Aging Gracefully

When you think of aging, you accept it like every other unpleasant thing in life. Most of us realize in the scheme of things, this is not the greatest tragedy. Nevertheless as an older retired woman, I was never prepared to disappear.
Kirstie Alley who still is a beautiful actor stated she would never get plastic surgery. It only makes you look funny. Being born as attractive as she was and aging as well as she has, she can say that with more aplomb than most of us. Getting fat has actually done wonders for her career. Most actors from the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s should be so lucky.
I think one reason actors and regular folks can look worse from plastic surgery is their expectations. Too much of anything is never good. For entertainers, they get surgery so young and maybe their body does not age well with it. What is it with these noses? Have you ever noticed that so many female actors get the same nose job? My nose left behind by some Roman soldier in their conquest of Britannia has served me well.
I have contemplated plastic surgery. My oily skin has given me a few extra years from wrinkles. A little microdermabrasion to take off acne scars that time has not. Honestly, have you ever noticed people look their age. There is no getting around it. I can always tell what decade a person is. However, when you are 70, beauty is only relative. I have a friend in her seventies who has a foxy body for someone in their twenties. I cannot help but tell you how good it makes me feel to see the pink rims of her urinary incontinence pads in the back of her white pants.
My sister’s doctor is a wise country doctor. He will tell you that any of us that live past 50 is lucky. When you make it past 50, you learn you best take care of yourself or you will be pushing up daisies sooner than you think. I was 54 when I got the rude awakening. Luckily, one was a false alarm, the other I control with diet and exercise.
You cannot cheat time. I have reluctantly started to color my hair. Born with brown hair so dark it had a glint of red and almost looked black. I pulled out the first gray hairs. Having thin hair, I had to stop that. Once your hair crosses that 50% threshold of gray, you have to let it be gray for a while. The remaining dark hair also lightens which adds insult to injury. Having retired, I have let my hair grow since I have a little more time. You need to go lighter so I currently have a blond bob, which I had noticed older women sometimes wore.
When I exercise in my water aerobics class, you can spot all the fake hair colors. We color our hair and sometimes we look cooler. Sometimes, gals look like they have the fur of a synthetic tabby cat. Hey, it is all good. Especially since we all look our decade. I will say, some look better than others, just like middle school.
Now if you will notice, I am only describing women. Men are left out for a reason. They look so damn good with a touch of gray and a few wrinkles. In reality, they do not age as well as us. There was a good-looking young man I saw the other day. He was in his forties. However, he was getting that barrel chest men can get as they get older. All that black hair and blue eyes going to waste. Once men get about 60, they are in the same boat we chicks are in.
When we think about aging, we focus on appearances. Appearances are all we have at times. I think the most serious sign of aging is how we think. In our prime, we constantly adjust to the folks around us. That flexibility with others is key. We called it being “laidback” when I was young. I think that is the first thing we can lose if we are not careful.
We lose our flexibility, as we grow older because oftentimes we have to set boundaries with people we care about and work with. Your child wants that toy for whatever new toy collection they advertise and you step back and say, “You’ll have to buy it with your own money.” You can buy them that toy but you know you have to let them have some ambition. We lose our flexibility anytime we find ourselves managing people in the workplace. There is a good side to standing your ground. The bad side is insisting that we are the only ones who can make the right decision.
You cannot control your biology. You can exercise and eat right to maintain better health. You can choose how your mind works. You can keep your mind open to new ideas. Tolerate and be graceful when you encounter someone having a blowhard moment (We all do.) I do not like learning new things. I would like everything to be easy and just come my way.
It is all these little irritations and distractions that keep me in the game of life. When I no longer have to balance my household budget with what I want, when I no longer have to get up at 6 am to take care of someone else, when I no longer have to think about whom I want to vote for president, and a myriad of other items, I will then be old. My body may age, but I am going to do my best to keep my outlook young.

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