Ever wonder why so many middle-aged people go to such lengths to either deny their true age or heaven forbid, hold it up as some sort of trophy they gained for either (whether true or not), looking younger or, still being able to perform x, y or z? It’s kinda like, “I think doth does profess too much” and the only two choices left once some have attained any age past fifty, are deny or amplify. Truly. Listen to some above-fifty-year-olds, when cornered their conversation about their age will either start with, “I am fifty-something…” or, “so and so could not believe I am fifty-xx.” It seems as if finding an above fifty-year old simply content with just being and devoid of all that middle-aged baggage is a rare commodity indeed.
But exactly when did we get so prickly about aging? Did our partners who traded us in for a younger model do it to us? Was it when we realized that employers valued longevity and naiveté over experience and maturity that our insecurity regarding aging reared its ugly head? Or, was it the moment we conceded to not just flipping our wardrobe for the season, but needing to flip those shorts and mini skirts to our daughters and nieces that broke our spirit? Is it the realization that we have crossed into the realm of having more years behind us than ahead of us that is fucking with us mentally? Perhaps all of it?
Let’s address this…
All of the above possibilities are valid. Accepting the reality that what was at one time potential-suitor eyes no longer lingering on us as they used to, but brush over us and light on the younger versions of femininity can take some getting used to. So, an almost-desperate attempt to grab onto and potentially squeeze so tight one may suffocate the vestiges of our youth may come over us. Yes, we may purchase the red convertible, stand on line with the anorexic would-be model, cougar-it, and convince ourselves we still look good in clothing from Forever 21 (and only our friends have put on the middle-age weight). But truth be told, we just need to let it go and stop embarrassing ourselves.
Listen, I do not have any of that fear-of-getting-older problem. Quite the contrary actually… I have zero interest in the alternative. I look forward to any of the aging signs that choose to show themselves on me physically; anxiously awaiting the gray hairs… everywhere! All I ask of the process is good health; aside from that, I thank God every day He has seen fit to bring me this far (many are denied the privilege) and, I ask Him every day to please take me further. I deny shit! I will be fifty-three in November and am proud! My conversations are not peppered with any attempt at coyness with regard to my age. In fact, as often as I can, I lead with it 😊 I consider it a blessing and an honor. I have nothing to prove to anyone with regard to what I can still do at this age. I am alive; and living is all I need to do.
People stop dropping your voices after you mention fifty-xx…those x’s matter too (in fact, for many of you they may be the the only exes that do! Ha-ha). Truly, stop. Celebrate those ones, fives or nines. Say them with pride; they prove you survived. Fuck any and all who choose to miss the value in experience (wait, in this instance I mean “fuck” as in “to hell with them!” not the other kinda fuck). Hand the clothing down to the youths… it’s okay. Date appropriately; don’t take that “age is only a number” stupid-ass cliché too far! Do not play yourself! Start positioning yourselves to become the matriarchs and patriarchs in your communities. Bring your childlikeness with you, but do not confuse it with your childishness.
Grow up. Fuck that! Age up. It’s okay.