First of all, let me just say that I love your blogging out loud.....I think sometimes people just get scared for some reason speaking with older people and I don't really know why. I saw this in the retirement home where my mother stayed, and at times, I certainly felt it in myself. On the other hand, we can once again learn from the clean spirit of animals. I used to take my dog Rudy who is a rather big Red Lab in to the home to visit my mother and Rudy changed....He was a puppy, but he would slow down totally and spend time with whoever needed him. he would sit in front of their wheelchairs, and place his head in their lap and let them stroke and talk to him as much as they wanted, but remember, he was just a "listener". Maybe it is because we are shy and afraid of what "we" have to say or not, and what we really just have to do is be free to just slow down and listen. Too bad the entertainment business is so fast and brutal. Harry's Law was one of my favorite shows. I think they have it all wrong and can learn from a "Rudy"
I love that story too, Jo! That Rudy is a "listener" is classic. It would be an interesting idea to address here: do old people scare you, why and what can we do about that? Thanks, Jo!
I don't know if old people "scare" the average person, but I think many younger folks are concerned that they don't have enough in common with the older generation to carry on a conversation. My sister told me she feels incredibly awkward talking to people in different phases of life from herself. She was meeting my cousin's girlfriend, an 18-year-old unmarried mother of a 18-month-old baby, and she felt she couldn't bring up any topics of conversation for fear of reminding the girlfriend of things she wasn't in a position to do. I suspect younger people feel the same way about those past the retirement age - what do you talk about? Can't ask about their career, they may have stopped travelling for health reasons, what hobbies might they have that you'd know enough about to ask intelligent questions? And so you feel limited to asking about the retiree's family, commenting on the weather, and discussing how tasty the food is before moving on to someone who is easier to find common ground with. It's not so much fear of old people as fear of offending them that makes people avoid them. Or fear of feeling awkward.
Jo I love that story. Animals are instinctive and have no judgement. We can all learn from a Rudy can't we?
Great video blog today. Age is in the mind and I am so glad I feel healthy and young and vibrant and I still leap at the chance to just have adventures and just enjoy them. I love having fun and not really into fashion or looking a certain age. I dress like I want and do what I want and seem to attract wonderful people around me. I love that we have the chance to be what we want at any age. Older people have so many advantages over younger people. It is the ability to not give a shit anymore. Loving life.
I do think we can -- if we focus on it - find ourselves at a place that we feel is really more true and right. That said, I also loved my early years and all that they brought me!
It seems to me that this adulation of youth is a modern phenomena, and that it demands that women must be sexy and young to matter. Earlier generations accepted that looks fade, people age. They accepted that a beautiful woman of 40 would not look like a girl of 20, and that was okay. It didn't make her irrelevant; she had value beyond youth. Today, we are told that 40 is the new twenty, 50 is the new 30, to be beautiful, to matter, we must look young.
So true, fg! What a strange thing we've done with the "age is a new age" thing. Interestingly, most of the older men I know who are in loving relationships are just as attracted as ever to their women. So are we doing this to ourselves, or letting marketers do it to us???
Loved your comment Fg because I realized that women do this! We all happily say that 60 is the new 50 etc. We are furthering the myth. We should just stop this shite and say "I"m 50 and this is what that looks like! Happy and content. But sigh...we don't. Let's, shall we?
I've always thought that the phrase "40 is the new 20" meant something along the lines of, "one feels as good now at 40 as people in the past did at 20", which is something I can support wholeheartedly. Have I been misinterpreting it all along?I must say, I really admire a woman who looks her age unapologetically. Own your wrinkles and grey hair! I remember someone showing me an episode of a show called "The Swan" or something similar, and all these women getting plastic surgery to "correct" their "defects", and they all ended up looking like cookie-cutter Barbie-inspired models. They all finished with tall, thin-yet-hourglass figures, with long blonde hair and creamy pale skin with perfectly sculpted eyebrows, and looked, to me, hideous. A woman who looks her age and lives the way she wants is so much more beautiful!As an aside, it's only now that I'm in my 30's that I have dared wear a bikini - and I am so happy that I love my body more than I ever did when I was in my supposed physical prime.
HUGEEEEEEEEEE FAN of the "BLOGGING OUT LOUD"!!!! Please do this as much as possible! I LoVe seeing both of your pretty faces.... and swimming in the sounds of your voices and wisdom! Perfection! YES perfection.... even the plant eating Debs Boob! LoVe to you both. XOXOXOSeana
Yay, Seana!! Thank you!! And, yes, the boob-eating plant is hilarious :) xoxo
Aww THANK GOD! I thought I was the only one who noticed the boob-eating plant!!! :D xo
Did not even notice the boob eating plant! Welcome to my life ladies!!!
Aww Hon! I know how you feel...Ive got a restraining order against..sooo many plants here!
I've noticed since my early forties that people younger began to treat me with greater respect than "they" had treated me when I was the same age. They sort of "pay homage" ... but then move on to interact more with those their own age. Somehow there are few of that age who find me of interest, and I'm only 53! I also find that I'm not much interested in TV shows whose main characters are in their teens or twenties. Been there, done that, I guess. What's to learn from it, for me? But give me a good English show with older characters and imperfect teeth, and their stories seem deeper and more inspiring. Perhaps because I'm thinking "This lies ahead for me" rather than "I was there." The secret to accepting one's age-changes may simply be giving up vanity. I'm more than halfway there. Now I look in the mirror and chuckle, affectionately, rather than cringing.
We seem to keep coming back to that, don't we, that the secret is in ourselves. And also you bring up a good point about the young sticking to the young -- we all seem to stick more closely to our own age range -- I wonder if it's a bit of a tribal mentality too: are we members of the same tribe (in some vague, age-related way)???
You make an excellent point Kate. But I have to say honestly that I have accepted it happily. I love who I am. But clearly, others need convincing. I don't care for personal me but business me needs this acceptance, you know what I mean?
Yay! Another blogging out loud! I love seeing and hearing you two. And it sounds like the garbage truck may have paid a visit. The aging thing is an interesting topic to me. I have yet to care about it personally, but maybe that's because I'm only in my forties? My guess is that those advertisers know that the older we get, the wiser we are, and we won't be wooed by their silly gimmicks. I do think what we say to ourselves and how we feel while looking in that mirror matters quite a bit.
Funny, Eileen, I started really caring about my age in my 30s! It's only now that I'm in my forties (and after all that angst of change and trying to wrap my mind around it) that I am able to let it go. What I"m saying here is that, if you've escaped the "torment" of aging so far, maybe, just maybe, it won't ever be an issue for you! Oh, that I'd been so accepting...
I hope this isn't repeating itself because I am in the Yukon in Whitehorse and the internet is veeeeery slow and I already posted this but it did not show up! What I said earlier (which didn't post) is that I agree Eileen and I really don't care. Except for my business life. If I am written off, I don't work. That is my main issue. teh rest I can deal with!
Did I ever tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU GIRLS???OMG this is sooo delicious...The whole time I was like "FINALLY!!! THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO GET THE ACTUALLY MEANING OF AGEING"...My point is simple.....Isnt ageing what LIFE is for???? Arent we here to like move FORWARD???? We werent here to stay 20 or 30....Its soo static...and BORING! Ya know How I felt when I was 20 "OH YAY...I TURNED TWENTY TODAY!!" and the very next month I was like "Hmmm....only eleven months to go for 21!!! thats gonna be awesome!" Its not that I dont enjoy being twenty...Coz believe me its the best year of my life so far!! And Its been a rollercoaster ride!! I LOVE IT! But there's always more isnt it????And you're soooo Right Deb, we need to get over the "changing bodily conditions" our bodies are changing every second....We gotta get over it sometimes! And We NEED TO LOVE OURSELVES!!! I mean c'mon...we have to live with ourselves ALL OUR LIFE.....we come alone, we go alone! Our bodies are with us throughout the journey...we might as well make peace with them!And every age has its own unique awesomeness... Like I am, to quote Seana, in the FEASTING phase. Where I'm finding new things...feeling excited about new stuff, stepping into a new life..blah blah blah....with you, you are more at peace...because you've been through this...both of you! And Gosh I'm so proud that you girls are soo happy where you are and eager for more! There cannot be a better state of being!!!! xoxoP.S. Bairn's response was the best part I think apart from seeing you gorgeous girls! Her response was sooo deep and meaningful!! I think I'm welling up--no wait...Thats because of her cuteness! Right!
BARB!! I WANTED TO HUG YOU!!!! I WAS almost kissing the screen when you started talking about embracing life! I was mesmerized! I was all "SHE CAN READ MY MIND!!!!!". lol then Deb started talking...and I was like "OMG SHE CAN READ MY MIND TOO!!!!!!!" xo :D
Shalaka, you are adorable!! Thanks for your enthusiasm -- and your wisdom! xoxo
You are so right Shalaka! Forward forward forward. We are meant to do this and yet...we resist. As they say in every single sci fi movie-RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!
I recently started a job. My first job in 14 years! Yeah me! Some of my co-workers are quite young. I had five children by the time they graduated from high school and now, they are training me on the job. I'm not upset by this. Quite the contrary, I'm very amused by the fact that kids 14 years my junior are training me. I turned 37 last month. It's just a number and I figure as long as I feel young, the number is nothing. However, I caught a glimps of myself at work one evening and I stopped and looked at me. After having spent the afternoon with a group of 23 year olds, I saw my reflection, chuckled and said, "Molly, you look 37." I wasn't depressed, but I'm not one of those young fresh faces anymore. It's OK. I wouldn't want to be 23 again.
That's so funny -- that "reflection" moment. How we look and how we feel. But it's also great that your numbers all mesh together so nicely. Good luck at the job, Molly!!
Molly I love your attitude and frankly, honestly, I would not want to go back there either. Own it sister!
Hello! I read your previous article about aging and thought of commenting but then I decided against it. I just read your blog when Colin links to it on twitter so I thought 'Who am I to have on opinion anyway?'but you touched on the subject again so now I feel compelled to comment!!What I want to say is that even as someone who is only 28 years old and, I'm guessing, half your age, I wholeheartedly agree that this sort of eradication of older people from TV is a problem. You would think it's only a problem for people who can't see their lives and their age represented on TV but as far as I'm concerned it is a huge problem for young people as well.Growing up, the only 'older' people I knew of were my parents and their friends and that was a very limited scope on what growing up means. I had an awful lot of misconceptions about what is going to happen in my twenties, reaching the middle ages actually seemed like a post apocalyptic science fiction scenario to me. My mom was nearly 40 when she gave birth to me and my dad was 50. It might sound like an awful thing to say but they and their limited circle of friends actually made me terrified of growing up. I don't know if it was their personalities, I don't know if it was the circumstances but I thought that reaching that age means you have no will to do anything fun, all you do is pay bills and sulk and just drown in the every day routine. I literally believed for many, many years that growing up means that every notion of fun and excitement gets wiped out from your brain.So, I'm sitting here now, listening to what you are saying and thinking that yes, dammit, there should be shows with older people on TV and in the general media, there should be series that show everyone that reaching that growing up doesn't make you less of a person. You don't stop thinking, you don't stop experiencing things, you don't stop wanting, caring... Shouldn't everyone be aware of that? From young people who are trying to figure out what their lives will be in 30, 40 or 50 years to the actual people older than a certain age that I'm beginning to think are being forced to think of themselves as products near the expiration date.I don't understand why this society is so focused at celebrating youth to the point where nothing else matters. Who does it actually benefit? It makes young people scared of growing up and for 'wasting' the best years of their lives and as you said, it makes slightly older people feel redundant. People's lives are a lot longer than these 10-20 years that people seem to glorify. Even at my age, I feel that this is wrong.And another thing....what is this sort of obsession people have with telling others that it's wrong to think that someone much older than them is attractive? I don't understand reactions such as 'Oh my god! This is weird, he/she is old enough to be your parent!!'. Yeah OK, but they aren't....and I didn't make some sort of marriage declaration. I just said the person is attractive. When exactly did we come up with rules that decide at what age someone loses the right to be thought of as attractive or how many years apart can I be from someone in order to think they are good looking?OK, this was all I had to say. I hope my comment didn't accidentally offend anyone as this was not my intention. I also have to apologize for anything that might have not made much sense but English is not my first language and I often mess up.x Angela
Dear Angela! So so happy you took the time to weigh in on this. Your observations are so brilliant and articulate (and I would have said this even had I NOT known English isn't your first language, so guess how amazed I am that it isn't!) I also want to add that we welcome any and all (polite and inclusive) comment here, no matter how often (or not) you comment. I think a lot of people don't comment because one concern is "causing offense" even when their opinion isn't the least bit offensive. So again, just want to encourage you to openly share your (very intelligent and interesting) thoughts! We are a curious bunch here...Your point about "being scared" of aging when you were younger so resonated with me -- because I think that's one of the key reasons we want to talk about it so much here. To let everyone know that it isn't terrible, that everything is still possible! We have all been in those shoes at some point. And it touches a bit on the topic Mary-Jo and I discussed in the first 2 comments here. Fear of old people. So interesting. Showing aging in all its forms as a normal and healthy and interesting development is half the battle towards acceptance and celebration, I think. Thank you so much for this!
Angela I second everything Barb has said. So impressed with you and your comments. I was never afraid of getting old until others around me treated me like it WAS something to be afraid of. And I should also say that I don't feel old at all. I feel vibrant and worthy. And your point really hit home to me on many levels. Truth is I am not attracted to younger men. I find men my own age or older attractive although I think it is great to mix it up and I have many friends who do. Age. Let it go people. Spirit. connection. Chemistry. Shared experiences. That's what it is for me. Thanks Angela. Loved hearing your POV! So smart for one so young! Wait...was that ageism??? What the?
Vibrant and worthy - that's an excellent way to feel about getting older! I don't really take note of people's ages when I'm attracted to them or not. I don't notice appearance either, really. It's personality, vibrancy, talent, passion, confidence, and enthusiasm for life that gets me going. Most of the people I'm attracted to are older, but that's because those are traits that tend to develop with age, I find. Younger people than me have passion and enthusiasm, but less confidence, and I find talent tends to increase with practice and therefore age. If I find somebody talented and passionate, I'm unlikely to even notice their physical appearance. They'll be attractive and hot without their body playing into it at all.
Age has never really meant much to me it's just a number. I don't think age has anything to do with who or what we are so I really don't think about it. I'm sure I would think about it if I were in an industry that holds age and appearance at such a high premium but I'm not so I can only imagine how it must feel to struggle with to that degree. Every age has stories to tell and we should listen to them all. One age does not have more importance than another. Take my grandfather who happens to be a great story teller for example. Some of his stories begin with "when I was in my early twenties" and others with "when I was about seventy" and you know what every single one of them is as interesting as the last. I wish more people, or perhaps it's just the tv execs and media producers of the world, would learn that it is the stories themselves which make them good or bad not when it happenned or how old the characters involved were.
So perfectly put, Erin! And it always always comes back to story -- that's why the gamut of successful stories (from books to TV to films, etc) never have age as a common denominator. In fact, age is all over the place, given that a good story is a good story. And that we all want to hear one.
It is just a number Erin. Wish everyone felt that way. Because it is true. I have known 20 year olds who seemed 80, and the complete reverse!
I think I might be one of the wierdest in a way, that I have always wanted to be older. Well when I was really small child I wanted to stay like that, but since that passed I have wanted to be older and wiser. I have had this idea that life really begins after 60, and everything before that is just work and building for that glorious life that starts. I have learned to enjoy my current status quo and am not that eager just wait for the time to fly by so I can start my life. I admit that the the marketing and the general census of how one should be like, feel like and look like have had its moments with me. I am a bit lazy (shhh don't tell anyone) so I decided why bother and continued being the way I am. If I am happy, why try to change to please others? I haven't had digi box ever, so I haven't been able to watch TV from home for 7 or so years. This means that I am a bit out with what is current in TV at the moment. I remember that I was not too happy with it 7 years ago, and I have a feeling that it has not improved since. (Yes, I have watched tv at friends and relatives and also from the channels own website if I have found something to watch.)
They say we all have "an age" that we are, emotionally and spiritually. Obviously yours is 60. And that's a great thing. You will always be gathering and amassing wisdom and experience and never have the sense that, Oh, I'm done now, it's all down hill. Wonderful!!
Kasku I find that so fascinating and I think Barb nailed with the fact that we all have an "age" . How interesting that yours is 60. I hope that each year leading up to that brings you every single thing you desire and that when you get there you say "ahhhhhhhh!"
I really enjoyed watching you blog out loud, although I had to bring my computer an hour into town to get internet fast enough to view it - darn remote locations!I honestly like the idea of getting older. I'm a bit concerned that I might not meet the love of my life before my fertility runs out, but there's always adoption and other than that minor worry, I'm delighted to be getting older. I feel as if life gets better every year - it must, or why would anybody bother?As you mentioned, one gets so much more confident with age. As a child I was quite self-conscious, and as a young adult I worried about a great many things. I am so much happier as I grow into my skin - I am much more carefree and positive about things, and I don't have time in my life for negative people anymore, and it has made me a much happier and I hope better person.After hearing your post, especially your comments about your parents, Deb, I went and spent an hour with my grandmother, who is 93, and had the loveliest chat. We talked about far-off places we'd visited, and how I hoped to make a career of writing about food and travel, and it was such a positive experience. I admit that everyone in my family, especially my mother, has trouble talking to my grandmother - she is mostly deaf, so you need to speak slowly and clearly, or she won't understand you and won't admit that she can't. But taking the time to talk today, I found that although the conversation was slower, we had no problems understanding each other and had many things in common. So thank you for writing about this!
Hannah, just so you know Deb is off and traveling today, but I'm sure she'll take a look here at some point when she has time. That said, I think she will be thrilled and delighted that you were inspired to spend that time with your grandmother! What a wonderful experience for you both. And a reminder to us all.
Hannah I am sitting here at (my time) 1:06 am in the Yukon after a very long day of travel. Punchy and beat but your comment lifted my heart. You will never regret leaning in to hear those sweet words. Never. we are who we are at every age. But when we are older, we are more so. You have seen this first hand. On behalf of your grandmother, I can tell you, you are a lovely girl.
Love today's post. I don't have a comment other than this: a person's real age has little to do with a number, and more to do with thier life and personality. This is only my opinion, of course. I don't really understand why people want to use age as a means of classification so much. Can't we all just love each other and get along?! xoxo
Yup. Love this, Steph. That is fundamentally IT, isn't it?
I wish everyone saw it that way Steph. But then, we'd have nothing to talk about would we? :-)
OK I admit I am a bit age-ist at times. But I mostly am quick to judge younger people not older people. I may have a quick passing thought in judgment about an older person but my inner thought scream 'respect' and then thoses thought drift away and I start to listen to what they have to give. But with younger people I never feel bad for judging them. I should. But for some reason judging younger people doesn't bother me. Mybe my whole problem is just that I listen to the screaming in my head! lol : )
Hilarious! I mean not that you are judging people, but the last line. I do think it's easy for us to lump age groups all together, and certainly that's unfair. It's going to be to all of our advantage to see each other for who we are and what we have to offer (even if we then choose to decide that they are not "for us"). Thanks, Kelly!
That last line was hilarious Kelly. But you also made me stop and think of the times in my life when the reverse was true. Were there times when I judged the young. Not many but I have. I love stepping into the other pair of shoes. Thanks. Food for thought. Food for a future blog!
Such an interesting topic.Deb, I know that you know Terry O'Reilly. He did a show on "Ageism In Advertising" for his show, The Age of Persuasion for CBC a couple of years ago. It is about how the advertising industry covets the 18-49 year-old consumer and all but ignores the 55+ ones even though they are the ones with the disposable income and spend the most in almost all categories. I think your followers will find this a very interesting show.To find it on itunes, click on podcasts. And search "The Age of Persuasion". It is show #7 and it's free.We have older friends who say they are invisible at some events. That is so true. The older we get, the more we seem to disappear.Keep up the good work!Debbie
Great video! I have tweeted it to my followers at Newcareerguru. You've got lots of relevant comments posted too, so clearly this is a issue that matters to a lot of folk.Ageism in the workplace is a topic I have been writing about alot recently. There seem to be very few real answers to how we can change attitiudes to enable a postive embracing of the value and wisdom that people over 40 possess.So I have tried to get the debate moving in my blog at www.40pluscareerguru.blogspot.co.uk If you or any of the posters above want to read my comments or better still contribute your own comments, it can only help us in the fight back!Best wishesNeil Patrick
In the USA, at least, gerontophobia — morbid fear of aging and old people — is practically a cultural norm.
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