The Accident We Call Getting Older
For most of my life, I’ve held an attitude . . . no, a belief that I could find a way to fix anything. No matter what life threw at me, I could bounce back and rise again. And not just rise, but be stronger and better.
Somewhere along the way, I failed to notice that I was definitely NOT in control of one thing. I’m getting older. OMG! I’m gradually becoming those older women I thought were so distant from becoming my reality.
My friend’s moms, when I was in high school, were in their late 30’s. They were old. But much too quickly, I’d sailed right by thirty . . . and forty. Life was happening, and while I wasn’t watching time was doing to me what it does to all of us. That slow progression of aging. That sneaky, cruel trickster of time was making it ever more challenging to see my 20-something face in the mirror.
The only thing I can liken it to is buying a new car that you’re planning to keep for a long time. When you drive it off the lot, it feels great. You have to show it off. Maybe even claim some bragging rights. Of course, even if you keep up with the routine maintenance, the door dings start to appear, or maybe a little scratch on the paint or worn spot on the upholstery. And one day, you realize it’s not a new car any more, and that even a wax job and tune-up doesn’t make it what it used to be. It’s a used car.
Aging Gracefully? Riiight.
Let be honest. For women, especially, getting older sucks. Cosmetics, spa treatments, and even surgery isn’t going to stop it. Because our culture expects us to look a certain way, it can be scary, depressing, and frustrating.
From the grey hairs and black hairs appearing where you never thought you’d have them, to body issues you thought were over in your teens, for women getting older is a hopeless battle that we usually only talk about jokingly.
Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five. – – Nora Ephron
Remember those “special classes” the school nurse drug us off to that were supposed to help us through that first round of near cataclysmic changes we were about to endure? What they didn’t tell us is that that was only part one.
The bad news is there’s no class when you get older. No real warning or coaching for part two. Part two is what I’d call the accident of aging. I mean it must be an accident, right? We did not ask for it, I am quite sure. We only vaguely knew about it, and for the most part it was something that we thought would never happen to “me.” Yeah, part two is all about getting older, and it for sure sucks.
Since there is no class for it, about the only solace we have is to commiserate all about our common plight. Your BFF’s are a great place to start. A few tears, a few laughs, and a few lies, and somehow it doesn’t feel quite so bad. And for those moments when your besties aren’t around, you might want to get a copy of “How Did This Happen” by Mary Esselman and Elizabeth Velez.
“How Did This Happen” is a collection of wit, wisdom, poetry and shared experiences. A delightfully easy read, it’s a reminder that we’re all on the same path to the same destination. Getting older isn’t something we can fix. It’s not something we can avoid. But we can learn to lighten up the pressure from society and ourselves to be something impossibe – 21 again.
However you choose to do “getting older,” do it for yourself. And do it with a smile. I’m told, at least, it’ll make them wonder what you’re up to.
Want to get the celebrity take on getting older? Check out the short clips below!