Why are we afraid to show our age? Why do we love to hear that we look 10 years younger? (I do, too!)

But does it really matter that much?

I have wrinkles. The crow’s feet around my eyes continue to increase every year. Perhaps it’s partly due to playing golf and being out in the sun for several hours at a time? Or is it?

I noticed something today as I stared into the mirror looking at the present Karen who stood before me. It was a reflective moment (no pun intended). What I noticed is the wrinkles only show when I’m smiling. If I stand still, they are somewhat invisible. But once I beam with joy, the wrinkles are front and center. Imagine how ridiculous I must have looked, staring at myself stoic and serious, then switching to a big bright smile. Smile. No smile. Smile. No Smile. Lines. No lines. Lines. No lines. And so on and so forth.

Here’s my conclusion: it’s not my golf games that caused these lines on my face – it’s joy.

If my wrinkles symbolize the joy journey of my life, then I welcome them. And, I love them.

I have joy lines. Not bitter, angry, jaded wrinkles. No, rather I have happiness crinkles.

It’s taken me over 40 years to design this story that everyone can see. And I won’t cover it up.

Would you like to know who I am? I will smile for you and then tell me please, what do you see?


KT: “Yes?”

ICV: “It’s clear to me that you are a joyful woman. Am I correct?”

KT: “Well yes, how did you know?”

ICV: “The lines around your eyes present that you are a woman of joy.”

May the aging lines of joy not be hidden. There is no shame in aging. The only wrinkles that should concern us are the ones of the heart. Make sure your heart never ages.

“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent that is to triumph over old age.” – Amon Bronson Alcott

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark Twain

Here’s to joyful wrinkles and happy crinkles!


– Karen Thrall

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