I recently turned 59
I find myself focusing on not that I’m simply 59 but that I’m only one year off being 60.
I saw a woman in the supermarket recently and I immediately thought, “Gee, I like her hairstyle. I wonder if I could pull that style off.” Then I noticed how beautiful her skin was. The longer I looked, I realized that it was her youth I admired………..envied.
Aging is so challenging. It is hard to know how to do it with dignity. I work with four other women and we are all in our 50s and I’m the only one who has grey hair. The kids think I’m much older than the others and that’s understandable. When I look in the mirror, I agree with them.
I and my “girlfriends” have had numerous discussions about how and when to go grey. Hair colour is such an issue. Some years ago, I shaved my head to raise funds for breast cancer research. I knew my hair would grow back grey and I decided to let it stay grey. Decision made. There are times (in front of the mirror) I contemplate colour again but not enough to act on this thought.
In the wider world, there are times when I am aware that I have grown invisible as an older woman. Men and younger women will be served ahead of me in some customer circumstances. When attending job interviews where I am being interviewed by much younger individuals, I feel that it is much harder to argue my value. I have had to hold back from the urge to point out that I have been working longer than they have been on this planet or that my skill range is probably more extensive than their wardrobes.
The effort to try to maintain some degree of fitness gets harder and harder. After being stick thin for the first 50 years of my life, my body shaped has decided to pad out my middle. The idealism of my young adult years has been severely sandpapered to a rough cynical edge.
In other ways, I am far more at ease with who I am. I have earned my wrinkles and feel fairly comfortable amid their folds, freckles and all.