On October 13th, 2013, I reached the double nickels birthday as I crossed the threshold into my 56th spin ar0und the sun. When I approached my 50th, I was so excited to join AARP. Most people look at you like you have two heads if you celebrate aging. I was at Perkins recently with a friend and was delighted to receive the 55 and up discount. I enjoyed my pancakes even more as a result, feeling as if reaching that milestone gave me that extra ‘Perk’ there (no pun intended). A few years ago, I stopped coloring my used to be chestnut hair and it is now threaded through with silver/white. I keep it wash and wear short to make it one less thing I need to fuss over as I move through my sometimes fast paced life. My mother had lovely white hair, as did my grandmother. Hers was what I called ‘elfin shorn’ toward the end of her life, for the opposite reason….since the pace of her own life was slowing and she wanted as much as possible for her care to be easy. She was a low maintenance kind of person, even though up until 20 years or so before she passed, she wouldn’t venture out of the house without her ‘face’ on’. meaning makeup. Once she and my dad retired and moved to Florida, her cosmetics dwindled and more often than not, unless they were going out on a date or to synagogue, her pretty face was less covered up and even more of her beauty was revealed.
I have had wonderful models for aging gracefully among my grandmothers, aunts (I had many, since my maternal grandmother was one of 13 children…most girls) and older cousins. They remained vital and energetic well into their 70’s and 80’s. Two of my dear friends, now are in or near their 8th decade and their worldly wisdom is evident, even though their hair color remains a bit perkier than mine. They are role models for vibrant living, curiosity about everything, keeping their minds fresh and open. I have noticed that as long as I do that, the occasional ‘middle aged moments’ (a.k.a. ‘wise woman moments’) are fewer and farther between and ignite ideas that burst forth through my hair follicles out into the world and turn me into a human sparkler.
http://youtu.be/JGMzuo6jwjU Songs To Aging Children Come-Joni Mitchell