Young…Middle-Aged…(??)….Old!

Stephanie:  “Mom, great outfit! (turquoise t-shirt, jeans, bright coral cardigan)  “You look so young!  You need to dye your hair.”

My hair is gray.  Different shades of gray.  Whitish in the front, darker in the back.  But all gray.  I like it.

Me:  “No, actually I don’t need to.  This is me.”

Comfortable, mildly stylish clothes. At 61, not so young, but also not old.  Cool, definitely cool.

She stared at me for a few seconds and said, “I still think you should dye your hair.”

She is 35.  And already talking about Botox for wrinkles.  I tell her to just buy really good moisturizer and use it faithfully.  Especially on the neck and chest.

“I believe we older people risk wasting the second half of our lives in unconscious compliance with a youth-obsessed culture.”  (Lynne Morgan Spreen)  We need an alternative to the belief that maintaining the appearance of youth is an antidote to aging.

We don’t even have name for this time of life, 55-70!  At 61, there is no question I’m beyond middle age, though I stretched it out through my fifties. I don’t know when “old” starts.  I think it depends on which birthday you last celebrated.

Every morning, I walk down the driveway (actually, the retired man I live with walks down more than I do), get the newspaper and come in to have a cup of tea while I read words printed on newsprint that I hold in my hands.  No matter how many times they redesign the website, I will not cancel my subscription to the printed version.  We older folks like to turn paper pages.  Most days I just read the front page, the obituaries, the editorials, the letters to the editor, the comics, and horoscopes for me and my family.

I started reading the obituaries years ago when I worked as a volunteer coordinator at Hospice.  I learned you don’t have to be old to die, but back then they were usually older than I was.  Most still are, but not all.  A lot are in their 60’s.  A good day is when everyone who died is older than me.  Is that weird?

So, fellow boomers,  what stage of life is 55-70?  We need a name.  Got any ideas?

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Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 3:59 am  Comments (22)  
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What Comes After Middle Age?

I’m 59.  I doubt if I still get to claim middle-age.  I have crossed over from young to not-young.

Here’s how I know:

–At the Moses Cone Folk Art Craft Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I watched a potter work.  Her biographic information said she was born in 1960.  She didn’t look young (at all), but she was 8 years younger than I.

–At lunch on a beautiful day in the mountains, we sat outside.  More than one table held a couple with at least one head of gray hair.  It was a Tuesday.  They are probably retired.  So are we.  And my hair is gray.

–As we drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  And knew all the words and even, sometimes, knew what the next song was before it started.  (Hey, it was on an iPod, not a CD.  That should help some.)

–After 39 years together, it’s hard not to repeat stories as they come to mind.  Sometimes we don’t even care if we’ve heard them on every other trip to Grandfather Mountain.  We still think we’re funny.

–39 years together??

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm  Comments (4)  
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