I often get reponses from people I meet about my age. “Wow, I can’t believe your 70, or similar comments when for whatever reason, the question of age comes up. Of course this is very flattering and no matter how much my ego loves it, my mind is confused. When ego is allowed to step aside and reason steps in, the persistent questions surface again.
Why is a certain look associated with a certain number? Why is 40 or 60 or 80 expected to adhere to some preconceived style or appearance? What is 70 supposed to look like?
From the time I was young I have loved makeup, clothes and looking reasonably fashionable. I still do. I have never desired to let my hair go grey or conform to any particular idea of how I should look at any particular age. I’ve never even given my choices much thought, it’s just what works for me. For others this may become burdensome and they will choose whatever feels good for them. There is no right or wrong here; we are all individuals. None of this identifies in any way who I am or how I perceive life, it is just my personal preferance just as anyone elses choices do not define them. The point is, why should we change who we have always been because we hit a certain number.
Health and aging well have always been important to me and accordingly I exercise regularly, attempt to eat healthy as much as possible, drink lots of water and enjoy all the other things that allow me to have energy and enthusiasm for life. That is just how I live. I also treat my mind and spirit with lots of reading, continuing to educate myself, meditation, EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique), journaling and writing. And most importantly, have a belly laugh at least once a day – humor trumps everything else. That is what works for me but we can all find our own balance in life.
I know a lot of women and men my age and much older who continue to be amazing in every way. Many women choose to stay active and involved whether with work, running corporations, volunteering, or retiring to travel and explore our amazing planet. If you are blessed with great health it becomes much easier for sure, but many people have faced all forms of adversity and still embrace life with love and enthusiasm. It’s all about living with grace.
Two great old adages will always be true; if you don’t use it you lose it and attitude is everything. It has now been scientifically proven that those who exercise at all ages have stronger bodies, less disease, sharper minds and less anxiety. I love going to the gym regularly, not necessarily because I love working out, but because the majority of attendees I see at the time I go, are between 50 and 80 years old; maybe some even beyond. It is gratifying to know that a lot of us are taking control of our health as best we can and making regular exercise a priority in our lives.
I sometimes hear the comment from women approaching 60 that I am a grandma now, so I guess I better start looking like a grandmother. What exactly does that mean? If we look older and more helpless that our grandkids are going to respect us more? I believe we are just living out old stereotypes rather than creating new ones. Somewhere along the line we’ve learned that we have to look and act a certain way when we assume a particular role. I much prefer to show my grandkids that aging is simply a process and although our bodies and stamina may diminish, getting older is where life takes us and is nothing to fear or dread. In short, Grandmas and Grandpas rock!
So even though there are the odd days when my body and my mind (and my husband) attempt to convince me of my ‘real age’ I know that with a little R and R, my energy and enthusiam will overcome. And while I ponder the correlation between my actual age and my appearance, my ego often wins out. I have to admit that I happily welcome all compliments even as I question them.
My daughter, however, who often is the recipient of, “Is she your mother, I thought you were sisters,” probably sees things quite differently. Too bad Lorie, this time it’s all about me. 🙂