I am 60 now and totally fine with saying my age and that was a hurdle for sure. My body is strong, my mind is strong, and I embrace aging — that’s why I started The Fine Line. But I have a confession: There are days that I am freaked out about aging. There are times that the idea of being 60 totally messes with my head!
That’s a hard thing to admit. I usually walk my talk, but this aging thing does get to me. I can’t believe it’s happening! I can’t believe I care!
I refuse to give into it the way generations before me have. I don’t believe in conforming to the standards set 20 years ago on how we should look, feel and move after the age of 50 or 60. Sixty today can look different from how 60 did two or three decades ago if we want it to. We have resources available today that our grandparents didn’t have. There are so many ways to learn about the food we eat, the supplements we should take, and how we should support our hormones, bones, and brain. And there are thousands of examples of strong, healthy women embracing fitness and life after 50. I want to be my optimal self at all times!
Sadly, generations before us were told how and when to age, and they believed it! For sure, we don’t have to age like that.
There are days that seeing my face in the mirror or looking at the skin on my legs in downward dog really messes with my head. There are moments when I feel panic and fear, when I realize there’s no going back, there’s no redo.
But there are days that seeing my face in the mirror or looking at the skin on my legs in downward dog really messes with my head. There are moments when I feel panic and fear, when I realize there’s no going back, there’s no redo. This is it, and it progresses from here. It’s hard for me not to look at a younger woman and notice her tight skin firm body and start the mental chess game of comparing and feeling less than. And I sometimes find myself studying women older than I and thinking about how my body and my face are aging. Years ago, an older woman said to me, “There better be more to you than your looks, because when you start to age and those looks change, what you’ve built inside of you, your spirituality, your self-confidence will be what keeps you strong and grounded.” Boy, how that is true!
My body is strong, fit, and healthy. It frankly amazes me. But I am aware that bodies change as we age. For instance, these days, I am susceptible to chest colds — and twice they have turned into pneumonia! When that has happened, I found myself thinking: This is it. This is the thing that will take you down. You will end up in the hospital with pneumonia when you are 80 or 90. Pneumonia is what’s going to get you.
I didn’t used to think about how I would die.
I won’t lie: I am always trying to look as good as I can for my age. And I get an ego boost when someone says to me, “Wow! You are 60? You don’t look 60!” I don’t live for those moments, but I am realizing that they come less and less. I suppose one eventually comes to terms with the inevitable: the loss of youth, the never-ending changes in the physical self, the clarity of wisdom and experiences that 60-plus years on this planet gives you, the faint memory of having a period.
Though this might sound silly, I’ve started to measure my life in dog years. As in, how many dogs can I expect to have before I am too old to walk them?
Is this negative thinking or natural as we move into later years? I don’t have the answer to that, but I do know that it’s so important for me to keep my energy young and vibrant. Yet there are the days when I struggle with what the future holds. When I started a new business at 59, I didn’t think about how much energy I would need to run it in six or eight years. When I renewed by health insurance for 2018, I thought about skipping a few things because the cost is so outrageous, but what if something happens and I need it? I can’t take that risk now like I could 10 or 15 years ago. And though this might sound silly, I’ve started to measure my life in dog years. As in: How many dogs can I expect to have before I am too old to walk them?
I try to process each thought as it pops up, and every now and again I chuckle at myself for being freaked out about aging. Embracing things as they come is the easier, softer way to live. And I don’t feel the need to run into therapy over all this, but it’s interesting to me. And for sure, the struggle is real.