MOMentumNation strives to be representative of all our readers, so we’ve decided to create a new section on the site just for those of you who are 40+ years old. That’s not to say that the messages in this new site section will be exclusive to readers aged 40+; learning and growing are continuous processes and most definitely not restricted by age.
Below some of our contributing editors give you their thoughts on age to introduce you to this brand new section of the site. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
This is the first post in MOMentumNation’s newest category, Older and Wiser. We started this section in part because of a simple truth: No matter how great it is to be young, you can’t be young forever.
So what happens once we cross that invisible, but very real, line that separates young and “not-so-young”? How do we deal with the fallout of a slow-growing economy making employers actively seek younger candidates who demand less money and fewer perks?
What happens when fashion magazines glorify models who look as if they need to be carded – then fed a super-sized bowl of pasta, and when malls offer an exploding menu of plastic surgery options including body lifts, dermabrasion, fat grafting, Botox, and tummy tucks?
Don’t get me wrong. Everything has its place. But isn’t it time we focus on the extraordinary value in our collective experiences? We learn (and keep learning) from life’s personal, professional, and political adventures. We are “been-there moms” with amazing stories to share. For the most part we’re secure in the life paths we’ve chosen. We’re open to new ideas and new experiences.
Read on and see what our contributing editors have to say about age and agelessness. Then tell us what you think. We’d love to know your thoughts and opinions as well as suggestions for the topics you’d like to hear more about.
Maria Wen Adcock
Age is a state of mind. When I had my first child in my mid-to-late 30s, I felt older. Not physically, but mentally because having the responsibility over another life made me mature quickly. Now I am 40 years old and I feel younger than what society thinks 40 should feel like. My life is not winding down quickly toward the “Over-the-Hill” stage. Perhaps it’s because I look younger than my age, and having a toddler requires me to stay active (they move fast!). More so, I have a positive outlook on life knowing there are still more great things to come. That mentally keeps me feeling young.
When people ask my daughter how old she is, she politely answers, then adds “and my Mommy is 43.” Once you’ve been age-outed by your seven-year-old, you just have to own it. So, I’m 43…and fabulous! I am at my healthiest ever, running in 5 and 10k races, eating yogurt for breakfast, and rocking a black bikini at the beach–no small accomplishment for a mother of three.
There are days when I look at a photo and see only the wrinkles around my eyes (more noticeable when I smile), and other days when I am fighting yet another blemish outbreak as if I were a teenager again. And if my daughter didn’t out me in such a charming way, I might actually be able to pass myself off as a 33 year old. I’ve been mistaken for being a high school student when I visit my son at school (well from behind at least.) What does that say about my rear area? But it’s probably because I’m also petite, only 5’2″ which tends to make people assume I’m younger.
I don’t feel “middle aged,” but I know technically that’s what I am, in the middle of my age. I think that the best any of us can do is focus on how we feel at the moment rather than the how others think we should feel (or look, or act). At this moment I feel as if I’m just coming back on stage after the intermission, and let me tell you, I’m not ready to take my final bow just yet.
Growing old has never really bothered me. I remember being in my 20s and thinking I couldn’t wait to be 30 – all the 30-year-olds I knew at the time were successful, smart, and funny, and I thought they all rocked. I guess I figured that by 30, I would have it all figured out (like they seemed to). Ha! I’m still trying to figure it out!
I don’t feel my age. Most of the time, I’m not really sure what my age is supposed to feel like. I sometimes forget that I am not a 30 year old, but I do embrace some signs of aging. I have had grey hair since my late 20s. For years I colored it because I didn’t want to look old, but in the last 10 yrs I decided to let it be natural. I love my hair; it doesn’t define how old I am. Age really is just a state of mind.
This year I turn 40. I admit that being 40 is not about things being easy. It’s full of commitment and responsibility. For me, it is a time for losing independence and naiveté and gaining wisdom. My younger self didn’t know the depths to which people can love and be generous, or be life-damaging and hurt inflicting.
Through experience, taking on the commitment of motherhood, keeping up my health, pushing myself intellectually, and learning more about my own ability and limits, I earn wisdom every day. Throughout this process I come to one conclusion: Running the race everyday makes you 1 million times hotter and more fit than your younger self who barely ran any distance at all.
If you are searching to become ageless, you must remember that to be truly ageless you must start with a state of mind — not just concentrating on your physical appearance. Unfortunately our society sees growing older as something negative, rather than a change to something greater.
I have always fought against the societal standard to tells women to “get younger looking skin, nip and tuck it now and you can be a 10.” True agelessness comes with experiencing and learning wisdom, faith, and an acceptance of who we have become. I would rather look back on my life and how it was defined through who I am, what I have done, and how I have helped others, including myself, rather than by a number.
I had the privilege of growing up with a grandmother who never allowed age to be a factor in her daily happiness or performance. She would often joke that she never looked in the mirror because there would be some old lady staring back at her. Well into her 80s, she held tight to age 36. She said it was the best time of her life, so there she stayed.
Up until the day she died she laughed every single day for all the right reasons and never missed her evening glass of port. I miss her. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model. She lived every day like it was her last. Age was irrelevant; she did whatever she wanted despite the fact that others told her she was too old.
My grandmother never liked being called a senior. She would always smile and say, “I’m well seasoned.” I turned 51 this year and feel 20 years younger. I eat well, exercise regularly, play well, and laugh a lot. I find aging well stems from working with it versus against it. It’s when you start fighting age that it becomes a losing battle. That’s not a fight I’m willing to start, and I think my grandmother would agree.