August 12, 2020

When did I Start Feeling Old?

I remember when my father turned 50, and I filled his office with black balloons and all else “over the hill.”

He had to fight his way through the black monstrosities to reach his desk, only to be served a black cake that turned his teeth gray. Such fun times (for me)!

I just didn’t understand why he was so opposed to celebrating such a monumental milestone in his life—that is, until I turned 50. Now, I look at 50 in my rearview mirror, if I had a rearview mirror powerful enough to look that far back!

I now understand his reluctance to advertise each birthday as he got older.

Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating my birthdays if it includes getting gifts and being pampered, and I’m not ashamed of my age—I’m lucky to be alive and happy. But my age has become a number that I don’t feel the need to necessarily shout out to everyone. When did that happen?

I think it started happening when I began receiving AARP membership invites.

When a questionnaire asks for your year of birth in a drop-down, and you find yourself scrolling so much you feel like you are at risk of developing carpal tunnel in your finger.

How about looking at exercises designed for women your age, and you find yourself looking all the way to the bottom of the page, wondering, “are there still women my age exercising?”

When you can still physically do something kind of awesome, and young people look at you like they can’t believe you’re still walking around.

How about when you wear something really cute and someone comments that you’re lucky you can still get away with that at your age?

Several of my best friends are now in their 70s, how is that possible? Last I checked everyone was in their 40s, why didn’t someone tell me?

I used to be the woman in the prime of her life, with lean muscles and little body fat.

I feel like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, my small, lean body was suddenly (okay, not so suddenly) replaced by this middle-aged, slightly plump body.

At the end of last year, I had to have surgery, and my surgeon had not seen me in 12 years. I remember he used to refer to me as in “good shape.” Now he referred to me as “decent enough shape for a woman of your age.” What. The. F*ck. I’m not saying he’s lying, but how about a little bedside manner, please. The funny thing is, he probably thought he was being generous in his description of my overall physical appearance.

Getting older is not easy, especially for women. Our bodies change much more rapidly than our counterparts. Our weight shifts to different areas around the body—elasticity, what’s that? I remember the old Special K commercials when they asked if you could pinch an inch. I couldn’t at that time, but now you can have the whole damn ruler!

And sex, young people think they invented it (I thought the same thing when I was young). You may slow down a bit, or a lot, but we’ve had a lot more training—we know what works and doesn’t in that department.

Smoking weed, hell, we’ve been doing that since the 60s!

What got me started on this rant today, you ask? I was scrolling through some suggested yoga exercises based on age, and when I got to my age, I saw I was offered such poses as Child’s pose, Down Dog (if my wrists could take the strain), Supta Padangusthasana (lying on your back with a strap over your extended leg), and Cat/Cow pose.

Oh, the horror! Of course, nothing wrong with those poses; in fact, I like them and do them almost every day.

I look at my friends who have reached the 70 milestone (I’m still a long way from there), and they kick ass! They practice yoga, and not just the few gentle poses listed here.

I am proud to have reached this age, to be in “relatively” good shape, to continue to swim, hike, practice yoga, and have amazing sex. I am thankful for every day that I remain healthy and I have some serious plans of continuing to shock my children with my unorthodox behavior well into my “older-adult” years!


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