    Gosh my coffee must be weak this morning because everything I try to say starts off much better than it ends. Craziness… Hugs sweet Dawn.

    • pivoine68

      Sounded good to me, G. I agree. There must come a time when we are really in the moment…then the future will seem less frightening, theoretically. It depresses me to think how much time all women spend thinking of this stuff because it’s not really THAT important. I’d say I think of something relating to my appearance every 3 minutes. Even when I’m at my thinnest I am still thinking about it. I wonder what men are always thinking about. (other than the obvious stuff.) I doubt that they think of their physical appearance more than once a day.

      I think I need another cup of coffee!

      Je t’embrasse Sweet G!
      Dawn

  3. Jane

    You have really articulated the point perfectly. You don’t really know what you are until it is gone. I came across a picture of me in my late 30’s and realized that I was very pretty. Too bad I didn’t know that then. Oh to be able to turn back time. I read a quote that I really liked. It said “it’s invisible but always there like the back of your head”. Kisses and wonderful writing my Dawnis

    • pivoine68

      Thank you Jane! Your quote makes me think of something along the lines of…Better to have been beautiful once and then watch it fade than to have always been a homely toothless woman.” Wasn’t that Shakespeare? LOL! We are not toothless either! Love you Jane.

      Bisous,
      Dawn

  4. Mike

    I feel beauty radiates out from the inside. If you feel beautiful, no matter your age, you ARE beautiful. And others will see it too. I am amazed at the beautiful women I stare at in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s. Never look back at your younger beauty with regret, just look forward with your present beauty in happiness.

    Mike

    • pivoine68

      Mike that was so sweet! I agree with you about beauty coming from inside but I guess I feel ugly inside sometimes. I guess that is my problem…the one I wanted to be past by now.

      Bisous and thank you,
      Dawn

  5. Nick

    I’m pleased you have your intelligence and wit intact. I can only imagine you wafting elegantly by in a white linen suit and hat, sprinkling bons mots to your friends and admirers.
    No way can I imagine you with a chin hair. No..shudder…not you.

    • pivoine68

      There would be one but as soon as I see the beginning of a chin hair…like a speck of pepper under my chin, I immediately commence a lengthy excavation process. So I always have a little blemish under my chin. If we meet in an airport one day, you’ll recognize me right away!

      Nick! Stop shuddering! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Bisous,
      Dawn

      • Nick

        I will never again walk past a good looking woman wearing white linen in an airport without looking at her ‘oddly’, squinting at her chin. Well, even more so than I do now…

      • pivoine68

        ๐Ÿ˜‰ The chin is a touchy subject for women. It sprouts and it falls, sags miserably…a sort of vector of truth I guess.

        I just had to look up vector because I don’t know if I used it correctly or not, I still don’t… but it is a cool-ass word! There are pictures too!

  6. cAt

    Seeing my potential slipping through my fingers is the hardest thing in the world for me to accept. Aging, fading, lack of self-confidence – these are also the crosses I carry. Sometimes it does make me think about ending things. I ask myself if I have the strength and courage to go on, continue a little further. But enough about me. I want to tell you Dawn, that you always say these things best. Your writing always makes me think. So often you put my feelings into words. My inside fist-punches the air and shouts YES!!! That’s exactly it. Great post. Xo

    • pivoine68

      cAt…I’m blushing! Thank you from a fellow cross bearer. How lucky we are to be able to express ourselves here and keep on going without really knowing why. We have each other, which is more than loads of other people.

      You have officially made my day! Thanks again.

      Bisous,
      Dawn

  7. Fatal

    But you’re so beautiful, Dawn, not just inside, but outside too. You’re aging perfectly well, and I know the ache of not having accomplished anything, or feeling like you haven’t accomplished something/feeling as though you might never be worthy or worthwhile.

    I wish I could ease it for you.

    xoxo

  8. MarรญMar

    I followed your link through Jayne, blog *waves* Hi Chiquita. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love to read your back and forth on her blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ You two get along so well.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    This is such a poignant post… Makes me think in many ways I haven’t truly allowed myself to think. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    xoxox

    • pivoine68

      I love Jayne, it seems like I knew her in another life or something. Blogging really is the oddest experience.

      I’m flattered that you like my post. I have not been able to write ever since…maybe it’s better not to think about this kind of stuff! I guess I’m not sure if I write a sex blog or a senior citizen’s blog! LOL!

      Happy Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

      xoxo

      • MarรญMar

        Jayne is one awesome girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I do have to agree that blogging is the oddest but funnest experience. There are most ups than downs….ever so often you could encounter some unstable people but for the most part everyone’s seems “normal” (if there is such a thing) ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I don’t consider my blog a sex blog but I blog what I like and comes to mind… I think that is the impression I am getting from yours.

        I hope your Monday is going to start out well.
        xoxox

  9. Marian Green

    A dear friend of mine were recently talking about the same thing. Eventually, no matter how hard one tries, you reach the “she looks great for her age” age. And then what? We laughed and said we’d have to find some grandchildren to adopt at that point. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • pivoine68

      I guess it’s better than the contrary. (is that how that is spelled???) It just happens so quickly…
      Maybe sometimes it’s somewhat of a relief. Then again, not really.

      I think I would rather adopt thirty cats and be a deranged chain-smoker! Children are so noisy!

      Bisous My Sweet Noodle,
      Dawn

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