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Getting Old Sucks or does it?!
Getting older with gusto!
Am I my mother?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered if it was your mother's face staring back? It happened to me in my late 30's. As they so overstate on social websites, OMG, OMG!!! Aging is what I consider an unrecoverable error. Sadly, not all the surgery in the world will transform anyone enough to appear as they did in their teens or twenties (my personal opinion anyway).
For me, the shape of my face actually went through a metamorphosis. I had an oval shaped face in my earlier years and now it’s a pear-like shape... chipmunk cheeks they call it. Progressively, gravitation is also playing a trick on my body. Nonetheless, even when I peruse through old pictures of what used to be me, I am not totally distraught that I have changed so much. There's a comfort level and sense of ownership being the new me. True, there will not be whiplash consequences for young studs turning their heads as I enter a room nor long, glaring stares as I stroll past them. Yet, I am surprisingly OK with not being the attention getter I once used to be. This new ‘me’ is satisfied, confident and cheerful, probably because the world is aging with me.
My family, friends and acquaintances are also aging, some more gracefully than others. Some have decided that ‘going under the knife’ is the way to revitalize yourself, others have lost beaucoup weight, at times even looking sickly thin with wrinkly skin. And yet, most have just let themselves go. Yes, it's true! No make-up, no nail polish, no pedicures, no manicures, no modern hairstyles; adding nothing to beautify their looks nor make their appearance younger or more desirable. They have given in to Mother Nature.
Even I have had days where I may secretly plot to do nothing with my appearance, until of course, my ever present mirror stares back. There is also the nagging thought that resounds strongly and ever so often... when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you do good.
And then I wonder, is there is a correlation between behavior and appearance? For example, does a football player behave the same when he is wearing his football uniform as when he wears a suit and tie or swimming trunks? Of course not! So, does the attire dictate the mood/behavior or does the mood dictate the attire? Could this be one of the reasons why Unions/Management attire is fought over? ...a casual dress code versus more professional attire? Is it comfort or is it the corresponding behavior that’s at stake? Hmmm
Continuing this thought, it occurs to me that as a young adult, I wore high heels, had puffy, sprayed hair and flaunted oversized, heavy earrings. In my mid thirties, I transitioned to more modest sized heels, a flatter hairstyle and studs for earrings. By my forties, I was wearing flats, a ‘natural’ hairdo and for special occasions, I might have worn earrings. In my fifties, I can safely say that I am by far, the most ‘comfy’ I have ever been. Some would say it is called being comfortable in your own skin or said another way, just being satisfied with who you are.
Here is another thought, are younger people more predisposed to happiness than the older crowd? Based on my personal observations, I say, not necessarily. If the young are ‘full of life’, is the older generation ‘half empty?’ I think not.
To look at the thousands of pictures on social websites, one would assume these youngsters are having the ‘time of their lives’, after all, they are parachuting, boating, diving, tailgating, dancing and a host of other ‘ing’ activities. They claim to be finding themselves, all in the name of happiness. But as many in the 'mature' generation know, happiness is a state of mind. As Marcel Pagnol (French Writer, Producer and Film Director) so eloquently wrote, “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”. This type of thinking my friends happens at any age.
These thoughts are not intended to provide anyone answers but rather to consider the possibility that aging is happening - regardless, and being happy about it is your best option. Most importantly, finding a way to ‘justify’ its progression, in a positive way, is the only viable alternative for happiness. Accept who you are and where you are in life, the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly. Afterall, even ugliness, like aging, is a matter of perspective.