My generation is getting old. Janis Ian has white hair and Carrie Fisher is having menopausal weight gain issues and Paul Simon looks ancient and beaten down by life’s vicissitudes. Mick Jagger is a creepy mess. Oh how popular culture brings it all home, and I’m not at all sure, from day to day, just how to mentally catalog these observations. Aging gracefully is possible, but only when we engage our passion for life and ditch society’s expectations and fantasy images we are conditioned to aspire to.
I actually think life is much easier now, post-sixty. I don’t let everything slide, but I also don’t worry inordinately about fixing my hair or slapping on makeup to go out and pick up the mail. What I can’t improve through good diet and exercise and plenty of fresh air and sunshine is beyond recovery anyway.
It wasn’t until fairly recently in the scheme of time that childbearing women lived much beyond fifty. Remember this, my sisters, as you soar into your eighties and beyond. Be gentle with yourself and others. Men, be kind to yourself and your aging partners. In return, you will grow in dignity and wisdom and further plumb the depths of reciprocal, unconditional love.