Gray hair, wrinkles and happiness

old cake

I had a bang-up mid-life crisis right on time back in the 90s. But now I’m going through another.  It began yesterday as I was cleaning out a bookcase and found a photo made just five years ago.

Listen, the last five years have left their mark – especially on my neck.  The term “turkey neck” is taking on new meaning. But luckily, my best friends are all my age and we’re able to share the scariness with a lot of humor.

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A pretty face – by Hollywood standards – can become tiresome, if the personality mirrors a piece of cardboard.

I think we need to redefine what being attractive means. I don’t think being attractive at 70 or 90 is the same as being attractive when you’re younger — but you can still absolutely be attractive at 80 or 90.

One of the most beautiful women I know is my 101-year old friend, Elizabeth, whose beauty is defined by how she holds herself and engages with other people. When she walks into a room everyone turns their head because she’s so striking – and she can still move her face since she’s never had a “lift.”

I can look at a woman who’s 30 and think she’s beautiful and not feel like I’m in competition with her. Women need to join together and redefine what it means to be an attractive woman in their 50s, 60s and beyond, and then wear that definition on our faces proudly. If we all do that, women will face getting older with much more optimism.

What worries people most about growing old? It’s not wrinkles and gray hair. It’s something far less superficial.

About one-third of 28,000 respondents in an MSNBC online aging poll said they are most worried about their ability to take care of themselves. One-fifth said they’re afraid of losing their mental abilities (mine have already flown the coop)  and 16 percent are afraid they’ll grow very ill and experience a lot of pain. Only seven percent fear looking old and wrinkly.

This very reason is why I bit the bullet and purchased long term care insurance.  It costs about as much as reconstructive surgery, so I guess I’ll be gobbling like a turkey for the rest of my life!

5 thoughts on “Gray hair, wrinkles and happiness

  1. Emily, I agree… And, I think 80 year old women with no wrinkles and perky tight bodies are scary!!!

  2. Ditto Yvonne – how’s the house hunting going? Should I go over and run your water tomorrow. Looks like we’ve got a major storm on the way! Thinking you won’t get back Monday.

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