BOOMER TALK: Gloria and I

BOOMER TALK: Gloria and I

Apparently, I’m old (according to trashy fake news magazines). Who knew?

Apparently, I’m old (according to trashy fake news magazines). Who knew?

It is insidious how age begins to become a measure of almost everything about us. Even the news starts to promote the ‘old’ thing in their reporting. You’ve heard it: “… a 65-year-old woman has climbed Fisher’s Peak.”

Unlikely a younger person would be identified by their age (unless they are very young and have accomplished something unusual for that age). Identifying the age of the person almost implies some sort of assumed feebleness at the opposite end of the spectrum, when it has nothing to do with a number, but with physical fitness combined with skill and attitude.

I told someone my age not that long ago and they exclaimed, “OMG, you don’t look that age.”

What does it look like? I remember back in the day that when Gloria Steinem turned 50, someone said she did not look 50. She said, “Well, what does 50 look like?”

So, what does aging look like? It is different for everyone, as having good health is a major contributor to the whole process. Battling a body challenge on a daily basis can be exhausting and can happen at any age.

Our society seems to add value to looking young and there are places you can go to have the ‘old’ on your face lessened, to become more acceptable to our society (facelifts, skin tightening, etc.). Then add to that the terms of endearment, you know, the “dear,” “sweetie,” and my personal nemesis, “sweet pea.”

It adds to the perception (by others) of being old, feeble and child-like. I do realize that early on, we used to think that 30 year was old; then it is when we are in our mid-40s we once again think we are getting old. Then the big five-oh comes along and now we believe that we are old. (We are secretly delighted at how good we look because until we arrived at 50, we thought it was ancient buying into the ‘old’ thing ourselves.) But then our brain kicks in and we realize that somewhere on our journey to pension-time, that being old has nothing whatsoever to do with how many years we have lived. It is an attitudinal thing.

So let’s examine the meaning of the word “old.” Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, age is in the perception of a number. If you enjoy good health, remain active, don’t have huge worries (we all have some), have friends, have interests that keep your mind busy (and not focused on yourself) you will undoubtedly enjoy a happier (and possibly longer) life and that will show in your body and on your face.

My 94-year-old mother has been physically active all her life. The longest anyone had lived in mom’s family was 80. Most days she walks for 30 minutes, smiling all the way. She personifies young energy and represents it well.

So just a few tips for you to keep you energized:

1) Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes (15 minutes away from your front door and 15 minutes back)

2) Eat properly. Eliminate as much sugar as you can. Allow yourself one treat a week.

3) Make sure to spend time with people who make you laugh. Laugh every day as much as you can.

4) Learn how to meditate. Sit by one of our beautiful lakes and just zone out.

5) Read. Be curious about our world, nature and the accomplishments of human beings.

6) Forgive anyone who has ever hurt you. It is a powerful gift (for you). We (Boomers) are not old. We are made powerful by our life experiences and knowledge. (We are most definitely not your dear, sweet pea or sweetie either unless you are family.)

As Gloria once said, “What does age look like anyway?” It looks like us.

Carole Fawcett is a Writer/Editor,