Now that I am sixty I can say with absolute sincerity:
“I’m not the new fifty. I’m also not the old fifty. I’m not next year’s seventy or last year’s thirty-five. I’m just plain sixty!”
I don’t really know whether or not I look or feel any older or younger than I should or than my mother did at sixty. She was pretty spry right up until the time she was 95. What I do know is I sure like our styles and attitudes better than hers! I like the emotional and practical freedom we’ve obtained that has allowed us the luxury of sitting around discussing whether or not we feel like our age.
A generation ago, sixty year old women were pretty gosh darn busy just living. It makes me wonder if we might benefit from adopting just one or two of their archaic beliefs and remember the value of living in the skin we have, at just the age we are. Ours seems a fruitless exercise and frankly, I’m tired of the conversation. Like all clichés, it misses the point.
It is really not about how old, or how young, we look. It’s not even about how old or young we feel. It’s not about whether or not we get the recognition we think we deserve or whether we feel invisible because we have gray hair. The real issues is: Are we happy?
The real reason we are hung up on this old and new age thing is that we are trying to reassure ourselves that there is still enough time to find happiness and because we are terrified that there is not.
What I know to be true is this: It’s time to get the show on the road. It’s time to quit hiding behind our fears. It’s time to quit peeking out from behind our protective masks and just throw them into the wind. It’s time to be the wonderful, wise women we were intended to be, no matter what our age or hair color. Only then will we be able to answer the question “am I happy” and like the answer.