aging with crazy, sexy confidence: listen up ladies, this one’s for you.

by vanessagobes

I have a question for my sisters around the world today.  Since when is it not cool to be your age?

I played tennis this afternoon for my team at home in Winchester.  Coming off the court, my partner and I shared a friendly handshake with our opponents and chit-chatted for a minute or so.  As we walked off the court, one of the away  ladies told me that before the match, her entire team was calling me a bitch b/c they thought I was young.  Ummmm…  huh???  I think she wanted to stuff the words back into her mouth right after they tumbled out, but it was too late.  I told her I’d be 37 next month and she blurted out, “Oh, well you just look young then.  When I was your age I looked young, too.  It goes downhill fast.”  Ummm….  again, huh???  I tried to escape from the awkward conversation by laughing through it with her, though honestly I didn’t think it was so funny.

Why do women do this to each other?

Women who are just a few years older than their peers can often be heard saying things like, “Oh, you’re still young,” with a tone especially reserved for the underclassmen of life.   As if those few extra years has significance in the relationship or provides them with an insightful edge.   Listen.  This type of chatter doesn’t come across as maturity or experience.  It comes across as what I call “the yuck.” I’m feeling insecure so I am going to dig you to give myself an excuse for being older.  

If I am to be considered one of the “young ones”, which is so flattering at 36 and 11/12, let me offer some well-intended, lovingly-delivered insight from my perspective.  I do not look at you and think, “Oh, she’s old.  I don’t want to hang out with her.”  I look at you and think, “Hi!”  That’s all.

So.  Here’s my very favorite You Tube video.  It serves as a gentle reminder for us anytime we’re digging a pity ditch for ourselves:

Okay, maybe not so gentle.  But we could all use a little dose of Cher once in awhile.  And with utmost compassion and respect for the extraordinary woman you’ve become, I beg you, please please please, stop talking about your age.  Stop unmindfully belittling yourself and offending the women who are a riding the life train just a few miles behind you.  The younger ones don’t likes to hear it.  To be lovingly honest, we think it’s really annoying.

You don’t want to be that person.  And I’d venture to guess that complaining about your age doesn’t make you feel good either; the words just tumble out of your mouth, like they tumbled out of my tennis opponent’s mouth this afternoon.  Try to use mindful speech to set a better example.  Think before you talk.  (Did I mention I’m sharing this with love?)

No one cares how old you are.  Seriously.  No one cares.  People love you because you are you.  So let’s accentuate the positive, shall we?  Why not be grateful that your life didn’t provide you with the alternative to aging:  an early grave.

You really wanna know what’s sexy?  Confidence.

You really wanna know what’s beautiful?  Grace.

You really wanna know what’s inspiring?  Acceptance.

Try to be *that* woman…  you remember *that* woman, don’t you?  She walked past you on the sidewalk when you were 19.  She looked older, put-together, confident, happy.  And you said, “I want to be like her when I grow up.”  Wrap yourself up in love of life and appreciation for all of the enriching experiences that the years have given you.  Be *that* woman who treats women as equals, regardless of age.  And show the younger ones how to live it up, love yourself and embrace your age.  After all, it’s just a number, and life at any age is a blessing.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

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