No, it isn’t “all downhill from here” … or it doesn’t have to be
“Ahhh, the joys of having lived more than a half a century,” said few women ever. Actually, from my informal surveys of older people, both men and women, I’d have to conclude that more women view aging in a positive light than do men. Which Iunderstood when a man friend told me that he thinks this is because men generally mourn what they can no longer do, or can’t do with the intensity that they could while, say, in their 20s. That shed a light on why so many men I know over 40 wish they were teens or twenty-somethings again … something I’ve never wish for. No. Way.
Most of my friends are older than I so we’re all in the Baby Boomer generation. How my friends are looking at getting older is a mixed bag. Some are still trying to hold onto their younger selves by dying their hair and wearing the same makeup as 20 years ago. Others are letting their hair go “natural” and approach each day with a happy can-do attitude, looking forward to the next challenge in their lives.
Though I’m still have my natural blonde hair, I like to think that if/when I start going gray I will let it be. Hopefully by then my hair will have grown at least partly down my back; I say to hell with that stereotype that some people have — that is, “women over 40 should have short hair”. I was told this when I was 46 and I said to the man who said it to me,” Where is this rule written? Can I see the book which states that rule?” He didn’t have an answer, which is no surprise. I love a meme I saw on Facebook that said, “People tell me to act my age and I can’t because I’ve never been this age before.” Besides, there are no hard-and-fast rules as to what we can do at 50, 60, 70 and beyond.
“Why are people afraid of getting older? You feel wiser. You feel more mature. You feel like you know yourself better. You would trade that for softer skin? Not me!” — Anna Kournikova, pro tennis player
I recently listened to a podcast on which the show’s host (can’t recall the show) was interviewing Terry McMillan, author of a number of wonderful books, some of which I’ve enjoyed. McMillan, in her late 60s, talked about her new book, “It’s Not All Downhill From Here,” and also made some observations on aging. One that stuck in my mind was when she said that…