When I started this post it was with the intention of having a positive message about aging … “aging gracefully” and I hope parts still are “hopeful & positive”? Ironically, when I decided to revisit this post and finish it, a few not so positive passages from books and articles crossed my path. However, my mom just emailed me after “proofing/editing” this post and said “thank you for the compliments and by the way men do still look at you as you get older, it’s just they are old too.” 😘 It made me smile SO big — it made my day! Thank you mom!
Here it is for better or for worse …
“Immortality” by Milan Kundera … “the difference between the male and female lot in life: a women spends much more time on discussions of her physical problems; she was not fated to forget about her body in a carefree way. It starts with the shock of the first bleeding; the body is suddenly present and she stands facing it like a poor mechanic ordered to keep a small factory running: to change tampons every month, swallow pills, snap the brassiere in place, get ready for production. Agnes looked upon old men with envy: it seemed to her that they aged differently: her father’s body changed into its shadow, it dematerialized, it remained in the world merely as an incarcerated soul. In contrast, the more useless a woman’s body becomes, the more it is a body, heavy and burdensome; it resembles an old factory destined for demolition, which the women’s self must watch to the very end, like a caretaker. The only thing capable of changing Agnes’s reaction to the body for a moment … Excitement: a fleeting redemption of the body. Her sister would disagree: “Only for a moment? For Laura the body was sexual from the beginning, a priori, constantly and completely, by its very essence. To love someone meant, for her: to bring him ones body. to give him one’s body, just as it was, with everything, inside and out, even with its own time, which is slowly, sweetly, corroding it”.
Because this quote is about men (which in general I think age better than women) I hesitated to use it … but I love the fact that they ARE falling apart right in front of our eyes, they aren’t hiding in retirement and as far as I can tell they’ve always been honest and upfront about their various issues. Mick Jagger recently had to postpone their tour due to health issues, he said “I need to have a heart valve replaced … I’ll be back”. Keith Richards looked old even when he was young, his book “Life” it’s worth reading, Rolling Stones fan or not …
“We age not by holding on to youth, but by letting ourselves grow and embracing whatever youthful parts remain.”
“It seems damn near impossible for a woman to grow old in America while keeping her dignity. Face-lifts, Botox, hair dyeing, mustache waxing—the upkeep is exhausting. It is a slippery slope once you head down that path. Botox needs to be maintained every few months, and synthetic fillers like Restylane start to move around over time. It’s hard to grow old gracefully in our changing bodies, but ladies, we have to. My rule for myself is just don’t start. No plastic or synthetic anything in my body. I will have earned each wrinkle and gray hair, and I want to “proudly display them like trophies of a life well lived.” “With experience and maturity comes sexual sophistication. Optimally, we know what works for us, and we’re more confident about sharing that information with our partners. Call it “authentic eroticism.” Maybe the reason MILFs are such a turn-on is that mothers simply make better lovers. As we blossom and ripen, nurture and mentor, we are likely more capable of integrating intimacy and spirituality into our sexuality. And that is deep, and hot. So go ahead and be sexy, Mama.”
Moody Bitches, Julie Holland, MD
Here’s what you don’t want to become … trying too hard to look like your 25-year-old self (or some other 25-year-old) instead of aging gracefully into what I believe will likely be the best version of yourself.
Ivana Trump looks like a cartoon.
Most of the women I admire have admitted to skin treatments & some have admitted to “subtle cosmetic surgery or procedures” like Botox, but mostly they all agree that the key is good skin care, sunscreen at least on your face, neck, décolletage (if you’re lucky to have any 😉) and hands, continual exercise (keep moving), good nutrition and sleep! I think they look great without looking weird … in this day in age and in “my book” they have aged gracefully as have my mom and mother-in-law, they look fabulous and not weird.
Jane Fonda was on my DO list when I started this post a year ago, but sadly she’s now teetering on the edge of the DON’T list 🙁 this recent photo is NOT good (and I think her recent “procedures” have maybe pushed her over the edge) and it’s not ok for an 80-year-old woman, or even a 60-year-old or 50-year-old 😯 woman to have that hairdo at least not “in my book”.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
a good rule to live by!!!
Here she is a couple of years ago when she was on my DO list.
Jane Fonda ages 65-79
She has said her biggest secret to aging gracefully is “most importantly keep moving” she has admitted to having “some work done” because she started realizing what she saw in the mirror wasn’t reflecting how she felt … I wish she had stopped before going maybe TOO far!? 🤭
“Go forward slowly, its not a race to the end”
“It doesn’t matter how slow you move as long as you keep moving”
another good “rule” to live by!
Helen Mirren 73
Martha Stewart 77 (with Snoop Dogg)
Meryl Streep 69 Ann Margaret 77 Christy Brinkley 65
Alana Stewart 77
I LOVE that, rather than have elective surgery, ELECT to age gracefully!
Things that happen after 40 that no-one tells you about — that fuzz on your face, perhaps a mustache when you’ve NEVER had one before, droopy earlobes (along with droopy boobs), gray hairs in your eyebrows an inch longer than the other hairs (but you can’t see them because you can’t see up close so you have to wait until someone, usually one of your kids, or a sister, or a good friend points it out to you :)), sometimes spit flies out of your mouth when you’re talking, it’s a real thing! I asked the dentist about it and he said yes that starts happening because your mouth starts to shrink and that’s one of the signs 😬😩, you start “watering down” your wine with club soda, just like your 75-year-old mother and her friends (who you used to make fun of when they’d order a “white-wine spritzer”. When you were young & they were “old” (my age now 😮). This is where I left off when writing this post a year ago. Yesterday my friend sent me this article and the night before I had literally googled “itchy breasts” …
“This Is What No One Tells Women About What Happens To Your Body In Your 40s” by Aileen Weintraub from the Huffington Post
“I started researching phrases like, “sex in your 40s,” “pissed at my family all the time,” and “left boob pain; am I dying?” The symptoms were subtle at first: insomnia, a racing heart, a lost word, sometimes a wrong word. But within months there was no denying it. Soon enough there were panic attacks, sobbing fits and that verboten emotion of middle-aged women ― rage. Just after my 40th birthday, I bled for 10 days straight.” (ME EXACTLY!!!)
“That was the moment I learned that before menopause, there is a completely separate, though somehow related hell called perimenopause. According to the nurse, this marked the beginning of a gradual decline in estrogen in my body ― and, “by the way,” she added, “it can last for years.” I wipe away my tears, wishing someone would have mentioned I’d spend much of my midlife on the bathroom floor, crying ― I would have opted for nicer tiles.” by Aileen Weintraub
If you’ve read my blog you know this is pretty much me you are not alone, WE are not alone! I wish I had the heart to reach out to her and tell her it could go on for another 10 years! I laughed out loud when I read “related hell called perimenopause” — hell is correct. And then I read the paragraph that made me cry …
“I have changed so much. I have stopped caring what anyone else thinks, have started claiming my time, growing my tribe, and trying so hard to hold onto the shits I have because I have so few left to give. I am more beautiful and confident than I have ever been in my life, while simultaneously becoming invisible to much of the world”. by Aileen Weintraub
Trying so hard to hold on to the “few shits I have” … I can’t tell you many times a day the words “I don’t really give a shit” come out of by mouth.
In a scene from “Girls” when Marnie is chatting with one of the artists whose photos are on display, she asks …“How do people not see that you’re taking pictures of them?” and the elderly wheelchair bound artist answers “It was harder when I was young, but now I’m old and no ones looks at me anyway. Getting old is the pits. I hate watching television because all the old women are shells of themselves and it hurts to be a shell” 😔 Thankfully, that may be changing … “Grace & Frankie”☺️???
I told my friend who forwarded the article that the paragraph about “becoming invisible to much of the world” made me cry and she replied “I think about it a lot when I see old people at a store or wherever, no body looks at old people and that’s going to be me (us) soon”
Is this why women go to these outrageous measures to look younger? It makes me sad, I understand not wanting to age, and I for sure want to look my best, but my best for my age, do these women go to these extremes because they are trying to remain visible? Do they feel invisible?
I don’t want to be invisible but I’ll take invisible over “freaky looking” or “obnoxious looking” or “looking like someone else” ANY DAY! I will take invisible if it means aging gracefully … older beautiful women, with their silver hair (not gray) and laugh lines (not wrinkles), who haven’t had any obnoxious work done, like my mom, my mother-in-law, my husbands aunts, quite a few of my friends mothers — YOU ARE NOT INVISIBLE — NOT TO ME! You are beautiful & graceful and …