Looking back all those years ago I can’t remember a time when age was an issue for me. In those days we could drink at 18, so 21 was no big deal. I don’t remember 30 as anything worthy of concern. Or 40 or 50. Sixty didn’t really mean anything, for some reason.
In fact, none of those milestone birthdays meant a thing, because I still felt the same inside.
If others treat me differently because of my age–and I’m sure they do–I pay no attention to it. Any of it.
Because I know who I am.
I’m always sad when I read writers who bemoan the loss of their youth, of being considered a sexy-hot-young-thing. Those who rail against the normal signs of aging and who struggle mightily to hide reality with pills and procedures.
They’re not hiding a thing and especially not their desperation.
It’s peculiar to me that the concern isn’t so much being close to death, it’s being considered “not-young.” Maybe translated as “not attractive to men.”
Which seems to be a worse fate.
I don’t agree. I’d like to live healthily as long as I can.
And for some reason, despite being an aging woman–I’m turning 63 tomorrow– with all the same issues as others and maybe even more of them–I’ve never had an issue engaging with quality men.
As my new/old husband said when I pointed out that we had not seen each other in 27 years:
“What–you don’t think I know who you are?”
To my sister-Boomers who are trying so hard to fight the effects of aging, I wish for you this:
A change in focus from how I look to others to staying healthy. Which usually requires no surgery.
And a chance to be at peace with your age.
Age is a blessing, when you consider so many people don’t get there.
Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating 63 with not a little disbelief, but with a whole lot of joy for the very interesting life that’s been given me.
Carol I love your attitude and thank you for sharing it. 30 was hard for me, well 29 actually, but after than it’s been a breeze. I have always felt like a middle aged woman at heart so my 40’s have been a great fit for me, and now that I’m coming in to the homestretch of them, I will be 49 in a few months, I feel even more secure in who I am. Thanks again for sharing your great outlook!
I think you are right–we come into our own with age and if we let go of the attachment to being young, the sky’s the limit!
When I get over the hump of 60 in March, I’ll let you know what I think. If I can stay healthy–joints, weight, etc, then I’ll be satisfied. I don’t mind surgical options, but I’ve done that, and won’t do it again. A bit of Juviderm is harmless and a quick feel good. Dyed eyebrows ( otherwise I am white blond and lashes and I’m good to go( make up drives me nuts) the wonderful thing about age for a writer, is that I NEVER run out of stuff to say.So, happy birthday and may you always be as cool as you are now(figuratively).
ps-If you really want to feel great, go look at a photo of your grandmother at 63. The difference between then and now is mind-blowing
I always say “no good deed goes unpunished” because I’m the kind of person that would get an infection from an injectable. I just steer clear for now. I loved your “cool” comment, tres appropriate!
I wouldn’t say that I’m fighting the effects of aging, but I’m definitely not as at peace with it as you are. Happy Birthday.
I like Sharon’s response: “Consider the alternative” 😉
I am so excited I get to celebrate with you. For many years I forgot how old I was. I couldn’t remember if I was born in 57 or 58. I don’t think it was about aging though, I just couldn’t get my age to “stick.” But once I turned 50, I remembered. You’re making 63 look awfully great!
We are going to DISH, girlfriend, for sure! Can’t wait!
I’m with you. I don’t mind getting older (thought i did have an eyelift, full disclosure), but I don’t like being nearer to death. When friends get depressed about birthdays I always say the same thing – “consider the alternative.”
I’d love an eyelift just because my father had one for his droop and I think I inherited it BUT I’m afraid to mess with anything. I love your “consider the alternative” retort. I used to say that, too. Now I say “It beats sitting in an urn on the fireplace”. Because you’re right. We’re lucky to be alive!
I had seriously droopy eyelids – so much so that the surgeon told me if I waited a few years I could get my insurance to cover it, as my vision would be obstructed. I obviously couldn’t wait.
Carol, having been someone who has always had self-esteem issues, I admire your peaceful attitude toward aging! I am getting better as I get older and do focus more on the staying healthy part rather than merely what is on the outside.
Happy birthday for tomorrow. You share the date with my dear Mum. Enjoy!
I’m so honored to share a birthday with your mum! Blessings to you and yours.
Happy Birthday Carol….so so true about being happy and at peace with your age! What’s the alternative? I live in the Coachella Valley of Southern California and there are more plastic surgeons here than medical doctors (and there are LOTS of those here too.) I continually see women with faces so tight it looks like a mud treatment gone bad, or breasts so big it’s astonishing!, but apparently they think that makes them look better? Like you say, I think it comes when women have been overly attached to their external appearance for most of their lives and then just can’t imagine that “appearance” changing. Luckily I never had that problem.
I agree that good health, a creative and curious mind, and a sense of humor are the qualities I plan to nurture far into my advancing age.
May your birthday be filled with expected and unexpected joy and surprise! ~Kathy
Thanks, Kathy, for those sweet wishes, I hope my day is filled with all that, as well! From reading your blog, I can see that you definitely have all the qualities you say you plan to nurture!
Haha. Your eye lift conversation with Sharon reminded me of Meryl Streep’s character in the movie “It’s Complicated.” She visits the plastic surgeon and says that one of her eyelids is “droopy.” She says she finds herself “holding it up when I’m watching TV.” (I think that’s a hilarious line.) When the doctor measures both eyes and tells her that both of her lids sag equally, she says, “Well, I only want ONE eye done.”
Once, while my mom was still alive, I said to her, “I know I am getting older. But do you ever look in the mirror and still see that young person? Do you feel that you are still that person?” And she said, “Yes!”
My outer self doesn’t match my inner self , who remains that kid. So there’s the incongruency and that feels a little weird. Does that even make sense?
Sure, it does. My husband says that about himself all the time. But then, I think I was always an old soul inside so now I match!
Well said, birthday girl! The milestone years have never bothered me. My sister? Well, you can’t even speak to her on her birthdays because she’s distraught. I mean, in bed, shades down, crying all day. What a waste of a day.
Best wishes to you for a fantastic birthday! You’ve earned every year and you earn kudos from me for sharing your joy of each and every one of those years. Cheers to aging!
Thanks, Lisa! I love life!
Good for you! More women need to embrace their age. I, like you, have not been phased with my milestone birthdays because inside I feel the same, I feel connected to my sense of self and vital energy. I have never hesitated to share my age when asked either. Why should I? Age is simply a number, a point of reference.
I love that:” I feel connected to my sense of self and vital energy.” YES!
Such a beautiful attitude Carol. No wonderful you’re so beautiful inside and out!
Way sweet, Nancy!
Happy, Happy HAPPY Birthday, Carol.
Yup, consider the alternative. No thank you! You are right on the money with all that you said. I’m afraid to “alter” anything aside from my hair color. Of course if someone could get rid of my cellulite….I’m getting off topic.
I loved this post. Here’s to more joyous days ahead – forever!!!
And to you, my friend!
So nice to hear other women who embrace their aging process with such great attitude. I’m closer to 70 than 60, still do not have a single grey hair and busier than any other time in my life – and I was always crazy busy. The rest of my family is the same way which I believe is one reason they live so long. I can’t remember the last time I went to a doctor, years ago. Happy Birthday to you Carol and with your positive attitude you will have many more.
I don’t have grey hair, either. Because i DYE it. Lucky genetics on your part, Carol! My grandfather stayed mostly dark haired til he died at 78 but I think I am at least 50percent grey on top. But i like to change my color seasonally so have no plans to go grey any time soon.
While celebrating my 32nd birthday this past December, I sat down and was in tears because I couldn’t believe how much I have changed since my twenties, and how much I believed I hadn’t accomplished. Over the past 8 months, I have come to peace with where I am, but am striving to change it so that things don’t hit me harder in 10 years. I believe that accepting who you are and what you have done are linked to being at peace with your age, and one person cannot judge themselves based on what they see other people their age doing because everyone has lived on a different path, with different things getting in the way, or pushing them along faster, thank you for such an inspiring post!
Oh my goodness, at 32 I hadn’t even gotten STARTED! There is so much life ahead of you and so much time, you have no idea. The road ahead is open for you ….life is more forgiving than we think…. I remember 32 well….I would love to do it all over again…follow your dreams, Sheila,be true to yourself and you can’t go wrong…what a beautiful age you are! Blessings to you!
Love this, Carol! I think getting older is a gift! One that I treasure every year! Thank you for your wonderful words reminding us to love ourselves and celebrate who we are! Make every day your birthday!!!
What a great tradition!
Great attitude. And I don’t feel any different inside either!
That’s what really counts!
Fantastic!! I love it. And there’s nothing more sexy than confidence! You go!! And happiest birthday!
So agree and thank you!
I feel the same way. I think of my friend Gretchen on my birthday every year, who died fairly young of a brain tumor. She would rather be here living life, no matter what her age. I fought my weight for many years, but as soon as I switched my focus to being healthy, the pounds started coming off. I hope you have a very happy birthday!
That’s an inspirational story, Lana.
I accept your blessing, sister, and give you one back. May you celebrate the beginning of your next year on this Earth with a day filled with all you want and need…and then a few extra pieces of joy just because! Embracing the moments….
A gift I’ve already rec’d is your friendship, Ruth!
It beats an urn on the fireplace? Candid wisdom, Carol. I’ve also read or heard somewhere around the quote files that nothing ages as poorly as a beautiful woman. When we live for physical beauty, have gotten by on physical beauty, have had physical beauty as our story – aging is tough. It pays to have been seeking wisdom and inner beauty, compassion and experience throughout one’s life – as these get richer and more meaningful with each passing year.
Happy 63rd Birthday eve to you today!
Word, my friend! Word!
The only birthday I ever dreaded was my 19th birthday, and that’s because I thought I was going to have to morph into an adult overnight. I had no clue how I was ever going to pull that one off!
No other “big day” has bothered me and I especially embraced 50! “Every day we out iur feet on the floor is a good day,” I say!
I also like Ellen’s suggestion that we treat every day like a birthday. On second thought, that might be a little too much partying g. 😉
Thanks for sharing this confidence with all of us, Carol. The world needs it!!
I love that (she says, as she feels her feet on the floor, something some of her friends can not do right now.).
Advanced Happy Birthday Carol! You’re sharing a good attitude here and I agree that the focus should be on good health, not good skin-legs-lips-hips-hair…etc. I’m not fighting my age. However I am not so thrilled either with how I’m beginning to feel. Having inherited a predisposition for bad joints isn’t fun and there’s really nothing much I can do about it. I guess I just have to enjoy them while they last!
Here’s what I say: collect a boatload of reading for those days you don’t want to move around. ;-)))
Beautifully said, Carol, and right on the mark!
You are a total inspiration, John, someone whose life keeps getting better and better in every way as you age.
I totally agree! I’ve always loved exactly where I am!
The very best attitude!
Carol, I wish you a wonderful birthday, and a year to match! I feel like you and I would have so much to talk about if we could sit down in the same room–but for now, I’ll just send good thoughts to you electronically. Good times ahead!
With how we travel, no doubt we’ll be in the same place at the same time evenutally, and I look forward to that talk!
I’ll have to send you my “Perspectives” link on this topic. Same deal: enjoy the age you are cuz you’ll never be this young again! I’m of a similar vintage (birthday in Nov!), so I hear ya. Have done some minor tweaking to the facade, but the foundation is still in pretty good shape. Have a great birthday!!
You must send it. ;-))
These are amazing words of wisdom. I join you in everything you have written. I turn 60 in a little over a month and have been amazed at the feelings I have had…..all of them blasé.
I remember when my step mother turned 60, she was so sad….I couldn’t understand it and I was not very supportive. If she was here right now I think she would tell me it was nothing….
I am happy for what I have and for what I have learned. And I am determined to continue to reach for dreams and hope big hopes!!
You look great and ARE great! 60 is just the start for you!
Happy Birthday. Thanks for being a great inspiration. Wendy
So sweet, thank you!
When you know who you are, others will always recognize you – thank you for showing that so beautifully. Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday! Love your attitude!
I’m happy being me! I bemoan my knees (or they’re all gone-ness) at times, but only when I’m trying to get up quickly! I, too am trying to live healthy. (Something wrong in the grammar there . . .) And I’m happy. Happy Birthday, by the by . . . 🙂
The only way to live!
This post is a gift to your readers. Thank you. Happy Birthday to you Carol.
I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you!
I think if all I had to worry about was attracting a man we would be pretty damn sad. I’ve had the same one for my 20,30 and 40’s if it was my looks that had attracted him he would have left a long tine ago. We’re lucky you and I. We’ve both lost people who meant the world go us so we know that there is no greater gift than giving and receiving real honest to goodness love and you just can’t ask for more than that!
Hello there CaroL! I just came across your blog and love it…
But I am particularly wanting to wish you a belated Happy 63rd Birthday (now 8 August 2014)! As it happens my 63rd birthday was on the 22nd July, the day you wrote this post on your blog!
As an Australian living in Doha, Qatar in the Middle East for the past 5 years – all those birthdays have been quite lonely and sad being so far away from family and friends with my husband working – and especially hard seeing my two precious baby granddaughters aged 2 and 3 only once a year!
But sad as all that is I am also enthralled with my adventure here in the Middle East with my beloved Safety Manager husband and so fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn about a whole new culture and way of life.
My 63rd year is already a biggie – on Australia Day (26th Jan) I gave up the dreaded cigarettes for good and consequently put ON some weight to a healthy 56 kgs and still not smoking! YAY! I have also grown out my now gray locks. Mind you the crew-cut I undertook to have all the colour cut out was extremely scary and more than a little daunting – but wearing my “sheilas” over my short locks until they grew to a respectable length (one of the benefits of living in the Middle East where wearing a scarf over your head is more the norm than the unusual) got me through these last few months!
My final project for this year is to get into an exercise routine that tightens up all those bits I never had so I can hopefully fit back into some of my smaller clothes.
I guess the moral of my story now at 63 years young is that it is NEVER too late to venture out of your comfort zone by moving to the other side of the world, NEVER too late to get rid of old unhealthy habits, NEVER to late to be grateful for each day that you live your life no matter where it is; and NEVER too late to be daring, impetuous, and STILL YOUNG AT HEART. <3