Tag Archives: aging

The magic of age…

We have reached a time where people live and stay active longer. Gone is the grandma of 50 with one foot in the grave…She has turned into a funky go-getter who is hungry for life and action. The idea of staying young has invaded every aspect of being; how we look, act and dress…We want to stay forever young.

As a woman I am, like every other woman, influenced by society and the “forever young” notion. I look at my sagging jaw-line thinking; “Just a little tuck there and I would look younger”. Though I always know that I won’t do it, I have played with the thought just like every middle-aged woman does, whether she admits it or not. What is shocking is that the thought is there, as easily as the thought of buying groceries or a new dress. What happened to our self-respect?

Women have three very defined periods of their lives; girl-hood, the mature woman and the aged woman. The defining line between these periods is menstruation, it starts and it stops. In our society many women past a certain age feel washed up. It is difficult to find a job, especially if you have chosen to be a mother, even worse; a stay-at-home-mother. (If people only knew what leadership skills a stay-at-hom-mom has, not to mention the organization skills worthy of a general!) We are constantly compared to young women when it comes to looks and in the magazines the models in the pictures are teenagers.

Women fear the onset of menopause, this dreaded thing that marks the place of no return. It doesn’t make sense at all. Women should celebrate this, it is a mark of freedom for a woman. No longer will she have to be prepared to be a mother (and this, trust me, is a purely biological instinct), her children are more or less grown up, she has a stable situation in society and she has a wealth of wisdom. More often than not, this new funky woman is hungry for life and experiences; a new job, travels, trying new things. In the Cathar tradition this was the point when a woman could choose a new path in life, such as priestess (considering that she had more experience about life than most) or a clan-elder. Amongst nature-tribes this changing time for woman has no name, and women hardly suffer any physical symptoms.

Ladies, age is beauty. It looks different but is nonetheless beautiful. The beauty of age is the life-map drawn into a woman’s features; her joy and sorrow, experience, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Age does not necessarily mean physical deterioration; this is the largest misunderstanding of all. We can stay strong and fit for as long as we like if we respect and take care of ourselves. I can still, at 51, do all the things I did at 20 and I am as strong and healthy as I always was.

Check out this lady for some inspiration: pkg-vassileva-yoga-teacher-guinness-record.reuters

I used to have a fear of aging and now that I have become the aging, I embrace it. The wisdom and patience I have acquired, the knowledge and understanding is mind-blowing. Yes, I miss the easy beauty of youth, but I also remember all my fears and insecurities that no amount of youthful beauty could sooth. In a way I feel like I can now start my life exactly the way I want it and I am counting on plenty of amazing and fun years ahead!

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BODY AWARENESS

I listen to many young people, and what is becoming more and more evident is this constant, incessant talk of body and weight. I am seriously disturbed by this. Like so many other girls, I grew up with a weight-fixated mother and that left me with disturbed body-notions. I was – of course – always thin, no matter the price. At the time anorexia / bulimia was not spoken about, but many girls had a “light” version of one or the other…remember Twiggy? So this problem is nothing new. What has happened is that it has become a bigger issue than just weight; now it’s about eternal youth. As someone said: “Youth is wasted on the young”; so true, youth is inherently beautiful but we don’t become aware of that until we are past “the prime”, as it were.

When I was in my 20’s it was all about weight, most people were thin and obesity was hardly known – in Europe at least. Over time, almost as a protest, people got fatter – and started showing it with skin-tight clothes. This would NEVER have happened in the 70’s or 80’s. And I like it, it’s giving the finger to the starved, sad “Twiggy-look”, taking back the right to owning your body. But then it got out of proportion and it has become unhealthy. So now girls are either starving or eating themselves to death! What is going on?

Then came the Eternal Youth-thing. We can all become eternally young – well parts of us; plastic surgery has become such a common practice that many people find it completely normal. I know old women who are “eternally young” in this way; they look very scary…wouldn’t want to run into them un-prepared in a dark room….but they probably looked fine to start with? I know old women who look like old women and they are beautiful and stylish, wearing their age as a trophy, refusing to succumb to the shame of age.

There is a new look – the “surgery-look”; The corner of the lips pulled up in a perpetual half-smile, the look of surprise in the lifted eyebrows, the forever perky bosom that will point straight to the sky even when lady is lying on her back. Also; the wrinkled necks, spotted old hands, the slightly¬†skeletal look of the face….Still, it can be oh, so tempting sometimes. I watch myself age in the mirror, the bad fit between me on the inside and me on the outside. But then I look around at all the gorgeous, proud and amazing old women that one finds it so easy to respect, and I know that I want to be one of them. I had youth and beauty for a long time, and I was too stupid to enjoy it fully, but I did enjoy it, and now it is another time. I am a woman, not a girl, and my beauty lies today in who I am, in my pride. And I shine!

(The 2 first pictures in this post come from health-related ads, the next 2 were sent to me and the last one is mine)