When I first started this blog, I planned to write about the challenges facing women “of a certain age.” Specifically, I wanted to write about how to handle the time in our lives when we can no longer call ourselves young without everyone thinking we are either drunk or completely delusional, and yet are also not ready to embrace the title of senior citizen. (Although we will happily accept the discounts, especially if no one is around to see it.)
You would think that after four years of writing this blog I would have run out of things to say on the subject, but so far that hasn’t happened. And I think I know why. I may not always write specifically about aging, but the fact that I am a sixty-year old woman really does impact how I see the world around me and how I interact with it.
If I were writing this blog when I was eighteen, you can bet that not a single post would mention wrinkles, menopause or nostalgia for a time when I woke up and some part of my body didn’t hurt. Instead, I’d probably be writing about struggling with trying to pick a major in college that would lead to a rewarding career, wondering if I was ever going to find true love, and did I have enough money to buy myself a couple of beers on Friday night?
So one way or another, my age does determine my perspective, in both good and bad ways. For example, I would have considered my recent oral surgery a bad thing, no matter what age I had to endure it. But as a sixty-year old woman, I couldn’t help but notice that the slight swelling in my cheeks did a great (if temporary) job of eliminating the fine wrinkles around my mouth. And when I was a young woman, a shopping trip meant searching for clothes that were both stylish and flattering. Now I couldn’t possibly care less about what’s in style (I refuse to wear “peek-a-boo shoulder” blouses and my chubby little legs will never be stuffed into a pair of skinny jeans) and seek mainly comfort when I’m making my wardrobe selections. If the outfit is also flattering, that’s a plus, but it’s not mandatory. Thank goodness, because so few of them are.
The bottom line is that being sixty is a part of who I am now, just as being seventy will be a part of who I am in ten years. Age affects all our lives. I was reminded of this last week when I was watching my grandson, who is now eight-months old. It wasn’t that long ago when he was still at the age where he stayed where I put him. Now he not only crawls over to his toy box when I put him on the floor, he reaches into it and personally selects the toys he’d like to play with. Sometimes age has a very big impact indeed.
I suppose I will never reach the point where I have written all I can about coping with a particular phase of my life, because each phase simply flows into the next. And each phase brings its own unique challenges and rewards. All I can hope is that this adventure continues for many more years to come….