For some reason, this week, I have a question on my mind. I am not sure how it started or why it started but I keep asking myself this over and over. Who or what decides the age where you are supposed to act or feel old or older? What's the story on this? I have been awake, each morning this week, wondering.
In my ever changing moods, I feel very young at heart, youthful and vibrant. I have friends of all ages and I am comfortable in any age group. Well, I don't have friends who are teens. I am the mom of a teen and want to keep that persona going. I don't want to be perceived as the cool mom who is trying to still be cool teen. I know, I know, who likes to be perceived as lame but seriously, being perceived as the cool mom (and we all know that we ARE cool) is the kiss of death. Anyway, my mind is just so confused.
A few weeks ago, the cheerleader and I were in the kitchen and talking while she was making a snack and I was having a cup of coffee. She was telling me about someone's mom and how they reminded her of me. I found this interesting and decided to use this moment of honesty to ask her what about the other mom reminded her of me? She said, well, she is still pretty and seems young and dresses like you do. Fair enough...lol...YES...the cheerleader didn't realize it but she had just given me enough vain praise to get me through the next 30 years. But, in reality, I kept a straight face and silently did my happy dance in my head.
To paint a picture of myself...I do look young. I don't know why. I am smallish, still wear long hair, have the brain of a pre-teen (not always, but there are days)...I don't really know the reasons but even my doctor seems amazed, each year, when I am there for my physical and has to glance back at my chart to be sure she is supposed to be talking hormone replacement therapy and not family planning...I will say that my beloved grandparents were youngish acting and looking well into their 80s and early 90s. My grandfather was a big kid at heart who was always humming a tune while he worked and taught me many a dance step. Anyway...I have been chugging along, happy with the status quo, basking in the fact that my teen thinks I am young!!
Then, reality...my mother brought me an armload of magazines, the other day. My mother is sort of the anti-joy killer. Love her as I do, she knows how to be a great buzz kill. She thinks she is being helpful when she points out that I won't have my looks forever, I should start slowing down, pointing out the height of my heels, how a simple allergy cough is certain to be the onset of a lung cancer like disease (I don't smoke, never have) and when I take off for journeys to visit friends, she wants to know if I have my "things" in order??? She's my mother, I love her, I respect her, but we clearly come from totally different pods. So, as she handed me these new magazines, they were not the Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, InStyle of my usual magazine haul. These were mags geared to women who have drying skin, sagging skin, thinning/drying hair, the woman who has lost her zest for life, the middle age spread, how to dress in your elderly years....love her as I do, she totally wrecked my feel good image that I have about myself. I thanked her and when she left, after a new lecture on being too busy, I shoved the magazines into a drawer. I just wanted to forget them and go about my day.
The next day, I was talking to a good friend. We have daughters the same age but there is about a 10 year age difference between us with her being the older one. We try to touch base about twice a month, keep current on the families and what each daughter is doing. She asked me advice on some skin care issues and I gladly rattled off what I have found to work and then our topic switched to fashion. She and I meet for coffee quite frequently and I usually run in with my latest fashion creation on. She is a more sedate fashion follower, and that's cool, too. To emphasize..I am not the 40 something who tries to follow the Britney Spears look circa 1995. That just looks desperate. But, I love clothes, love fashion, and don't dress like I am headed for the land of the lost woman. Anyway, she was telling me that she would like to jazz up her wardrobe a bit. BUT...not with trends or anything coming from....then a list of stores where I shop. Now, she did not do this in a wicked manner. She is always very complimentary to my fashion when we are out. But that remark along with the magazines from my mom has been bugging me...Just because I am one toe over the line to the second half of my 40s doesn't mean I am one step away from polyster, dull hair that needs to be bobbed off, a thick middle or a permanent spot in a recliner with a remote in hand while wearing sensible shoes.
Earlier in the week, I was just having a conversation with a friend about our mutual love of punk rock. I was recalling some really fab punk rock shows I had been to in the 80s and looking forward to some of those groups touring, this summer, and me going. I ask you....when does the Punk Rock Princess become the Punk Rock Grandma?
I do talk to so many people who hit my age and decided hey, this is it. This is where I draw the line. Had my fun, strutted my stuff, and now I am on the sidelines. WHAT???? I feel like I am just getting started and they are telling me that not only did they start, already, but they have also stalled. I won't have this way of thinking in my head. I also come into contact with some really cool and rocking 70 year olds and older. I want to be them. Forever fearless, still following their dreams, still rocking out, still dressing very cool, still kickin back the cocktail hour and discovering new heights.
I think that this shoud be the goal of everyone!! Don't stop being young. There is plenty of time to grow old but just don't stop being young. It's a trap and once you are in, there is no going back.
So, each morning when I wake up and keep asking myself...What's the story? I am going to keep answering...The story is tons of age cream, good food, good wine, lots of laughter, cool fashion, an overabundance of music and dancing and concerts, lots and lots of love and the same attitude that I had at 18!
That's the REAL story, Morning Glory....