My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Manifesto to My Face

After all those dire warnings – 10 centimetres at least! Prepare! Snowplows at the ready! – there was almost no snow, just a thin scattering. It’s cold – -6 right now, at dusk – but nothing like the polar vortex out west, which my poor friends are suffering – -45 in Edmonton! But we are Canadians and this is winter, so bring it on. The power went out yesterday, and I thought, well, if it lasts, no problem, I can put everything from the fridge and freezer on the deck. But after an hour or two we regained light and heat.

While waiting, I went to the Y and had a hot shower. After, I looked at my hair, cut by Monique who has never cut hair (and yet has quite the skill), and laughed. Took a selfie to celebrate that I really don’t care that much any more how I look, how an indifferent world sees me. As I’ve just posted on FB and IG, an op-ed in the NYT, written by a woman in her thirties about feeling compelled to have Botox, made me sad. At 73, a pleasant release from all that. It doesn’t mean that if I could magically erase some of my wrinkles and sags, I wouldn’t – but only with magic, not with poisonous injections to freeze my face.

The essay called “Manifesto to My Face,” toward the end of Midlife Solo, is about accepting what we have, what we were given, and who we have grown into. And I do. It’s funny, after I posted this pic and the essay on social media, people have been writing about how beautiful they think I am. That’s nonsense — kind, but nonsense. One of my great victories is that because I’ve never been remotely beautiful — interesting, lively, sure, but not beautiful — I’m free to have my own face and not worry (too much) about it.

Could use an eyebrow pencil, though, I see.

Finished Lessons in Chemistry – that is, I skimmed a bunch and read the last chapters. I can see why it’s had such success – great characters, a fiercely feminist perspective, lots of humour, and, yes, chemistry. But still, there was something formulaic and a bit glib about it. Enjoyable, though. I started an Australian series called Fisk yesterday, really enjoyable.

Watching a doc on the extremely beautiful, talented, and engaged Sinéad O’Connor, I learned how much her relentless activism harmed her life and career. My daughter spent the day in the deep freeze protesting Israel. I asked her please not to get arrested. She’s a single mother. Her boys need her, and so do I.

It’s a scary, cruelly cold world.



One response to “Manifesto to My Face”

  1. Theresa says:

    It’s cold here, Beth, though apparently the thaw is coming. It’s good to think about faces and aging, what we see as we grow older — the little moments of our parents in our eyes, maybe the shape of a nose, a line that echoes my mother’s lines. And how much I value those moments. Can’t imagine erasing them with….Botox?

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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