The thing about age is that no one wants to talk about it. It's okay to skirt around; but, not broach it any further. It's taboo; but, it's not. It's like swearing secret allegiance to a club - anti-ageism, or pro-ageism; but, never neutral. It's one of those social constructs that never get talked about because, "Tsk, tsk! We never talk about it now, do we?"
But, we need to. We need to talk as loudly and proudly about our age; just like we do about our big diamond rings, our wedding trousseau, our pregnancies, our husband's fat paychecks and the next vacation we're taking somewhere exquisite. We need to announce our age at the top of our voices in the silent room and then, just shrug our shoulders and sip on our red wine - an ode to the finesse of age; both, the woman and the wine. Let's think about it for a moment. Why don't we boast about the ageing process of a woman the way we boast about the ageing properties of wine? In both cases, we're only finer when we're older! So, what's with the hypocrisy?
"We live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and we’re not glowing, and we’re not hot, that we don’t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I don’t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable."
- Oprah Winfrey.
The amount of anti-ageing exercises, diets, creams and surgeries in the world are increasing and it's astounding. We're spending more to cover up our wrinkles than we are on being genuinely happy with who we are. I once had a colleague tell me, with an absolutely deadpan expression, "Scientific research proves that if we smile too much, we get more wrinkles. So, I've decided to keep a straight face as much as I can." Needless to say, one of us laughed soon after and it wasn't her.
We judge women on whether or not they're "acting their age" whilst trying to hide our own. Society has already benchmarked certain years of our lives when we should have accomplished the art of homemaking.
18 - Legal Age To Get Married
22 - Gets A Preferable College Degree
23 to 25 - Engaged To Be Married
26 to 28 - Married
29 to 32 - Preparing For Children
God forbid if you don't check off the marriage and motherhood categories by the time you turn 30, suddenly you're the anomaly the conspiracy theorists (ageists) had warned society about! If, as kids, we were afraid of the monster under the bed; as women, we're afraid of a boogeyman called 'Age!'
'Old' Is Not A Bad Word!
Old simply means you're wiser. You don't run behind men who don't want you anymore. You don't stumble in and out of bars and drunk dial your unworthy exes because you're beyond all of it. You don't simply do things to please society or ungrateful friends anymore. In fact, you don't even have any make-believe friends! You are no longer clueless about what you stand for. You have a mind of your own and it's made up on what's just and unjust. You can differentiate between good, bad and toxic and you know what works and what doesn't work for you.
So, stop thinking of being old as a negative thing!
The only thing that is negative here is the mindset. Embrace your age; don't fear it. Celebrate your birthday with each passing year because you should celebrate the experiences you've had in life. If it's given you a wrinkle and a greying hair; it's only because you've gotten this far. Don't be ashamed about being old, or older. Take pride in the fact that you're no longer just young and confused. You are old and wise and can make the choices that enable you to love your life to the fullest and best.
Old is experienced. Old is trustworthy. Old is reliable. So, the next time someone brings up your age, or asks you how old you are, tell them without flinching. Never dismiss your age; or slide it under the carpet like a patch of dirt that was left behind. Frame it up and hang it in the brightest wall of your room so that the world can see and admire the piece of art that you are!
Like they say - old is, indeed, gold!