Getting older can be hard, especially in this day and age where everyone is so focused on youth culture. It’s like older people do not exist. That’s just stupid. Since the beginning of time, people have (rightly) looked up to their community elders – in Ancient Rome, once you reached the age of 60 you were eligible to attend the senate, and be exempt from some taxes.
Not so in today’s day and age. Where I live in Australia, there are talks of raising the retirement age to 70. Put simply, we’re going to just have to keep on working, paying taxes and supporting the economy well into our “twilight years”. I’m OK with that because I love to work and I have found a type of job that I am good at and would continue – but what if my brain goes? What if I get dotty? What if I’m no longer “hip and happenin’”?
Oh, hang on – do the kids today still say “hip and happenin’” OK, I thought not.
Really – some parts of your body will get better as you age!
In all this doom and gloom, I do have one great thing to share with you. Even though as women (and increasingly as men) that our bodies will fail us, get old, fat and ugly with age; that our boobs will sink, that our butt will fall – let me tell you – it’s not all true.
Some parts of your body will get better with age – really. No wait, hear me out! I have written extensively about my struggles with my weight as a child and teenager. It sucked, quite frankly. Because I was unhappy with my body as a young woman, I am happy to report that all those women who told me that I would come to accept my body were right. And not only to I accept it now, I celebrate it. Many parts of my body have gotten better with age – and I’m sure if you look down (and within) at your body – you will also see how far you’ve come.
I am still one of the most impatient people I know – but I used to be a lot worse. Now I try to count to ten before completely losing it – in the past I was just ready to explode at the tiniest thing. Learning self-control is one of life’s challenges. I am not there yet. Thank god I have (hopefully) several decades left on this ball of rock to work on it.
My ability to let things go
Again, I still hold onto things like a dog with a bone. When something is upsetting me, I want everyone to know about it. If someone isn’t behaving the way I want them to – I let them know, and loudly, as often as I can. However, I used to be a lot worse. One of the best things about getting older is learning not to sweat the small stuff so much.
Really, they have gotten better with age. Despite so many magazines telling women that their breasts will sag with age, many of us just get fuller as we get older. Lots of women report better breasts after giving birth. Mine used to be saggy, because I was overweight as a teen – now they are buoyant and lovely, and I am happy to have them.
Jiggly from age 12, I really didn’t stand much of a chance. Once puberty hit, I was full of stretch marks and cellulite. But you know what? Now I happily wear shorts everywhere and I jiggle around and I don’t care. Also, since giving up owning a car 6 years ago, I now walk everywhere and the thighs are a bit firmer anyway. Plus I don’t care as much.
My makeup routine
OK, so now I do wear more makeup than I used to, especially foundation and concealer. But I am better at putting on makeup and I have always been a fan of “the painted face” as I think makeup makes women look professional and beautiful. However, on my days off, I like to go makeup free, so I can rub my eyes without getting crap on my hands.
I know it’s crazy, but I like them, I really do! I first noticed fine lines on my forehead at age 28 and now they are more pronounced. The good news is, I think they make me look grown up and I like my ageing face. People listen to me more now than when I was 20. My mother always called this “gravitas” – it’s what you begin to possess as you age.
A final note on getting older
Feminist website Jezebel has a great article on this. The blog post references a letter from Ask Polly where a nearly-30-year-old woman is worried about hitting the big three-oh. She is scared of “losing her looks”.
She writes, “And so, the prospect of losing this—and I know I will lose it, everyone does—fills me with such crushing dread. I take care of myself as best I can in terms of a healthy lifestyle and sunscreen, but I know that every day that goes by, I am aging, and ultimately powerless to stop it.”
“It’s like I’ve been given this precious gift with the stipulation that it will be yanked away from me before my life is even halfway over. I don’t know how to cope with this,” the poor thing says. “I have these horrible moments now in which I see older women around me and feel a visceral sense of disgust and pity—obviously a projection of my own fears.”
Hey, it sounds extreme, but as women and men, I am sure that everyone reaches a point like that at some point in their lives – it’s natural.
The dark side of female beauty
Jezebel writes, “A woman’s appearance is nothing if not currency. But it has a dark side, and it’s never more pitch-black, bottom of the barrel, than when it causes the wearer to not even take herself seriously as having value beyond a stirring visage.”
How are you coping with the ageing process? Tell me because I really want to know!