I started my morning with my normal routine. Cup of chi tea, morning news, savoring the last moments of quiet before everyone else wakes up when a story appeared on the television. Nora Ephron dies at the age of 71 from Leukemia. The irony in this story is that out of every single book available in the library - I chose to read one of her books this weekend. "I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK AND OTHER THOUGHTS ON BEING A WOMAN". Yes, I still get books from the library, actual books, I refuse to buy a Kindle and read ebooks. I love the whole process of going to the library and searching for the next gem to read but that's for another post. Back to Nora Ephron, Nora says that her dermatologist told her that at the age of 43 your neck starts to go - WHAT?!?!?! I am now 43 and a half - I told my husband that it's all downhill from here because my neck has already started to go and there is nothing that I can do about it. I can put all the lotions and creams on but the fact is I will have a turkey neck or a chicken neck or a saggy neck. Sounds appealing doesn't it? What I love about Nora's book is that she is so honest. We can all pretend that getting older doesn't bother us but it does. I come from a family full of beautiful women. My mother is extraordinarily beautiful, my sister's are breathtaking, my daughter's are beyond gorgeous, my grandmother who is well into her 80's is one of the most beautiful women on the planet but none of them see it. Why is that? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect? Why do we focus on the negative and not see all of the positive? I am guilty of it. I preach to my three daughters daily. I tell them that real beauty is on the inside and that is what is most important. I want them to love who they are. I want them to be strong, independent, educated, creative, vibrant young women who value who they are. I want them to look beyond the mirror and see all of their strengths. Unfortunately our society puts so much pressure on women of all ages and focuses so much on outer beauty that we continue to run on lifes endless treadmill searching for perfection. The fact of the matter is we are either alive or we are not. Life is very short and we have no idea how long we will be here. Do we want to spend our lives worrying about how we look each and every day or do we want to live? I will still continue to live a healthy lifestyle, I like to exercise, well I don't really like it but it does make me feel better. I will still put all of the "magic lotions" on my face and of course my sagging neck but I will also look in the mirror each day with a new sense of pride. Every line on my face tells a story. I love my life and I love my story. Today I will show myself more kindness and grace.