Wednesday, March 19, 2014

20/31 Dusting Is A Good Time To Think


  Still writing and finding ideas for the Slice of Life Challenge at the blog, Two Writing Teachers.   
While dusting…

In a grouping of pictures in my front hallway hangs a drawing of what looks like an older man; it is inscribed with the quote:  “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”  Recent months have brought the saying:  50 is the new 40.  According to USA Today, March 3, 2010, “Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up about 26.1% of the U.S. population, or an estimated 78 million people.”  I am one of this group, actually a little older, surprised that I might now be called ‘old’, but celebrating the one thing about aging that holds positives:  anonymity. 




Anonymity protects from hurtful remarks; people might offer a compliment or two, but generally I am considered ‘okay’, and allowed to choose the dresses, pants, jewelry and shoes I wear, with no reprisals.  My family and my friends no longer dictate my fashion tastes.  They are all mine.  This is freedom in a way, but can descend into invisibility as well, not so fun.  Once in a while, I do want someone to notice my choice of the latest shoes, a different haircut, the flashy earrings.  I care how I look, and I cherish both the compliments and the freedom of choices.

The anonymity allows me to try different kinds of living my life with little fear of someone saying “better not”, because I might hurt my family, harm my career, even embarrass myself .   I can dress up in crazy costumes at Halloween, write funny stories that are for my grandchildren or only for my own amusement, and travel anywhere that pleases.  Most days I like this; on a few days, it’s a little more challenging. How old would you be...?


   

36 comments:

  1. Linda, I love how this post surprised me. I don't know what I expected that you'd be thinking about when you were dusting, but not this! I never thought about aging and anonymity. Hmmm, being in my forties...I see changes as I age...but I hadn't noticed that. Now you've given me something to think about. Thanks!!! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. I didn't plan those thoughts either, but the picture woke them up!

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  2. Thinking about aging just pops up in funny moments or sometimes in hurtful moments. I work with someone who looks like a similar version of me, only her mother is my age. The kids confuse us sometimes. She is very quick to point out that I could be her mother and then proceed to tell me about what she said to the child. That indirectly hurts for some reason. xo

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    1. It sounds like she is very tender about it, Nancy. One can look at it the other way, that you are very young-looking, not that she is old-looking! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I'm in your club. I wish I didn't care about my recent bulges that are not leaving me. Of course, I need to work harder but I do love eating the WRONG things :)

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    1. Me, too, Bonnie, me, too! Your swimming will make you fit no matter whether it shows or not!

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  4. I had never really thought much about age until I turned 50 in January. For some reason, this seems to be my "magic age of thinking." I admire your zest for life and all the stories you write about your life and your adventures. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Leigh Anne-guess it sneaks up on us. It is only a pondering sparked by that picture...

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  5. The question "How old?" is an interesting one. I think of my grandma who was dressed as an old lady when she was about 60, with strange dresses, low shoes, and quite often a headscarf tied in a knot under her chin. My mom, reaching 70, looks and sounds so much younger, she wears skirts and jeans, jackets and blouses, high heels, nice hair-do and make-up. Then again at a time I looked my granny with a 7-year-old's eyes, now I am 42. But I think that it makes just a bit of difference in judging, the age difference is too clearly visible on the pictures. Ha, your question almost made me write a post. So intriguing. Thank you. I'll keep thinking.

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    1. It's all perspective, isn't it? The expectations years ago were different, weren't they? Both of my grandmothers were so active, so maybe I had good models despite the culture's expectations. Glad to hear your response too, Terje!

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  6. This will be my year of turning 50. I'm going with it being the new 30's! I think age is definitely a state of mind and beauty comes from somewhere inside of us. And yet I worry that at my son's upcoming wedding that I will embarrass him, so I guess I haven't got past that yet...I really enjoyed this slice Linda!

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    1. Of course you won't embarrass him. All he needs is your smile and appreciation for all "their" plans! Thanks Tammy!

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  7. Well, I am in that age range, too...turned 63 in February. I think it interesting that in my mind I am still quite young...but lately, my body lets me know that I should not try walking a balance beam. My body really does quite well, and when I hear younger friends speak of pains and aches...I give my body a pat on the back and say "thanks". I love the picture you have in your front hallway. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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    1. My mother used to say she was perpetually surprised when she looked in a mirror, because "that" woman was not who she felt should be there. I understand about the pat on the back, good for you!

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  8. Thoughts of aging hit me at odd times. usually when I look in the mirror and see more grey hairs or if I try to move too fast and my knees don't cooperate. But I can do as you said - dress and act as I please. Lovely post Linda!

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    1. Thanks Beverley-yes, there is freedom that isn't always known earlier.

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  9. I just faced this the other day, Linda. In my case, I think living with chronic pain has also changed my face, just as much as it's changed my body. Sometimes, I glance at my reflection and am taken aback; but most often, I dress as I please - more for comfort these days, with funky earrings and a scarf compensating for what's changed. Great post, and so in line with what I've been thinking about...

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    1. I'm sorry for the pain, and know it will change the body, but you looked terrific to me last fall, Tara! I understand about the mirror, however. This is a passing thought while dusting, then we go on...

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  10. It's all a matter of perspective - I truly don't feel 65 (most days) and I wonder how I got to this age. But it is also a wonderful age when I can do what I want, when I want and don't have to be concerned about what others might think. Dusting does make us think of strange things.

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    1. And you said it well, too, Judy, there are fewer expectations I think unless we place them on ourselves. Thanks!

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  11. One of the harder things about getting older is helping others recognize that just because you are not 35 anymore doesn't mean that you aren't relevant or have great ideas or wisdom that is needed. It is learning to speak in a way that others will listen. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I agree, Alyson, & it's one of the reasons I love that I am still teaching and in my school. The kids alone keep me young! Thanks!

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  12. Very interesting post, Linda! I'm going to ruminate over this one. I have to say the older I get, the more I'm creating/thinking/writing/reading/learning/, etc., which I love. I'm less concerned with the outward appearances of things - clothes, house, makeup, etc. That's not to say I'm letting everything go - ha. It's just not as important as it used to be, and I like that.

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    1. It is perhaps a different yearning, don't you think, Holly? I loved moving and fixing my new home, new decorating, some new furniture, but I think about it less than I think I used to. I do agree that I'm learning more too, but that isn't much different than my earlier years, it's just that now I have more time. Thanks!

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  13. Mentally and physically I have two different ages, don't we all as we age? It always surprises me when I think of my actual age, I never feel it. I don't think you do either.

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    1. No, I don't, you're right, but it is different than even 10 years ago when I was still moving so fast in the classroom. I will say I know that some of my priorities have also changed. Thanks Elsie!

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  14. I love this quote--I recently sent it to someone on a birthday card, as I think that it is such a wonderful reminder to value where you are today. Your post is wonderful, Linda. I am sure that you have flashy new earrings and some styling shoes! And I am sure that there are times when you bask in comfortable slippers! Thanks for a wonderful post.

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    1. Thanks Melanie, nice to hear your response.

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  15. Now that is a quote that I need to save....and I am not sure how to answer the question...but I will DEFINITELY go to bed...soon...thinking about the answer!

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    1. Ha! Anita, I hope you won't lose sleep over it. Thanks for telling me you'll be thinking about it!

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  16. I think one of the reasons I chose open for my olw this year was to fight the aging and getting into a rut. I want to feel free to try new things and open to others. Anonymity is not what I seek, but the less visible I am, perhaps the more time I have to just be still. You certainly got me thinking...

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    1. Good point about your OLW, Margaret. It's always good to learn new things, & that's what does keep everything going, don't you think? It's been so interesting to hear from everyone today!

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  17. I've never thought of aging in this way before. What a unique insight! Freedom, anonymity, invisibility...such great words! So--is it good to know how old you are (presumably young, if you know), or to NOT know your age? Tough question!

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    1. I wonder about your question, too, Susan. How would people act if they didn't know? Each layer of life brings different needs and wants, and expectations,so how does "knowing" you're out of your twenties, or fifties color that? Thanks for adding more to the conversation!

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  18. Now that I'm officially a "woman of a certain age," I've been thinking about all this, too. Everything you've written here so resonates with me.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!