Sunday, September 5, 2010

There Are a Whole Lot of Numbers Left in My Life

In the 1950s, there were three things that a woman would never be caught doing: 1) smoking in public, 2) wearing long pants, and 3) coloring her hair.

Where her hair was concerned, she was instructed to pull each gray strand by its root, rather than risk association with those who bleached, or worse, dyed their hair (actresses and "loose" women). That is ... until Clairol entered the scene with their revolutionary new product, making the act of coloring your hair an acceptable practice. Women went to the store in droves to purchase Clairol, recognizing the new product for what it was ... a way to defy age.

Years ago, it was considered uncouth to ask a woman her age and the presence of just a few strands of gray hair was looked at with disdain, even horror. Yikes! As a young girl, I remember women being stalled at 39 years of age for years on end. If someone commented on her being 39 for three years running, she would merely smile and say, "A lady never tells her age."

She didn't talk about menopause or depression or having a hysterectomy either. She lived in a world where she was expected to know her place and to be happy in it; a place where her husband was king and she was meant to be the perfect wife, the most gracious hostess, and a June Cleaver type mom to their perfectly turned out, well-behaved children.

Of course, life wasn't really like that inside the privacy of their home; but, the media certainly portrayed a woman's life in the 50s and 60s as a living, breathing Pleasantville, of sorts.

Lord, am I happy those days are gone.

Being 50+ today is a celebration! It's a time to take stock of all you have accomplished in the first several decades of your life, to redisover love, to form a friendship with your adult children, to find time to sit and enjoy a cup of tea while reading a wonderful romance novel.

There are other more subtle benefits to being a touch older, too.

I find that I am no longer comfortable being a well-worn welcome mat - I can say no and not feel as guilty about it.

I don't care as much about what people think of me these days - I just do what's right for me and the people I care about.

I can actually shop by myself, for myself, taking time to wonder around a bookstore or to carefully select produce at a farmer's market.

Instead of jet-setting to track meets, dance recitals, and school plays, I have rediscovered the love and companionship of my best friend ... my husband.

I spend time with my girlfriends, talking about our children, yes, but also cheering on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field or planning exotic vacations over a glass of wine.

Life is full of richness and wonder for me these days. I'm in a great place at work - a place where i can use my wisdom to make an indelible impact. I have a wonderful relationship with my grown children and am thrilled they still enjoy spending time with their parents. I am rediscovering quieter, more intimate times with my husband, as we go on weekly dinner dates. I love who I am and what I've become.

As Mark Twain once said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter; if you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

To my way of thinking, age is just a number and there are a whole lot more numbers left in my life.


I am trying to blog my way to the AARP Orlando@50 conference. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event. Find out more about the conference here.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, and I am very happy you are in such a great place. You deserve it! I love how you integrated consumer marketing into your post. It's just so...Northey!


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