It’s that time of year again. Birthday time. And today I’m turning 53. Yes, 53…53!! If I’m going to be perfectly honest, it does seem a little too old to be true. Ever play the game “If I didn’t know how old I was, how old would I think I was?” I play it every year before my birthday and my answer this year is 42 usually and maybe 45 on a bad day. I definitely don’t feel the way I imagine a 53 year old should.
A co-worker stopped by my desk to chat the other day and ending up telling me that I radiate the energy of a 34 year old. He didn’t say that I look like a 34 year old (that would be pushing it) but that I had a very youthful energy. I loved it. It was a huge compliment and I told him that he was now officially my favourite. The reason it was such a lovely compliment to me is that my philosophy hasn’t been to strive for eternal youth but to celebrate my age by doing my best to look and feel pretty kick-ass for a woman in her 50’s (yup, I really want to change the perceptions of our ageist society). And when I see women either lying about or being ashamed of their age, it literally hurts my heart. If we can’t accept and be proud of the stage of life we’re at, how are we ever going to feel our worth and expect the best for ourselves?
So, one more year went by and I still haven’t botoxed, filled or lifted anything and, although never say never, cosmetic rejuvenation is not on my list of immediate future plans. I get my rejuvenation from hiking, yoga, having a good man in my life and occasionally a few too many glasses of wine with my girlfriends (or my dog).
What I really, really want to happen, however, is for people to think “wow, women in their 50’s can be pretty amazing”. I want all of us to be valued and appreciated and we sink into our skin a bit more, gain more compassion and wisdom and acquire a few more wrinkles. And I guess the way I see myself doing that is by staying fit, creative and continuing to grow as a person for a long, long time. So that, I think, is why this young man’s compliment touched my heart. It seemed uber-sincere and spoke to exactly how I want to age. Happily, gracefully, having a ton of fun and hiking and yoga-ing until the end.
So, I’m going to finish this post with a birthday wish. If I had one wish for womankind this year, it would be that we all learn to accept and love ourselves on a deep, deep level. Instead of being so concerned that we’ve gained 5 pounds, found a new wrinkle or silver hair, focus our energy on whether we’re living the life we want, doing work that inspires us and are surrounded by people who love and “get” us. I desperately want us all to connect with our true inner beauty and love our outer beauty. And if our outer beauty isn’t what society values, then we have got to find a way to leave the beauty industry’s brainwashing behind us and learn to value ourselves and cherish ourselves and see our own beauty anyway. Women are so awesome. It’s time we fully realize that.
Here’s hoping all of my fab female readers will help make my birthday wish come true!