Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ring The Bells That Can Still Ring...

Susan Saint James, today
Susan Saint James, ca. 1976

Susan Saint James was my all-time favorite actress of the 70’s. I loved her as the kooky, quirky but loveable Sally McMillan in McMillan and Wife. In 1979, she starred in the movie Love at First Bite, and in the late 80’s played the part of Kate McArdle on the sit-com Kate and Allie. She retired from acting in her mid-forties, and today is married to NBC television executive Dick Ebersol.

The other day, she and makeup artist Bobbi Brown were on The Today Show, talking to Ann Curry about how the aging process changes your face and body, and how those changes affect your confidence and self-image. Now in her early sixties, she’s chosen not to have cosmetic surgery (facelift, liposuction, etc.) but respects the decision of those who do. Instead, she chooses to eat well, exercise, and to dress and makeup in ways that accentuate her assets and minimize the things that, frankly, aren’t as great as they used to be. She said it’s important for her to look the best she can for the age she is at the moment, and not to struggle with looking like she did thirty years ago.

And she said something else that really struck a cord with me. She said, “I want to ring the bells that can still ring.” I love that! Because as we age, we forget that we still have a multitude of attractive qualities to put out there. We really do still have bells to ring.

Unfortunately, we sometimes look back and wax nostalgically about the way we were. I know I do. I pull out old photos of myself and just sigh, because what I see is a cute, pointy little chin, sun-kissed brown hair instead of gray, and a distinguishable waistline. Then I look at myself in the mirror and think, “what happened?”

Aging requires attitude adjustments, that’s for sure. No, we’re not the way we were. But we can love, nurture, and be grateful for what we are now, which is pretty fabulous, too!

Think of life like a cycle of the sun. When the sun rises, the atmosphere is fresh, dewy and innocent…the day is brimming with possibilities. The mid-day sun is at it’s peak…bright-hot, energetic and powerful. But the sunset! That’s when the sun is it’s most breathtaking! A spectacular, burst of color, dimension and beauty. Every moment, from the beginning to the very end, is exquisite!

Live in that moment, and don’t miss a single one! Ring the bells that can still ring…


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