. . . what matters is the life in your years
Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
— Betty Friedan
Is ageless really a thing? Time waits for no man — or woman — after all. All you have to do is look at my gray hair! It’s Wednesday word and this week the word is ageless.
I do think, as a society, we get very hung up on age. People get so depressed at turning 30, 40, 50 & beyond. I won’t say that age has never bothered me, but turning a particular age — so far — has never bothered me. Maybe it’s because I’m the baby of my family.
So few women allow themselves to go gray. I get it, too — there are times I look in the mirror and wonder whose granny that is. Wonder what happened to that baby who got married 30 years ago (because we both looked like babies; at the very least, we looked very young).
And speaking of babies — below is a photo of me, I’m not quite sure when, but I do know we were married. Doesn’t look like I’m old enough to be married, huh? You can’t see em. but I already had a few gray hairs! And no, I didn’t straighten my hair, but I probably didn’t have the layers I have now & probably blew it dry.
Below is 10 years ago — our 20th anniversary trip was a cruise around the big 4 islands of HI. I was a lot heavier and a redhead. So yeah, I get it.
I have a youthful face; I always have. Except with the gray, the jowls, etc., I guess I actually look my age.
It’s not just gray hair, of course. It’s not completely about how we look on the outside. It’s about how we feel on the inside. There are ancient 30 years olds and youthful 80 year olds. And I do believe that healthy eating, proper rest and recovery, and activity are the real fountains of youth. They’ll keep your mind sharp and prevent your body from breaking down faster than it should (except when that activity breaks you down, of course, but we always come back better, right?).
Is being ageless really the holy grail? I earned every gray hair and every bit of saggy skin. I don’t want to be 20 again, or 30, or even 40. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some things I’d like back from those ages — I could happily live without the batwings, the stiffness in the mornings, the double chin.
The real trick, though, is to be happy you’re still alive. Too many people die too young. My goal is to live better, for however long I can. And being active makes me feel alive. And maybe a wee bit ageless — yes, the person who finished after me at my 15k this weekend was younger. Geez, this actually seems like a totally narcissistic post!
Sharon Stone said it much better than I ever could:
This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty.’ I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age.