perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “what age would you be if you didn’t know your age?”
my answer is 26.
it’s been 26 since I was about 30. and I’m currently 40.
not that I want to be 26 again. no way. let me say that again, hell no, no way, no how.
even though women are considered to be in our prime around age 26, my 20s were pock-marked with self-doubt, body-loathing, soul-angst, punishingly hard work and deep pits of dark despair.
so saying I FEEL 26 indicates zero desire to BE 26.
I simply feel youthful in body, fresh in outlook and humbly committed to returning again and again to beginner’s mind. I feel like I have the body and spirit of a 26-year old with the experience, wisdom and Soul Knowing of my full 40 years.
last spring, during our interview for my Mentorship Program, I asked a potential participant, Tamara, “what lets you Know that i am the right mentor for you?” she replied that she “just Knew” and also because of my age. she explained that she resonated with the fact that I was an older woman, rather than one sporting an obviously youthful brand.
so when she told me my “older woman” status was a perk in wanting me as her mentor, I thought, “holy shit. I AM an older woman, aren’t i?” I may feel 26 inside but I’m really, truly, freakin’ 40.
by definition, doesn’t that mean I’m over the hill? my best years are behind me? time to hang up my short skirts, buy arthritis cream in bulk, wave goodbye to epic love (and epic orgasms) and sigh audibly with relief that this old dog doesn’t have to learn any new tricks?
it seems we women have nary two choices as we advance in years:
1. accept with defeat the age you are and get on with looking and feeling past your prime, over-ripe, useless and invisible; or
2. accept with defiance the age you are and rush furiously toward punishing diets, exercise and perhaps plastic surgery to fool everyone into thinking you’re 10, 20, 30 years younger than you are, when you Just. Plain. Aren’t.
there’s got to be a better road to walk than one that has us coast into an atrophying mind, a snuffed-out sexy spark and a body that’s sadly sagging southward.
there’s got to be a better row to hoe than one of being so afraid of aging we’ll inject ourselves with toxins, snip our bits and suck it in until we pass out.
if I look around, I find very few models of women who are doing anything aside from choice 1 or choice 2. I don’t see very many examples of a woman advancing in years while redefining through her Living and Being what it means to Grow Younger.
my mentoree, Tamara? she’s fit, fabulous and 50, and she recently interviewed me for her upcoming summit, Purpose-Full Living. one of the topics we delve into is Longevity with Purpose.
check out what Tamara’s pulled together, here.
this is a rich conversation, and I’m glad to be in on it, with my words and through my very Life.
for many of us, the Big Three-O, Four-O or Five-O (and on and on) are big freakin’ deal check-points. if you pass, you give yourself permission to be a worthy human being that has “made it,” whatever that elusive “it” is.
when I turned 30, I couldn’t check anything off my list of lofty life goals. nothing. it was not going as planned. I was so far off the mark, I hunkered down and got ready for a whopping mid-life crisis, so sure was I that it would be all downhill from 30.
and as I got closer to 40, I noticed the same check-point fears rearing their heads. even if 40 is the new 30, both of those numbers are enough to strike abject fear into any female, if even for a hot minute.
every day after my 30th birthday, my life kept getting better and better. the farther I got from my 20s and 30s the more I liked and enjoyed myself, felt fulfilled in my work and knew my relationship wasn’t about to go poof! in a strong wind.
I was staring down 40 when I first saw this performance by Ginger Rogers while she was in her 80s. in it, Ginger salsa-dances like a 26-year old, partnered by her GRANDSON. watching it inspired me – no, inspired is the wrong term; perhaps “galvanized my commitment” fits better – to keep dancing and glorying in the sensuous celebration of the body, each year I go forward.
I’ll just stop there for a second. go watch the video and keep in mind Ginger (of Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, dancing duo extraordinaire from last century) is *#!!&** 80 years old.
if it keeps getting better, every day, every year, every decade – and I have evidence that is can and does – then 80’s looking pretty sweet.
what about embracing the age you actually are, yet deciding that you’re forging a path of gracious health, ever-expanding mind and a fit body that’s as sexy as you say you are?
what if we, as a cultural collective, invested in women as we age, rather than tossing women out when they pass some arbitrary expiration date?
what about deciding you ARE the role model you’ve been looking for?
so, now, your turn:
if you’re a woman feelin’ your age (which you probably are at 20, 30, 40, 50, 80 and beyond), I’m curious what you’re looking to redefine? in what ways are YOU BECOMING the role model you’ve been looking for?