I slept in this morning. Well, it was nearly 8 AM when I got up, which for me is sleeping in. I arose feeling quite self-satisfied with my lazy morning, walked into the bathroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I froze, startled. WTF?
“Who are you and what have you done with Brenda?”
And then I realized this was really me. Again, WTF? When did I get so old? And why do I look so dang tired? Oh right. I passed that ½ century mark a couple of years back, which also surprises the heck out of me.
They say that 50 is the new 35. I have no idea who they are, but I am guessing they must be around my age. Even though age shouldn’t matter and it’s just a number and all of that logical stuff people (I) spew every day, if they tell me that I can be the new 35 I will eagerly jump on that bandwagon, baby!
You see, I feel like I’m 17 years old. Or maybe 26. 35 at the most. I still love listening to loud rock and roll and dancing <awkwardly> in my kitchen to the music. I refuse to wear Mom jeans and embrace most new fashions (as long as they don’t involve side boobs, butt cracks or anything that itches). I am excited by new technology and I strive to learn something new every day. I love Saturday Night Live and watch it faithfully, though I do PVR it because who can stay up that late anymore?
I may be growing older but I refuse to grow up. It blows my mind that in 15 years or less I will be thinking about retiring. I wonder what will happen to the Assisted Living and Care facilities when we 35-year-old 50 somethings begin to show up, refusing to wear polyester or get our hair fashioned into blue helmets. I wonder if they will play real music in the recreation room, or if the piped in elevator music will still be a thing. And I wonder if we will ever go gracefully into the aging process.
I doubt it.
I plan to carry on with the exuberance of my youth still clinging to me like a faithful shadow. Others may see the softening edges and silver threads of age on me, but I will continue to bring my curiosity and wonder to every new day.
And there is a wonderful gift that comes with getting older. With the earned wisdom and perspective of age I now no longer give a damn what anyone thinks of me. This is the most liberating thing I’ve ever experienced and I highly recommend it to everyone.
So, if any of you young whippersnappers are reading this, take the advice of this old lady: Start now. Let go of the belief that what others think of you matters. It doesn’t. Chances are they are so busy thinking about themselves that they don’t have time to think about you at all. Besides, what they think of you is none of your business.
Last week while viewing the 40th Anniversary SNL special I watched the parade of alumni proudly showing up in their aging authenticity and realized that there is beauty in every stage of our lives. We just need to show up and be who we are, regardless of how long we are in the teeth. Sir Paul still hits those falsetto high notes, Jane Curtin still delivers the best Weekend Update ever, and Betty White is still a sexy beast at the ripe age of 90-something.
I hear that’s the new 50.