I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my face in the mirror, but of late I have noticed something that’s missing from my homely mug.
It’s what I guess I should call “stress wrinkles.”
My late Aunt Verna used to tease me about a crease between my eyebrows that I never could seem to hide when I was working for a living. Other members of my family had noticed it, too. They rarely said anything. Aunt Verna, though, was unafraid to speak her mind.
I notice their absence when I get up in the morning and then through the day when I have occasion to wash my hands or splash water on my face.
Yep, work had this way of making me scrunch up my face as I stressed out over deadlines, or an irate reader of an editorial or a column I wrote for one of the newspapers where I worked.
I guess I brought it home with me at the end of a long and occasionally stressful day. My wife would notice that crease in my forehead. She might say something about my day or … she might just leave well enough alone.
That goofy stress wrinkle was the only tangible/visible result of the craft I pursued for 37 years. My blood pressure hasn’t risen terribly, unlike what has happened to friends of mine.
One dear friend of ours once worked for an organization in Amarillo, during which time she suffered from acute hypertension. She was so worried about the terrible spike in her blood pressure, she was prescribed some high-potency antidote for it.
Then she quit her job. The result? Her blood pressure returned to normal … immediately! Our friend ditched the high-powered meds and has lived happily ever after since.
When we have returned to Amarillo, one of the common greetings my wife and I hear is how “relaxed” we look, how “happy” we appear to be and how free we seem to be of the stress of working.
No kidding? Yep. Retirement is, shall we say, OK in my book.
You can see it in my face.