“A lady never tells her age or weight…” It’s a phrase I never questioned in all the years I’d heard it growing up. It’s something my grandma said, and she’d no doubt heard her own grandmother say it too. They were the legs-crossed, lipstick-in-tact kind of ladies. They were conditioned to believe certain things, as we all are. They were handed a “life script,” and expected to play a role.
Psychologists say most of us spend our lives playing out the roles we fell into in childhood –whether our influences are right, wrong or ridiculously antiquated. We’re products of our environment.
It takes a hella dose of courage to say, “Screw the script. I’ll decide how my life should look.” As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes we have to ask ourselves: Will this mindset, choice or concept create the happiness I long for?
When it comes to age, what mindset have we adopted? Let’s talk about how scary it is to be a woman growing older, a woman losing her magnetism. They say men “mature” while women get old and “let themselves go.” Society says we should splurge on anti-aging creams, wrinkle serums, and overpriced elixirs.
Do we even realize that “anti-aging” is a derogatory term? God forbid we’d accept the fact that we cannot stop the clock. Screw the ad campaigns that keep us clinging to the sinking ships of our youth. I refuse to fear the future or deny the inevitable. And when I am older and people start saying things like, “You look great…for your age,” I will promptly raise a shriveled hand to slap them.
When it comes to age, I say numbers only matter if you’re buying booze or collecting social security. Never let age limit you, define you, or force you into a decision that doesn’t feel right for you.
That said, here is my list of The 5 Things I’ve Decided I’m Too Old For..
I made it through high school and the first terrifying years of marriage and motherhood. I read all the books, gathered opinions like they were golden tickets, and let fear hold me captive. I’m too old for that shit. I have seen myself do amazing things, and therefore I know I am capable.
I’ve talked about this extensively in another post, so I’ll just say this: comparisons can crush us. I have to remind myself regularly that I am uniquely awesome. Healthy competition is good, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. My path is not yours, and that’s cool. That twenty-something with the thigh gap can’t make me feel ugly. She’s hot, but so am I. In fact, we’re both rockin’ our own brand of beautiful.
3. Body Shame
I work out most days. I force down a swamp-like superfoods beverage every morning, and I eat clean most meals. I work hard to stay fit and healthy. But I’ve got these stretch marks on my belly and these dimples on my ass. I used to give a damn. I used to buy the bogus beauty creams and boot camps in a box. But one day I woke up, stroked my imperfect flesh and whispered an apology to my body. “I’m sorry for expecting too much. I not only accept you, I appreciate you.”
Harriet Thompson ran a San Diego marathon at age 92. Helen Keller was a brilliant author and political activist, despite being deaf and blind. People who do incredible things don’t do this one thing: make excuses.
Excuses are the language of my fears. It’s time to stop making them.
I’m too old to heed the headlines: How to Dress Over 30. How to Impress a Man. I’ve blindly followed the advice of the “experts,” but age and experience have taught me better. My life means my rules. I’m too old to play Simon Says.
Mantra: Forget “Act your age.” Instead live YOUR life.