It wasn’t that long ago that I realized I am a woman of a certain age. I really was surprised! I mean seriously, how did THAT happen?
I watched The Golden Girls recently. You know, that 80’s show about the adventures of ladies entering their “golden” years? “Blanche” was 53 when the show began. You read that right, 53! The day I learned that I realized…50 Doesn’t Look Like it Did Thirty Years Ago.
Rose dressed in “old lady” clothes. Blanche dressed in “slutty old lady clothes”. Dorothy dressed like Maude. Do you remember Maude? If you don’t, google her! Maude was pretty damn cool. There was grey hair, aging topics, and the attitude that they were elderly and living younger lives. That about sums up The Golden Girls.
The show bothers me now. I am 55. Many of my friends are in their late 40’s and older (a few into their 70’s.) As I watched the show that afternoon it hit me: I’m THAT old. I’m a woman of a certain age! My Reaction? Oh, hell no!
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I have now lived longer than my nana did. When I first realized that, it shook me. It shook me to my core. I was happy, I was sad, I was afraid, I was horrified. Horrified? Yes, horrified. How could I possibly be the same age as my grandmother was when she died? It was humbling.
My Nana died at 54 after a battle with pancreatic cancer in the mid-’70s. Treatments were not as successful as they are today. Of course, success on this one is still somewhat elusive. I remember her as old. She had grey hair, wore dirty blonde wigs and housecoats. You know, things a grandmother would wear in the 70’s. When she died, she was one year younger than I am now.
My other grandma? There were no wigs, just a lot of mumus and grey hair. And she had a little giggle that always made me smile. The grandpas were much the same, old before their time. They saw a lot of life in thier years and it showed.
The parents were old at 40. I kid you not. They began acting old at 40. By 50? They may as well have been in rocking chairs. Wait, I think maybe they were.
Maybe it was because I had been a kid or maybe it was the lifestyle at the time. Either way, I realized that afternoon watching The Golden Girls:
I am younger at this age than my parents and grandparents ever were at my age.
Today’s Woman of a Certain Age
Want to know a secret? I color my hair, take care of my skin, work on my health and try to maintain a youthful appearance. I have a full-time job, a freelance gig, and a business that I work on my off-hours. I don’t see myself slowing down. The thought of retiring is a crazy fantasy (what would I DO?) I make an effort to stay active, socialize and find joy. Some days I’m better at that than others. Falling off the ladder reminded me that it’s important to do those things.
Lifestyles today are very different. We are not waiting for grandchildren and death. Not that those go hand in hand. I’m just sayin’ that’s what the previous generation did. Not all of them, but a good number. The reality?
50 Doesn’t Look Like 50 Did Thirty Years Ago.
I don’t own a mumu, housecoat, or wig. AARP? Again, oh hell no! I won’t join on principle. I know that’s silly but I just can’t do it. I’m not mentally “ready” to take that leap. I have accepted the “senior discount” at my favorite department store one time. Only once. I’m not exactly cool with being a woman of a certain age.
I am Young
I like that people don’t believe me when I tell them my age and am often mistaken for being ten years younger. It makes me feel good. I like being young and let’s face it, who doesn’t love to be told, “No way you’re that old!” I certainly don’t feel like a woman of a certain age.
That’s not to say I’m not aging. I have less patience. I live more simply. Obtaining material things means less to me. I like wearing flats and flip-flops. Heck, flip-flops are my all-occasion shoe (black Crocs to be exact.) I go to parties in my black flip-flops. Gone are the days of 60 pairs of shoes. Now I have two, and a few back-up pairs. I also have some aches and pains, but who doesn’t?
I don’t agonize over my outfits every day. My clothes are “grab and go”, mostly black or grey, which matches everything. I love not spending time on that. It’s freed up so much time in my morning routine!
I enjoy my alone time, my time with friends and family, and the in-between times. I’m aging gracefully and slowly…most of the time.
My 55 is where my parents and grandparents were in their 30’s. I’m cool with that.
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