A newsletter recently asked “What does it feel like to be old?” On an everyday basis, I realize I’m old with each moan and groan and special noise that escapes from my mouth. I don’t mention my age every minute of the day, but sometimes it’s hard to not bring up my sixth decade when speaking with coworkers who weren’t yet born in the 80s, or even the 90s.
The columnist answering the above question had some comments that I hadn’t yet thought of, but resonate with me…and probably you too.
The writer believes that one of the most frustrating things about becoming an older woman is that you become almost “invisible” to people, especially to most men. When we are young women (in our 20s and 30s), men paid a great deal of attention to us because of how we look to them. Our level of sexual attractiveness indicates whether a man will look twice or dismiss us as uninteresting and not worth investing time with.
As a young woman, it’s hard to imagine that the day will come when men won’t flirt with us anymore at least not like they used to. We feel like the same young woman inside; it’s the outside of our body that reminds us we aren’t young anymore. It’s that look in the mirror and saying “when did THAT happen?”
Socrates: The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Hopefully, we are much smarter as older women about how to behave in our relationships with the male species than when we were younger. As I age, I find that I am much more easygoing, laugh more and worry less about small things that are of little consequence. I also am not as easily offended and I am not so worried about being “right” all the time.
Don’t we all foolishly believe that we will be the one person who escapes getting “old”? But one day you realize that people are calling you “ma’am” and addressing you (and others your age) as “old.” It can sting to think you are considered non-sexual, nonessential, and not able to keep up with those younger than you in technology, current culture and other areas.
Of course, we remember when we used to wonder why “old” people used to talk so much about their ill health. Unfortunately, now I know why. As the body starts aging, and aches and pain set in, you find that other organs don’t work as well as they used to. It’s easy to want to complain about it, but what good would that do?
What do you think when someone comments about a woman “looking good for her age”? She either looks good or she doesn’t, right? The comment is annoying as it insinuates that to look “good” means looking young.
Rather than be the rule, it’s the rare man who is interested in a woman that is his age (or older) who is considered mature. But for those who do, I say thank you for looking at the real woman and not the facade of a perfect body and unwrinkled face.