Friday, October 21, 2011

On Growing Old and the Kindness of Strangers

Last night as my husband and I were about to fall asleep, he said, “I can’t believe you’ll be 64 tomorrow.” Then, he backtracked furiously about having dyslexia and of course, he meant 46. I told him I feel awfully spry for a 64-year-old, or awfully rickety for a 46-year-old. Most days, I fall somewhere in-between.

Just a couple of weeks ago, my sister visited me. It’s weird to realize how we’d both started worrying about our aging bodies at about the same time in our lives. Age spots, wrinkles, neck waddles, crepey skin (girls, you know what I mean).

Naturally, we found ourselves in the Oil of Old Lady (Olay) aisle at the Rite-Aid perusing the various skin care miracles. The price of that stuff is enough to scare the wrinkles right off you!

Anyhoo. After a few minutes, I grabbed a kit that contained a few different products. I turned it over to check the price. On the back were two yellow Post-it notes. One said: Yes, you are! The other: Beautiful just the way you are.

I grinned. A huge grin. The kind of grin that stays with you for hours. Days.

We left the Rite-Aid without purchasing anything. One simple, beautiful note from a stranger erased a lot of the self-judgment we’d arrived with.

I’m left with two thoughts:

  1. Let’s be kinder to ourselves and to all women and girls. Life is too short to feel inadequate at any age.
  2. Words are powerful. Let’s be careful to use them to uplift rather than tear down.

If you have a Post-it note handy, write a kind note and leave it in a library book, a menu, a bathroom stall, the gym locker room. I'm guessing you'll be responsible for a huge grin.


  1. I love this post! It makes me want to live in Durango. I think I'll leave the note the next time I'm on the skin care aisle.

    And you are beautiful, Mandy. You always have been!

  2. Mandy--I love this post. You inspire me everytime I see you, read you, talk to you....

  3. That's awesome. I'm going to try that :)