Yes this is a beauty blog, you didn’t just walk into some weird version of master chef or stumble into 101 things to do with This here is all about beauty and how our relationship with time affects our perception of it.

Orange Love

It occurred to me yesterday that the only difference between orange juice and mould is time. It also occurred to me that we all know and accept that and yet how many of us recognise when the time is right?  The time when we have it all and there is nothing more to be gained by waiting?  This thought is very pertinent with beauty as we often find ourselves in a wrestling match with time – we don’t get up early enough to properly blow dry our hair, we had no time to pick up a new mascara, we didn’t get our eight hours of beauty sleep, we are the wrong side of thirty…….  And so I decided to think about those times when maybe I didn’t squeeze my juice when it was ready and this is what I found.

  • I, like lots of others spent my teenage years feeling like a goofball. I didn’t like my body, hated my spots and had no sense of personal style. I was lucky enough to have a ‘who cares’ attitude to it most of the time and so managed to squeeze a little juice out of the orange but I threw out more than I drunk.
  • I got married in my twenties and had two lovely babies, found my style complete with baby-sick shoulder pads and started to enjoy more of  life. However, I was always so busy what with a career, kids, emigration, mortgage and a newish marriage and again, left my juice  half squeezed.
  • I hopped and skipped into my early thirties with a much better idea of who I was and what I looked like. Just in time to enjoy the onset of ageing with all of its hairy chin,  baggy jowls and crows feet glory!  But I didn’t and still don’t care because I am squeezing the life out of these oranges now and am drinking as much juice as I can stomach!  But I can sense a change. 

An orange is an orange is an orange. Nothing wasted.

I stop here because this is the end of the retrospective line. I’m 35.  The change that I am facing is neither a dead-end or a u-turn, It is an outstretched arm leading me our into the bosom of a universe of opportunity and peace. It is wise and caring, warm and thoughtful but definitely less juicy than where I am currently.

What I see as I time passes is the subtilty of the journey, the detail and the texture. The beauty of it all.  If we think again about the oranges, as they get older they contain less juice and the juice within is less sharp and more sweet and solid in consistency. Eventually all the juice dries up and the fruit starts to wither away as the tree saves energy ready for the new growing season. It may even spend the latter part of its life un-throned from its lofty perch but that is OK because I realized something else about oranges the other day…..

I realized that nothing is wasted in nature, nothing is wrong and nothing is past its prime.  The oranges that don’t get juiced, pecked or otherwise harvested fall and become part of something equally beautiful and potent. Their energy is not thrown away or sidelined  and their beauty is not forsaken.  In nature, everything has its place and a purpose.

I am beginning to realize that growing old is not about squeezing the orange harder to extract its juice, it is about respecting and celebrating the orange for what it is in the time that we have a hold of  it.   It is not about ‘turning back time’ or trying to re-enact our youthful years. The wisdom of ageing is found in recognising the transition between the orange that is full of explicit giving  – instant gratification,  fast pleasure and immediately refreshing through the plentiful  juice verses the  alternative. The ageing orange is not about immediate satisfaction, it is about sharing  its strength and energy to facilitate future growth. It requires vision and perspective but is ultimately longer lasting.  

When will you stop squeezing and start enjoying your enduring and timeless beauty?