May 20, 2015

Aging: I'm Sorry But You're Not Doing it Right

Aging is a full time job and I can actually say I like it a lot better than I did the jobs I did as a young person. But it seems that I may not be doing it right. It seems younger people, some of them "experts", have an opinion even though they have no real experience at being old. I think the final straw for me this week was the notion put forth on Fox News that we need to have our vocal cords fixed so we sound younger. Of all things in the world it had never occurred to me that my voice did not sound just fine. I like my voice.

Then I was read a post written by Chloe Jeffreys over at Chloe of the Mountain called Another War No Woman Can Win. In the article she talked about the battles that women just cannot win. Aging has been added to the list. But then doing it wrong is nothing new to a woman like me. Here is what Cloe had to say:
Spending my entire female life watching women emotionally and socially beat the hell out of each other over...being a feminist, maintaining your hymen until your wedding night, giving away the cow for free, giving head, showing your godliness by turning your head and thinking of England, homeschooling, putting the kids in daycare, staying with him, getting a divorce–and on and on–I find myself unsurprised that ageing is the next unwinnable female competitive sport.
Well Chloe, I for one am not surprised. I have heard the discussions from women my age
over graying hair, lifts and injections, exercise and yoga. I have even read articles written by women highlighted with pictures of old people with black hairy moles. In every one of those articles I hear a hint of fear. The idea is that, if you do all the "right" things, aging will not come to you. The truth of the matter is, you cannot escape aging anymore than you can escape growing up. It is just a fact of life. Yet even people like Chloe and I are doing our best to look good as we age.

Women fall into several categories. There are those that disdain the effect that the sun, dry air or even too much alcohol or coffee can have on your body. They plow through life letting what is just
be. In fact, the woman that do that are very happy in their skin I think. If I took every mirror
out of my house I could live like that without any problem.

Then there are those that begin angsting about wrinkles and sagging skin very early in their life. Cosmetic manufacturers love them a lot. I have no idea if it makes a difference. The only women I see that still have perfect skin are the ones that never go out in the sun, use tons of face cream to plump up cells and never change their expressions.

Then there are women like me that loved a natural look for most of their lives. I enjoyed the sun and being outdoors. My skin was wonderful and I would often comment that it did not one whit of good to get sick because I always looked just fine...no sympathy for me. I always colored my hair because I wanted a change once in a while. I too disdained the make-up counters and anti-aging creams. Then one day my daughter took me for a makeover for my birthday. The rest is history and now it is almost 20 years later. I still love my make-up, my dressing table and the time I spend each day pampering myself. I make no apologies for that.

However, I do not color my hair anymore. In fact, I embrace my white hair and all that it implies.

So, I am sure that Chloe would agree. Really, no one is doing it wrong. We all need to do what we think helps us feel good about ourselves. What is right for me is just that. You do it your way and we will both be happy. But above all, we need to face the realities about aging and find a way to be content with what we are gifted.

b+

21 comments:

  1. I too let my gray hair flag fly! My mom hates it. God bless her, she is 90 years old and still goes every 2 weeks to get it colored. I have never seen her with a gray strand ever! I love my gray.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it can very beautiful. And I love when others validate my choices. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. I am now all natural and I am getting lots of compliments. However, I am going to order some mascara just for the heck of it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Linda, don't get me wrong...I wear eyeliner, brow pencil, lipstick and make-up. I love that you want mascara...life is too short not to have lots of fun!

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  3. If I had your lovely hair color, I don't think I would color mine either. I did let mine go gray about 5 years ago, but I just hated it. It wasn't a lovely white or silver. It was a dark gray that wasn't very fetching. So...for now...I color my hair and love how it looks.

    Makeup? Umm...I don't really do it often enough. When I do, I like it but most days I just don't bother unless I'm going to an occasion. I keep saying I will start doing it more regularly but just haven't managed yet.

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    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you are saying. But I have a new mantra for those things that are a drag but should be done daily...JUST DO IT! Habits are wonderful things because they free our minds up to think about other things. I timed myself drying and styling hair, brushing teeth and putting on make-up. It turned out if I do it habitually, it takes so little time I wonder why I even thought about it before.

      Be well.

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  4. I am starting a campaign for us all to call it silver hair instead of gray! It is worth every year it took us to get it and therefore is very valuable whether we color it or not. To each their own with makeup and other efforts except I will say that exercise can benefit everyone in some way. I hadn't hear about the push for vocal cord surgery but that sound ridiculous and dangerous. Thanks for these thoughts.

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    1. Juhli...it is interesting that you would call it "silver". I have even switched over to white gold for all my jewelry. I like the look a lot!

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  5. I don't think you need to limit your comments to women. I see much of the same thing in men. Like the old saying "Everyone wants to get to heaven but no one wants to die to get there". I just wish old age came with a few less aches and pains.

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    Replies
    1. RJ...you are absolutely right. Men have fallen into that trap of trying to look forever young too. The fact that you guys look better and better as you age makes me jealous sometimes. A haircut once in a while and a little personal maintenance and you are good to go. But as you pointed out it is not how we look but how we feel and fighting those aches and pains is worth every minute of our time.

      Take care of yourself. :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for voicing your perspective on aging and how people are so afraid. There is a lot of power and beauty if you just look! I think people see through a lens of fear which denies them some great opportunities. And by that, I mean (some) others looking at older adults AND (some) older adults looking in the mirror. Look for the positive and the good and you'll find it!

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    Replies
    1. You are so right Karen. It is the absolute truth that we see what we are looking for in our faces and life. Thank you.

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  7. I got some expensive mascara and was annoyed that it rubbed off on my eyelids. So I went back to Maybelline. Same problem. That is when I realized it was not the product, I now had share pei eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what that is but I bet I have it too. What we need is smaller mirrors with less magnification!

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    2. Shar-pei...the dog with wrinkles. Curse you, autocorrect!

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    3. Oh I get it now! My talk text app does that to me all the time. Actually, it is kinda funny.

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  8. Stop ageing? Yeah, and let's stop the world turning while we're at it! We just had this discussion earlier this evening - at some point the color of the hair and the teeth has to keep up with the wrinkles in the neck! I've learned to accept and honor this body of mine and that includes taking care of it with exercise and healthy foods. And everything in moderation, including moderation.

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    Replies
    1. Mona,

      I loved the "everything in moderation, including moderation". Really, why do we think we need to drive over the cliff in order to see the view. Often even a little less "moderation" is in order.

      Thank you for that!

      b+

      Delete
  9. Barbara, we look like twins!
    I think you are 'doing' aging magnificently!

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    1. Thank you Cindi...if I look like you I must be doing something right!

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  10. Barbara, I submitted a message last week, but I was afraid it might not have posted and it looks like it didn't.

    You are so right. It seems nothing we do is without somebody somewhere telling us we're doing it all wrong. So since everything is wrong anyway, just do what feels best to you. It has taken me 53 years to figure this out. Time well-spent, in my opinion. And well worth these wrinkles and crinkles and everything else. I do what I want that makes me feel better and everybody else can just go what they want.

    And you look lovely, by the way!

    ReplyDelete

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