Monday Notes: On Aging (The Gray Area)

In the United States, there seem to be two choices: you’re either young, or you’re old.

That’s it.

When you’re young, you’re hella attractive. You have lots of energy and the latitude to make so-called “silly” choices—in music, in relationship, and in the overall living of life.

When you’re old, you’re hella unattractive. If you’re “brave,” you let your gray hairs grow wild and speak your mind like a toddler, but more often than not, the elderly are depicted as being crazy and forgetful pains that society either tolerates or ignores.

Well, what about people like myself, who are middle age? Where do we fit?

Kind of like my generation (X), I noticed we don’t fit anywhere.

On the one hand, I blame pop cultural and preformed societal views. We’re too old for skinny jeans, but not old enough for a Mumu. Too old for the club, but not old enough for the senior center. Too old to “start over,” but not old enough to retire.

On the other hand, friends and family tend to limit us. For example, if I decided to do a TikTok video for the Touch Down 2 Cause Hell challenge, eyebrows would raise. In fact, I’ve had people question why I even watch and know about these social-media challenges. I’ve never asked, but I surmise they think I’m “too old” to be aware. Based on the wide-ranging TikTok video demographics, I know this isn’t true. Anyone can lip sync and dance. But I do think there’s a reason why we’re so impressed when an over-fifty person twerks on beat. It’s seen as an anomaly.

Because I like to play contemporary rap music in my Jeep as loud as possible, my sister once called me a twenty-year-old forty-six-year-old. Maybe I should be like the phlebotomist I met who blasted the smooth crooning of Anita Baker’s love songs, or perhaps, I can mirror one of my favorite bloggers and deem only R&B from the seventies and eighties as respectable. Just kidding. I’m good with the music I prefer; however, I think others believe I’m “too old” to be listening to what I do…how I do.

If that isn’t enough, I have a thirty-something friend who has referred to one of her forty-year-old friends as “old and crusty.” She’s also admitted that she fears growing older and putting on a few pounds, possibly looking different than she currently does. There’s the other friend who has described her daughter as “cute and young,” while grumbling about how said daughter isn’t “like us…old” (and I assume not cute). And finally, there’s the friend who recently left me a birthday message deeming both of us as now “old,” because we’re approaching fifty.

It makes me tired. I’ve never spent so much time announcing that I’m not old or emphasizing that I’m getting oldER.

<insert big ole sigh and eye roll>

Let me leave you with this final story: A few years ago, one my cousins partied with me in New Orleans. He’s the type of person who stays on the dancefloor until the club closes, and this night was no different. He took up so much space with his moves that party-goers started screaming, “Go Old School! Go Old School! Go Old School!” in unison. It was like a scene out of a movie. He be-bopped around, sweat pouring down his face, shirt drenched. Then, he did it all again the next night.

Why can’t we acknowledge the gray area and let people live their best middle-age lives, whether it fits our societal norms or not?

I’ve frequently thought about that night. Aging is something we’re all doing, every moment, but proclaiming to be old is quite another thing.

I’ve wondered why my cousin couldn’t dance his heart out without being labeled “Old School?” Why couldn’t he just be a human being having fun in life?

More importantly, why can’t we recognize there are more than two types of people? Pun intended—why can’t we acknowledge the gray area and let people live their best middle-aged lives, whether it fits our societal norms or not?

Let me know what you think.


Here are some other articles from bloggers who discuss aging:


149 thoughts on “Monday Notes: On Aging (The Gray Area)

  1. I lost my partner in Apr. It was a peaceful sudden death and I was in another city at time. He didn’t have any illness..long story. So I’ve been trying to reorient myself completely since planning to spend chunk of retirement with him.

    I’m even more aware of need to plan my future well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now, we all know they called your cousin Old School because of the WAY he danced…possibly combined with how old he looked. 😂

    My problem is that I’m weary so I relate to older people A LOT. So what do we do with those among us who aren’t old but just feel that way? Sigh.

    But I’m not middle-aged yet. My great-grandmother lived to be 97, so i won’t consider myself middle-aged until I’m at least half of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know…I had to think about that first reply lol You may be right. He does have a bit of Re-Run going on (do you remember that show)…you said you’re not middle aged, so I’m not sure where you are in the popular culture realm…

      I guess that’s what I’m thinking…just let folks feel however they feel at whatever age they feel it. My daughter is like you (or at least she sounds like it). She even applied for a job at a retirement community because she felt really comfortable there lol

      Like

      1. Do I remember that show? HAHAHAHAHA. Of course! I’m not that much younger than you, actually. Also–and this is important–I have a deep fount of pop culture knowledge and am a champion TV watcher. Did you know What’s Happening!! and/or What’s Happening Now!! are on Amazon Prime? (I just discovered the two (!!) exclamation points).

        A job at a retirement community can be fun. I love old people.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Girl. I was trying to gauge your age, especially when you said you weren’t calling yourself middle-age until you’re 48…I was over here looking like that little black boy in the gif counting, like did I miscalculate how old Akilah is? She said she remembers A Different World lol

        You know my sarcasm-o-meter is off sometimes 😉

        I hated What’s Happening Now, but it’s good to know the other one is accessible!

        Like

  3. As a 61-year-young Boomer I must say I’m living my best life ever. Cliche, I know, but true. I retired and traveled around the world for 70 days as a first-time solo traveler for my upcoming 60th birthday. Then I turned 60 in Colombia, where I partied my a** off. I dragged my social media-hating butt into the blogosphere and started a blog for the first time five months ago, for my 61st birthday. In April I pitched a “Midlife Reimagined Apprenticeship” to a whiskey distillery so I could learn how to make bourbon. Now I’m 61 and an intern who goes home smelling like whiskey. I’m having a blast! The best part of aging is getting to that point where you don’t give a damn what other people think.💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing!!… as Eleanor Roosevelt said; “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realize how seldom they do”.. (Eleanor Roosevelt) so I just go about being me, not worrying about whether I fit someone’s criteria, and follow my heart because it is forever young…. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I am only bridging the gap between smiles/&miles=just finished my third manuscript for a book, title, *The Gender Gap,* and my brother,an accomplished artist said,”A woman should have written that book since it’s dealing with the inequalities of women, but you got the idea from mom and grandmom.” I responded, “women are shackled and handcuffed to tradition and brainwashed by the penis, and don’t know that Woman is smarter than man who take equality for granted; like on the other side of the coin women take inequality as their birthright”!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is time for blacks to attain equality in totality,and my book, ‘The Gender Gap’ will do this.I did two years of research on the book. I must say my artist brother has reached success in his field first, as opposed to my being a poet and writer, but I am more than satisfied at my literary progress at this stage of my career, but I must admit my brother is modest and a good guy as opposed to myself who is radical and a rebel and not as well liked as him; as I was kicked out of every college and university and he was not and yet I am more free than him!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My books haven’t been published yet, but when they are I will send you a link, but many say I am bragging and boasting when I say that I’m the best poet of any era.ha! ha! I’m not modest and if they think that about me; they thought worst about Muhammad Ali, made bragging famous-infamous, and the only person image shown than Ali is Jesus!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG This is so good. I have been thinking the same thing lately when it comes to politics! Where is the middle ground? Instead of thinking in “OR” what about “AND”.. Polarity and labelling is exhausting on all fronts and leaves to room for creative expression. And btw Dr. G, this is exactly what we talked about when it came to anxiety – which is on a continuum — not the simplistic social media memes that you refer to in your essay. ME: I embrace it all. And I know you do too.. writing always helps 💜🕺🏼

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Dr D!

      I think we’re slowly dying with all of the binary thinking. I don’t know if I told you, but beginning in 2021, I started living in a space of both/and, so some of these concepts have been shown to me a little more vividly. The political one is a GREAT example. I wish we’d just stop it.

      I get that…the continuum. We (people, society, whoever) have tried to make everything so black and white, and NOTHING ever is, no matter what…it’s just not.

      Sending you some loving freedom vibes ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally agree! Societal “norms” are so problematic… It’s a terrible cycle of living life based on these destructive norms but those actions inform the next generation and the cycle continues!

    I hope we can start to see ppl as individuals with personality than group ppl based on age!

    Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pheeeeeeeeeew! I finally managed to catch up on reading all your (as always) great posts. My take aways from doing so: I am more judgmental as I want to be (inspiration to write a post about that), I need to work at ‘just be me’ again without care so much of what others think (use your gained skills on yourself, Patty!), and I think I am going to stay 49 forever (LOL).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw thank you Patty ❤

      I'm sure we're all a bit judgmental, so you're a part of humanity, I think, if you are. I'll be looking forward to your post about (not) being judgmental 😉

      and lol about staying 49!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You nailed this! There is a huge area between “old” and “young” and let’s face it, most people fall into it. Age is relative, as we all think about it from our own point of view. (When I was in my late twenties, I had a friend turn 40 and thought, “My God, that’s old!” Now I think 40 is young.) And it’s true that our bodies age, but our minds and spirits either don’t, or they “age” at an entirely different pace. I think we should all have the freedom to simply be ourselves, and ignore the limitations that others would put on us based on our age.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Ann ❤

      …and Right! When you think about it, who's old and who's young? Like how low or high do we go? Is my 19-yo young? To her, someone 30 is old lol

      Like

  9. Thank you for this piece. I hate being “looked through” and ignored by younger people, hate being labeled or assumptions being made about me as I’m in my late 50s with white hair. BUT, the assumptions that truly affect me are the ones I place on myself. Many of them are outdated. I wish I still had many of the drives and views on life that I had until my mid-40s. I still want to see myself in some of those ways. But the actual fact is that my desires and aspirations have changed. The things I in fact want to do with my days and my free time are not what they were. I’m learning I have work to do to accept my current, real wishes and goals and let go of outdated younger self-expectations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome Fran, and thank you for reading and commenting.

      I have a question: is it that you don’t feel as if you can attain whatever the goal/expectations are from before, or are you saying you’re a different person with different needs/circumstances, so the expectations are inconceivable?

      Like

      1. Thanks. It’s the latter. Example: I’d like to see myself as the athletic, energetic 40 year old who reveled in my ability to do hard bike rides or hard workouts and wanted to practice gymnastics at 40. But in fact at almost 57, I want to write, go for walks in nature, read, see friends. So I need to accept that these are the drives I have, and be comfortable that that’s who I am at this age. I will work to stay healthy but not because I’m a natural athlete any more – and I’m working on being okay with that. There are other examples too.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post, Kathy. I know about expectations (and assumptions) imposed by society. I’ve never been one to conform, and I’m not about to start now.😀 So, true is the saying…age is just but a number!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Old? Middle-aged? I never thought of myself in those terms when I was in my forties. Perhaps it helps that I’m a teacher, and my interactions with the students helps me to keep up with current trends – or some of them, at least.
    I turned 60 at the beginning of this year.
    You suggested that this might be considered ‘too old’ to break free/start again at something new. My husband and I were living in France at the time I celebrated this milestone, trying (despite Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions etc) to enjoy our ‘Pre-Retirement Gap Year (or two)’.
    I tried embracing my greys a few years ago, but hated the way it looked and the way the look made me feel, so I’ve gone even lighter and shorter, and love it. And I get a kick out of wearing skinny jeans!
    Stop worrying about labels and what other people think, just do you. Whatever makes you happy, whatever you’re comfortable with, and a mighty bras d’honneur to anyone who disapproves.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for reading/commenting! Just to clarify…I don’t think these things lol I can see that some people do, though. I’ve started over five billion times lol And I suspect, I’ll continue well into my later years.

      As far as embracing the greys, like you, I haven’t found a way to do this yet 😉

      I also don’t worry about labels, but again, I do think quite a few people around me do lol

      Thanks for this inspiring comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve never felt as old as I did in a class where most of the other students bonded over their mutal live of k-pop and we rattling off a bunch of names that I wasn’t sure were people, cartoon characters, who know? I did not join them in their STANNING. I switched classes cause of scheduling and landed a class full of my people … we clicked on many things and ranged in age from late teens to early 60s. Sometimes it’s too easy to put not fitting in down to age. You are, to use the cliche, as old as you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Mek, you could’ve hung in there with the K-Pop crew! Just kidding. I still don’t get what stanning is…I recently googled it, and it just sounds like being a fan?

      Anywho, yes. We are all only as old as we feel ❤

      Like

  13. I read this in the morning and was like: Kathy, is hitting it right on again! I have those conversations with my daughters most times when they think I’m dated. Why can’t we just enjoy being ourselves without the labels. I empathize with your cousin; he probably didn’t care about the label. But, you’re right: “why can’t we just be human beings having fun in life?” Beats me. The irony is that even the oldies/middle agers squirm when they see another fellow being “enjoying life.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Funmi ❤ No, my cousin doesn't care about any labels, not that I know of. I've never heard him refer to himself as old or even act like it.

      I think you're right. Sometimes our peers do it to us…start with the labels and try to put us in boxes smh

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I look very young for my age and also don’t really perceive any number to anyone’s age, including mine. I feel all of us deal with varying degrees of health, capacities, confidence, self-esteem, creativity. We may begin enjoying something at any age and get shut down from various judgments around at any age. I can never relate or enjoy pinning everything to age. We all deal with something individually – it can be age related or not. I enjoyed your post a lot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Praghalba! (Did I get it right this time?)

      I think what you described is one way to live life…don’t worry about anyone’s age, up or down! Just accept ourselves and those in front of us for who they are, because you’re right. Health, and everything else you’ve mentioned know no boundaries or age…An 80-eyar old man can lack self-esteem, and an 18-year-old girl could have failing health.

      Thanks again for this ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s all a journey, isn’t Katherin? I can close my eyes and pretend I’m that little girl again. I’m very connected with my younger self.
    I didn’t notice old vs young categorization. Instead, I celebrated and completely embraced the middle part of my life because It was my renaissance and awakening. I completely turned my life around and to me middle age was fantastic!
    Now that I’m facing the older years (turning 62 this year). I’d like to just stay in the middle age zone as long as possible lol!
    The touchiest part that you hit upon was being talked down to and discounted because of age. Fortunately, I surround myself with peers and we can all complain about that together. (As well as memory issues, which have become extremely annoying lately!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely Judy! It’s all a journey, and it’s all an illusion. We just keep making up ways to be sad in the illusion. I know it’s not funny, but for some reason this makes me laugh.

      You’ve proven it’s all in our mind. You can be 11, 18, or 88, if you wanna be. I used to joke that my youngest daughter is like a grandma. Of course, it’s not her age, it’s her outlook and demeanor.

      Thank you for adding this important part to the conversation. Age is definitely just a number, and our happiness or sadness is all in how we treat each phase.

      Soooo, the memory thing doesn’t get better? lol

      Liked by 1 person

  16. My great aunt once said that you’re only as old as you believe you are, not what others perceive you to be. I don’t tend to like age related labels and feel a person should just be and live.
    Wonderful post, I live it! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  17. speaking of age, I think back to those times in my 20’s watching hard R horror flicks and wondering why seniors were watching the same movie, I was always perplexed..but as I aged I realized sometime interests never go away…So those people that I questioned being there at the tine, knew full well what kind of movie they were in for. Just funny to think that you might think people are supposed to wear/think/be something as they age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, though. We all do it…I think. I used to look at older people who wore hot pink Chucks or something like that and wondered if they were “trying to be young,” but now completely understand they probably just like hot pink Chucks.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh my goodness you hit a nerve! I’m 50 plus 4 currently and after every decadal birthday I hear someone my age or younger talking about how they’re too old to do something. I’d say that’s a choice. I know fit 60 year olds, who work at it. I know globe trotting 70 years olds. I’m related to two 80 year olds who can still party me under the table and go to 3 events in a day. Age is a frame of mind. By what we choose to do, we influence how we age. Thanks for raising this issue!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. And don’t get me started on age appropriate clothing LOL. I love how in Latin America, women wear what they feel good in, rather than how we would define age appropriate in the US. I really admire your blog and the community you’ve created.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Awww thank you for saying that Rebecca! I’m a hardworking blogger, for sure, and I don’t take any reader/comment for granted ❤

        As far as Latin America, you are absolutely right! We went to a resort one weekend and I watched women of all ages wear whatever they wanted…not even proudly, but just like matter-of-factly, you know?

        Like

  19. Why is our generation constantly ignored ? All I ever hear about is comparisons between boomers and millennials. I always joke with my almost 40 wife, that I got to start dressing my age. 51 Should be a wife beater tee with drawers, black knee high socks and sandals lol

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LMAO! I wish you could see how hard I’m laughing at this image lol

      There was a meme going around at one point where a Gen X woman was pouring wine into a Gen Z’s halloween bucket…and I felt the meaning in my soul!

      I often say that our generation really just want Boomers and Millennials to leave us alone, but at the same time, we’re over here like “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” lol

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Hehe, your posts never disappoint. This particular topic hits the nail on the head. If you follow the money, you realize that all these crazy norms are to get us spending on products we do not need. Thy exploit both the young and old in different ways, but same results. It is a very sad affair that gets to even the best of us. Worse still like you have mentioned already, there is an unkind label for those folks who refuse to conform to these norms. Aye!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Right? Keep rocking that rap music 🙂 I think every age group is beautiful! The young have the gift of youth, us middle aged people finally have the confidence and more wisdom than we did twenties and even thirties, an attraction in itself, and old aged folks are just beautiful with the gray hairs and the laid back attitudes because they have seen it and lived it. At the end of the day regardless of age, it is personality that matters. Are you are happy loving person? then that shines through, and if you are wary and bitter, well …

        Liked by 1 person

  21. My first thought after reading is, I admire people who are comfortable with the aging process and happy to say their old if they’re being honest saying it…………………….most people if they’re honest miss their youth and wish for so many reasons to be young again. I’m reminded of the saying “youth is wasted on the young” and I think that’s very true.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Andreeeewww! How are you?

      So, yes. I agree. People who are comfortable with their age are the best. They make us all a little more authentic, I think.

      That saying is true. I always think if I had half the wisdom I have now back then, I’d be so much better off, but that’s probably all of us lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I’m fine thank you Katherine, managed to dodge COVID lol and now fully vaccinated (to the credit of my Government’s forethought, credit where credit’s due 🙂 )………..btw enjoyed your travel blogs 🙂 .

        Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s absurd to think there are only two ages, old and young. I never felt like that. First of all, older people don’t feel old. We mature, our bodies go through changes, but we don’t feel old. So what determines old? Our minds, our thoughts, our spirits, our creativity is forever young.
    Old is relative. To a child any adult is old. To a teen anyone over 25 is old. Old is not really a number. It’s undefined.
    I had my first child at 24. I had my second a few months shy of 40. So I have one son who is now 32 and one who is 48. They are in different generations. But they are both my “ boys”. My children. One was being toilet trained while the other went off to college. Was one old? Was I old when I was skipping in the park in my 40’s with my younger son? I never thought so. I considered myself middle aged until my older son told me he was middle aged. Lol It’s all perception.
    I suppose one group always wants to be older and one younger. The truth is, I don’t feel old. What I do feel is sick, because my cancer is back. But I don’t feel old. I still have so much to do, so much to learn and so much more life to enjoy. But I don’t feel old.
    Nobody really gets old. Not inside. Yes, our bodies break down and our hair grays. But we are still vital and beautiful. Why should we judge ourselves by it’s outer shell? We should bask in the wisdom of each decade. Youth is the learning stage. There is a blush of effervescence to it, but what makes it better than any other stage in life?
    Each stage has its benefits. We worry too much about defining what age is. Old is not ugly. It’s just not young. Just like an elephant is not ugly because it looks different from a swan. It’s just different.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I appreciate this Lesley: it’s just a different phase with different (or the same) experiences, depending on who you are and how you operate in the world. Aging is most definitely all in the mind.

      How’s the chemo going?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, each decade is indeed just a different stage in life. Younger people don’t get that part… that they won’t feel old even as the years multiply.
        Thank you for asking. Chemo sucks. I had it last week and this time was very difficult. Three new drugs. Mouth sores, nausea, chemo rashes. The miraculous drugs that kill cancer are brutal. Wednesday I get more treatment. But, here’s the thing. Getting back to age..
        I know I’m 72, but I feel inside like I’m 30. So I’ll fight like I am 30! Like a young warrior! Because that is who I am inside. Cancer doesn’t care if I’m 25, 50, or 70. So you see my age doesn’t really matter when you look at life like that. The challenges we face don’t really have much to do with age. If Americans tackled diseases with as much gusto as they do anti aging products perhaps we’d get somewhere.
        I meet so many amazing women in chemo. All look the same without their hair and their eyebrows. It gives you perspective. A 70 year old fights just as hard to live as a 40 year old. Kinda puts things in perspective, right?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. This is the most integral lesson! We’re all the same when it comes to diseases, as there is no age limit or age requirement.

        Also, yes about fighting diseases as opposed to creating “anti-aging” products 🙄

        My heart is always with you in spirit during these times 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Such a lovely post! And well written too! I know exactly what you mean and I live in South Africa. I despise any age related labels. I always have, even as a teenager. It is so shallow.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. This was so good because I can relate! I remember when I was younger and was watching some show about aging. I recall them showing “old” people doing amazing things and dressing well. At that moment, I decided I was never going to get old. I would say this as a child and people would say, friends would say, and still say, EVERYONE gets old. However, I know how to explain it as I have grown over the years. What I mean is, I am never going to submit to the stereotypes of being old. I am going to continue to learn new things, stay in the know, be surrounded by the youth, dress with the times, travel, change my hair, etc. I am not going to sit on a porch, become bitter, do nothing, never change, say whatever I want or comes to mind even if it’s mean spirited and hurtful and hide behind, “I am old.” This is what I mean, and much more than that by I am never getting old. Yes, my hair may turn gray. Yes, my body will change. Yes, the numbers will change. But I believe, AGE REALLY IS JUST A NUMBER. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for this Nikki! What you’ve described is what I mean. Who are we to tell someone they’re old or put them in these boxes? If someone else thinks “older” people should wear a Mumu and sit on the porch lol, then have at it, but not me…or you 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This was timely and relevant for me to read, in part because it made me a bit uncomfortable.
    My birthday is coming up and I’m not ok with it. I’m deeply self-judgmental person about my own age. I know that sounds stupid because I’m about 10 years younger than you, but I work in a deeply ageist industry, and my peers and I are still in that stage where everyone is getting married, having babies, buying houses, and all those milestones. I could probably ignore the peer pressure piece if I were happy with where I am at my age, but I’m not.
    I don’t judge others at all. I’m always reassuring my single friends that they have time to meet the right person, and I would have been on that dance floor partying hard with your cousin! I love the people in their 40s and 50s belting their hearts out at karaoke! I hate the fact that my boss is younger than me, but I once managed someone older than me and it was fine. But I just cannot get over my own self-judgmental ageism.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. First of all, thanks for being vulnerable here. This is the only way we can flesh out these concepts.

      I do wonder where your self-judgment comes from, and do be honest, one of the people I didn’t name in this article actually admitted that her comments are based on her own fears surrounding death.

      I’m wondering if your self-judgment has anything to do with the perception of where you are in life and what you’re “supposed to be doing.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the thought-provoking post! And for allowing me to dump a bunch of aging insecurities into your comment section (I considered a post on my own blog, but did not want to receive a bunch of “happy birthday” comments and then have to pretend to be happy about it). And I meant uncomfortable in the best possible way.

        There is some external pressure. All the celebration of achievement at young age, eg. 30 under 30 lists, that sort of thing.

        But there’s also real fear of missing opportunities. I know it is perfectly fine to not have children.
        However, I really want to be a mother some day, but at nearly 36 in a deeply flawed relationship, there is a very real possibility that this will never happen.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Someone else posted about the same HBD thing, like they wanted to write something but didn't want all of the well wishes…it's becoming a common theme.

        And…aha! What you've described makes a lot of sense. It's like the sense of "failure" due to expectations.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. this is so timely, I was just having a similar discussion with my girlfriends. I am 63 and and in the most comfortable, confident, and peaceful phase of my life. not quite yet ready to retire, but not saying yes to any new committees, commitments, etc. that I really don’t want to spend my time doing. I’ve started over a number of times in my life, and believe it can happen at any age if motivated. my children are grown, grandchildren are growing up, my job is happy and stable, and I sold my house and moved to a little condo exactly where I want to live. I’m dating again, want to travel and spend my time doing what I enjoy. I agree that there is a strong difference between doing things to look/appear young and doing things that you enjoy no matter your age, just because you like to do them. excellent post

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Yes, age is but just a number. It is the mind and body which matters. As long as my mind can imagine abd take the body along who is anyone to label me or stop me..
    Stay blessed always
    🙏🌹🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I’ve started over more than a few times and it’s freeing and energizing. You’re never to old for that. I’ve always been comfortable doing what I like regardless of what’s deemed age appropriate. In my 30s I bought a big (used) Cadillac and every one told me it was an old man car. 🤷🏼‍♀️
    “What other people think about me is none of my business.” I’m not sure who said that, but it’s good advice.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks for identifying the source of that. I had a class starting when I was commenting and didn’t have time to look for it.
        The funniest thing about driving the Cadillac is all my girlfriends would wave at every in town assuming it was me so all the old guys driving a car that looked like mine got a little pick-me-up and they didn’t know why! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  29. I am okay with aging, I am even okay with others thinking “I’m old,” but what I do have trouble with is the younger generation “ma’aming” me left and right. It doesn’t feel natural–it feels pushed upon me. I don’t feel as though I should be “ma’amed,” and I understand much of this is just good, Southern manners, but it makes me cringe. LOL.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Haha! I am certain I look at my next door neighbors the same way each time they say, “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am.” LOL. I have to bide my tongue. LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ladies, 🤣🤣🤣, I still say ma’am and sir – to me, it’s just a form of courtesy and not implying that you’re old. I remember saying ma’am to a lady and my baby brother was upset: sis, you’re older than her; why you saying that?!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. I think aging comes with such a deep stigma. Many people don’t like to think about it and fear it. This can lead to putting off saving for retirement and stereotyping older people. But we all age, it’s something we should embrace and even celebrate. 150 years ago, people only lived on average to be 40 years old.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Too old to start over—I surely hope not! I was divorced at the end of 2018, my kids are moving out, and I’m contemplating moving to an apartment in the city close to where I live as I’ve been doing a lot of social activities there on the weekends. I turn 50 in August and am about to be an empty nester. I’m most definitely starting over, whether the world likes it or not—and I’ll start over two or three more times before I turn over and close my eyes for the last time. I want to keep living and growing…and I don’t dye my hair. I’ve earned every strand of the tinsel…I’m letting it shine!❤️

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I LOVE hearing stories like this! No one is ever too “old” to start over. We’ve just created a society that acts like people are too “old” for this or that.

      Kudos to you Laura!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You have forever been a favorite writer of mines, you still are, I love writers that are original, real, not copycats. You are profoundly solid, and give your husband and family my sincere regards!

        Liked by 1 person

  32. You know…you hit on something I was talking about/thinking about yesterday. I was talking to someone at a party (full disclosure: I don’t like her) and I was saying that my blog is about being over 50 and how life changes and she took it to mean that I’m old and crusty, instead of we learn to appreciate things differently as we age. I think there’s a huge difference in people who like to experience things no matter what age range they’re geared for, and people holding on to doing things because they want to appear younger. I know this doesn’t make sense on paper but I promise you in my head it makes sense. I think there are people who love dancing at clubs even in their sixties, and I think there are people in their sixties who want to appear young so they go to clubs. Do you get where I’m going?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I totally get you. You know this. There’s a difference between not accepting your age and wanting to do “young” things, as opposed to just aging but still liking the things you do.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes! Thank you for saying that succinctly because of Kate I’ve had so much dancing through my head I’m bobbling simple wording. I was with someone yesterday who’s all about young things as opposed to enjoying….it’s a glaring disconnect. The greatest thing about aging is that you get to figure out who you are without caring what others think…to not realize that is not quite a tragedy, but a little sad. We’ve earned this

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That last part is the point! We all deserve to like what we like and do what we like, regardless of age (given we know what that is). I think society does it to us (create the binary) and then we do it to ourselves and each other.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes!! I think I’m going to blog about this! I’ve always had “old” habits. Never liked dance clubs, always liked cozy mysteries and classical music. People say I’ve “let myself get old” but really these are things I enjoyed my entire life

        Liked by 3 people

  33. I think it’s good to keep updated on all the new stuff yet still keep the other things you like too . It’s keeps life interesting ! Also even I have a few silver hairs too , their natural , and sometimes I embrace them by just doing my head all silver ✨

    Liked by 5 people

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