Sunday, December 4, 2011

Owning the Age Thing...

The holidays are my favorite time of year – not only because it’s the holidays and there's festivities that surround it, but because my birthday falls somewhere in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this year is special… special because I am turning FIFTY, Whoo-hoo!

Now, I can proudly utter my age and make no bones about it… but I’ve noticed that that’s not necessarily the case for many people (mostly women) who are midlifers. WHY? How did we become a society where the older we get, it becomes almost embarrassing to utter our age? Why is it we can benefit from the wisdom of aging and still be stigmatized for it?

Well, I suspect that for many folks it has to do with the images we’ve been inundated with for decades, i.e., that youth or youthfulness is the ideal image to have… not aging. Hence, once many of us get past being able to “pass,” panic can set in and many folks start to resort to the promise of agelessness via the plethora of plastic surgeons, anti-aging skins creams, botox specialists, laser treatment centers, and hair replacement remedies. It’s a billion dollar industry that benefits by keeping the cultural mindset on staying young.

The unfortunate happenstance to all of this is that there is so much emphasis on our outer appearances that we fail to see the beauty within ourselves. We forget that true beauty lies within one's character not with exterior features. Now that is a shame!

For me, age is a state a mind (yes, I can say that despite the aches and pains I do feel now and then after a good workout). And getting older is as natural as living. So I’m not apologizing for getter older nor am I buying this “shame-on-me-for-getting-older” gimmick that the beauty industry would have me soak in. No, instead I choose to be me… a 50 year old who appreciates the wisdom gained with life experiences… in awe at the constant development of life and all its creatures… and one who embraces the knowledge that if life is all about the journey, then one might as well have fun along the way.

So, just for FUN, I tried my hand at creating a David Letterman’s list on the top 10 reasons why it’s great to be aging as a midlifer.


10. Your frequent trips to the bathroom can now be blamed on getting older instead of just having a weak bladder.

9. You can say more things uncensored and most young adults will not correct you but merely smile and nod.

8. It takes less time to shave body hair (although, for women we seem to get hair in places we didn’t use to it, so maybe this is a double-edged sword, lol, does this happen for men?)

7. You are more comfortable in saying WHAT you want to say, to WHOM you want to say it to WHEN you want to say it.

6. More often than not, nobody questions if you’re right or not when you’re recalling something circa the 1990’s because the younger ones weren’t even born yet.

5. You can take pride in identifying the original artist(s) and song(s) that are playing from a new song (I’ve also noticed that this applies to dance steps as well, i.e., some old moves get new names too).

4. You’ve lived long enough to know that fashion recycles itself, so if you hold on to choice pieces of clothing and shoes long enough, they always come back in style at some point in your life.

3. You can blame your momentary lapses in the brain or forgetfulness on having a “senior moment.”

2. You care less about what others think about how you look and more about how you feel when you’re with them.

1. You have more clarity about personal limitations (just because you can doesn’t mean you should); 
You have a greater understanding of what you can change about yourself and should;
And the wisdom to know whether you’ve already been there and done that.  

Okay, that’s my stab at laughing at life. How about you – what others would you add to the list???? You can probably do better than this, so please share. The more the merrier…  and CHEERS to aging, cheers to life!


Scrollwork said...

Happy birthday, you young, vibrant 50-year-old!

Loved the Letterman-style list, 'though not sure being able to claim a senior moment is a benefit. A face-saving quick recovery, maybe ; ) Number One is definitely the best thing about advancing in age. If only I could remember what you wrote (I am old.)

Julia said...

Most of us are obsessed with our visual beauty and that's why all anti-aging treatments are so successful.

And it's also true that celebrities are forced to look perfect despite their life style that's not so healthy, with a few hours of sleep and unhealthy diets.

I heard most local celebrities had botox in Toronto because this is one of the few ways they can look perfect despite their age and lifestyle.

Julie Farrar said...

Happy belated birthday. You know, I bet more women lie about their weight than their age today. You can BE 50+ years old. Just don't LOOK it.