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The Case for Wrinkles: 10 Reasons Why the World Should Be Wrinkle Friendly

At the end of a long, joyous, productive, meaningful life, what will people see when they look into your face?  WRINKLES!   And they won’t be thinking, “That face shows a joyous, productive, meaningful life” either.  They’ll be thinking, “Boy is that woman OLD!”  Well, I’d like to change all that, and I’m asking for your help.

It’s important to use your communication skills to change the world around you for the better.  Why start with wrinkles?  Well, I’ve written articles about grace in politics and faith before, but it struck me that I never did start at the beginning.  To start a movement for world grace, I think it needs to begin with something more universal and more comfortable to discuss.  If you think of it in colloquial movie terms, this article is a prequel.

Every one of us, if we are blessed, will live to see the day when our face has an abundance of creases and lines.  There will come a day when even the fresh-faced, four-year-old will be weathered.  I’d like to start at the beginning with something we can probably all agree on and feel confident enough to pass along.  I say wrinkles are desirable (dare I say fashionable) and I’m going to prove it.

  1. Wrinkles are better than the alternative!
    Yes, given the alternative to growing old, wrinkles come in on top!  Death is a very distant second!  Once you realize how much worse you could have it, wrinkles don’t seem so bad.
  2. Wrinkles are soft.
    Yes, the more wrinkled your face is, the softer it gets.  My 11 y/o son loves to touch my 48-year-old face and always comments, “It’s so soft!”
  3. Wrinkles are knowledge.
    The more wrinkles you have, the more knowledge you MUST have accumulated, even if by sheer luck!  You know things younger people don’t.  You’ve lived through stuff.
  4. Wrinkles are earned.
    Wrinkles are not some honorary badge.  They are earned!  Not just anyone can have these babies!  Laugh lines mean you must have laughed.  A joyous life, even if fraught with struggles, is a prize, indeed.  Wrinkles mean you’ve endured, you’ve persevered.  Wrinkles mean you have lived.
  5. Wrinkles show you have character.
    Wrinkles are character lines and mean you aren’t just any old body; you’re a character!  Wrinkles make you cute, cuddly, adorable, wise, and worthy of honor!
  6. Wrinkles are wisdom!
    If you have acquired wrinkles, you MUST have also acquired some amount of wisdom.  At the very least you remember history like it was yesterday.  You remember what life was like before iPods and can regale the younger generation with quaint stories of what kids did before Playstation3.  If you’ve been paying attention or have garnered an education, you can teach people stuff-stuff they might need to know!
  7. Wrinkles give you license to be silly again.
    Let’s face it.  When you see a 4-year-old being silly, you think, “How cute!”   When you see a 40-year-old being silly, you think, “What an idiot.”  When you see a wrinkled old guy being silly, you think, “How cute!”
  8. Wrinkles are your ticket to free help.
    If a 29 y/o woman is having a hard time with her lawn mower, you’d rather not take a minute to help her get it started because, hey, you’re busy and her husband will get around to helping her…eventually.  If you see an 80-year-old woman struggling to get her Christmas lights up, you’ll take three hours of your day to string them for her!
  9. Wrinkles mean you don’t get any more pimples!
    One of the great perks of getting wrinkles is that your face no longer breaks out!  You don’t need to worry about those embarrassing blemishes due to oily skin when your face has dried up and turned raisin!
  10. Wrinkles allow you more time to have fun.
    Once you realize you’re no Farrah Fawcett (I know I’m dating myself) anymore, you can stop worrying about your looks and focus on the fun of life.  Not having to worry about your makeup, the latest hairstyles, and your Jordache Jeans (now I’m REALLY dating myself) means you can wear what’s comfortable and have more time to enjoy life unimpeded by the bonds of high fashion!

You and I may not agree on politics, religion or even what to watch on TV, but I’ll bet we can forge one bond today and agree to declare to the rest of the world that wrinkles are desirable.

If you agree, forward this blog link to everyone you know, wrinkled and non-wrinkled.  You don’t need to send it to 25 friends in the next five minutes, but if you do, you will have contributed 25 new giggles to the world!  You will also have contributed to the beginning of the Wrinkle Movement.  Together we CAN rid the world of the stigma of wrinkles so that our children will grow up in a wrinkle friendly environment!  Who’s with me?

The Ten Most Frustrating Things About Holidays with Chronic Illness

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This post is a collaboration of sorts.  I surveyed hundreds of people both online and off to find the top ten most frustrating things about the holidays with chronic illness.  Here they are in order of popularity from least to greatest.

10. Pills, Paraphernalia and Triggers

This one was a tie for tenth place.  Some chronic illness sufferers stress about traveling with so many pills and medications (some of which need to be refrigerated).  I once had to travel across the country for a week and couldn’t reach my doctor to find out which pills I should take when while away, so I left them all at home.  Another time I had a few that had to be kept refrigerated.  At the time of this writing, I’m not sure what to do yet about that one.

Some of us struggle with all the paraphernalia we need to take with us to be at our best.  Some with food allergies or sensitivities will have to pack snacks we can eat in between meals that are planned around a normal person’s eating schedule.  Those with hypoglycemia will understand the need to shove some food in our face in between chatting with a relative over Christmas holiday.  Others understand the guilt we feel when we do this. We feel as if we are telling the hostess she isn’t supplying our needs or that we are rude for eating in front of others when they too are waiting for dinner.

Others of us feel stressed over possible reactions to the smells and sounds of the holidays.  Those allergic to cats might trigger a sneezing attack while simultaneously producing a migraine that threatens to end the otherwise difficult trip.  Some have a trigger in the pine scent or other Christmas fragrances used.  Ever try to carry on a pleasant holiday conversation with family while feeling sick from a bad headache or a migraine?  Fun times!

9. Can’t Relate

Some with chronic illness have been so affected, and for so long that they tell me they cannot relate to their friends and family at those holiday gatherings. They can’t talk about plans for the future because their future is limited to how they feel that day.  Some said they didn’t have anything in common with most because chronic illness had left them without a job or even children to discuss. Most said that they just had nothing new to talk about other than the fact that they were frustrated about not being able to manage their symptoms.  How fun a topic is that at a party?  Frankly, many said they didn’t want to discuss that themselves.

8. Having to put up a front that you’re okay

Many chronic illness patients find it difficult to be at a gathering because it took all the energy they could muster just to put up a front that they were okay.  Not that their relatives demanded it, but they preferred not to open that “I’m still not feeling good” can of worms.

7. Over-stimulation

Whether it’s stress, big crowds, and noise, or simply the excitement of the holiday events, over-stimulation is quite often the cause of a flare.

6.Tempting food

Those of us struggling with chronic illness are often on a restrictive diet.  So many foods these days have preservatives or chemicals or other ingredients that contribute to our inflammation, fatigue or something that adversely affects our bodies.  I remember being on a very restrictive Autoimmune Paleo Diet for two years.  I felt like I was in prison, though prisoners had it easier than I did.  They could have bread and water.  I couldn’t have the bread.  Not being able to eat grains, gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, etc., etc., etc. I either knew I couldn’t eat what was in front of me or I was unsure what was IN what was in front of me enough to know whether or not I could eat it.  This makes you feel guilty for turning down Aunt Martha’s special pumpkin pie dessert with homemade whipped topping, and it also can make you…HUNGRY!

5. Entertaining

Many chronic illness sufferers are women.  As such, many of us had often played the hostess for holiday gatherings in our early years BCI: Before Chronic Illness.  Many of those I surveyed said that they were saddened at the thought that they could no longer do any of the cooking and hosting themselves.

4. Inability to make firm plans

Most reported feeling guilty or pressured about not being able to make firm plans and/or keep those commitments to attend certain functions.  Feeling the need to justify why you were not going to drive an hour to Aunt Mabel’s house or fly out across the country–even though you “wouldn’t be expected to do anything” while there.  People like to know if they can count on you so they can make sure they have enough food. We understand that.  What you don’t understand is that we’d like to know we can count on our bodies, so we know we have enough energy to take a shower.  You’d appreciate that.

3. Traveling

Traveling takes energy.  Most people who travel do feel a bit tired afterward.  It’s got its own term: jet lag.  If you’ve ever had a very long trip, you might understand.  Sometimes even young, healthy people who travel a long way by plane or train across several time zones and find themselves sleeping (or trying to) or exhausted for a few days after reaching their destination.  That’s what it feels like on a daily basis for those of us with chronic illness, especially during a flare or if we haven’t yet found a way to manage our symptoms.  Traveling, even a short car ride, can make some of us feel that way.

I remember driving up to N. California from S. California to visit my husband’s family.  It was about a seven-hour drive each way.  I was exhausted and spent almost the entire trip in bed coming out only for a meal or two each day.    

One of the people I surveyed put it this way, “People’s inability to understand when you say you have had enough & can only attend so many functions & then they pout.”  Further, she expressed that sometimes she wanted to stay home and not feel obligated to go anywhere, but that she would have loved the company.  Lastly, some said they had to curb local plans because they had to ration their energy…something with which healthy people are not familiar.

2. Energy

Almost all of those I surveyed said that energy was the biggest problem with the Christmas holiday season.  Here are a few of the things they said zapped their energy: marathon shopping for gifts, cleaning, cooking, the work involved in clean up and prep if hosting or feeling obligated to help if not hosting, needing a nap in the middle of festivities, but feeling as if that’s rude or would be seen as whining.

1. Justification

The number one most frustrating thing about the holidays with chronic illness was this: the need to justify why you feel bad.  Having to explain why you can’t do X or why you didn’t do Y or why “you don’t look sick” and lack of understanding from family.  Never knowing how to answer ‘How are you” without sounding like a whiner baby or having to explain things you’d rather not reveal because they are a bit embarrassing.

I remember a holiday dinner at a restaurant when I was just starting perimenopause (on top of my other chronic issues).  I was in my late 30s sitting across from a 20-year-old male.  Dinner was about two hours and, in that period, I took my sweater off and put it back on about twenty times.  I remember his face as he saw me repeat this action and finally, the question came to his mind, escaped his lips and forced me to admit my female issues not only to a 20 y/o male but the entire table of relatives and all in attendance in the restaurant at the time.

If you are struggling with chronic illness this Christmas holiday, I want you to know that I understand.  If you love someone who is suffering from chronic illness, they’d like to know that YOU understand.  I pray your Christmas holiday will be stress-free, pain-free, fatigue-free and joyous. Merry Christmas!

Seven Reasons Why Purple Fans are Different

I have polled a ‘grape’ number of you over the years both here and on the For the Love of Purple Facebook fan page, and it has confirmed what I have long suspected about purple lovers.  We are a different breed of fan.  There are seven reasons why purple lovers are different from just about any other group of lovers on the rainbow spectrum.

    1. Purple lovers are a loyal bunch
      The vast majority of us have been infatuated with our favorite color for decades! Most of the purple fans I polled said they had loved purple as far back as they could remember.  For some of us (hand raised high), that is a considerably vast time span.
    2. Purple lovers don’t have a second favorite color
      Most purple people don’t report having a second favorite color – unless you consider a shade of purple to be a different color…and most of us do! When asked what their second favorite color is, most purple lovers report it to be lavender.
    3. Purple lovers are passionate
      After asking many other lovers of various colors, I found that while people may like pink or blue or green, they don’t talk about their favorite color with as much gusto as do we.  Many people who claimed blue or green as their favorite color reported having clothing in other colors as well. And while some pink lovers did confess to buying a lot of pink, the vast majority didn’t turn their world as pink as purple lovers dyed their universe purple!
    4. Purple lovers are die-hard purple fanatics

The sheer number of people who were willing to dye their hair purple far outweighs the number ready to dye their hair pink or blue. Even those who said their favorite color was red didn’t dye their hair red with as much frequency as did purple lovers according to my research.  There are quite a few more redheads than there are purple heads, but the ratio of purple lovers to purple haired purple lovers far outweigh the redheaded red lovers.

  1. Purple lovers will go to great lengths to get a purple item
    I’ve heard stories that would turn your face purple! If it doesn’t come in purple, we won’t buy it…sometimes even if we desperately need it!  And if we don’t need it, but it comes in purple, we’ll probably buy it anyway. Purple people report having relatives send them odd items in the mail simply because they are purple. My father sent me a giant lavender paper clip once – just because it was a shade of purple.  Some of my fellow purple fans have spent extra money to get an appliance in purple.  Others have told me that they have special ordered something to get it in purple.
  2. Purple lovers love to talk about anything purple
    Looking over the data from my fan page, I’ve found that the posts they like the most are the ones that tell the world how much purple lovers love their purple.  They love that even more than looking at purple pictures and almost as much as buying new purple things.
  3. Purple lovers are unique
    After many years of talking to purple people all over the world, the one characteristic that stands out about us grape people is that we tend to be a creative bunch of individuals with unique insights. For whatever reason, purple lovers tend to be what others might call oddballs.  We revel in our individuality, and we tend to respect others’ unique qualities as well.

My theory about why purple lovers are so passionate about their favorite color is that most of us were not able to buy products in our favorite color until recently.  When I was a little girl, my grandmother went to four stores trying to find me a purple dress. Invariably, I’d get a blue toy because it was “close to purple.” I remember being so disappointed that I wasn’t able to find a purple notebook for school or lavender paint for my bedroom walls.

These days, if you have the money to spare, you can buy a purple oven for your kitchen or a purple car, and whenever possible, we do!