For years I would have to stop to think before answering this question. Not because I wanted to lie or I was embarrassed about my age, but because I didn’t feel like my chronological age; not that I’m sure what my chronological age is supposed to feel (or look) like.
Two things sparked my need to write about this topic. One was the new trend in magazines to do fashion spreads by age. The idea is, “here is the type of sundress you should wear when you are 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.” These bug me. I get that a 60 year old woman could look very silly in a youthful dress, but she also might be able to really rock it. I hate the idea of some unseen magic that happens to you as you cross each of these lines. “Oh, I’m 50 now, guess I should toss all those stilettos. Of course, I looked hot in them yesterday, when I was 49.” The whole idea smacks of all the fashion rules I thought were long gone; like when to wear white and or glittery clothes are only for evening. I also think following these rules or guidelines can make you look older. Most of the stuff shown for 50 year-olds looks stodgy to me and I would feel unsexy and matronly wearing it.
The second thing that had me thinking about age is a discussion I had with my fabulous Mother-in-law about the benefit having friends of different ages. There is so much to be gained from hanging out with and relating to people in all ages groups. Sometimes I like to spend time with my teenage sons and their friends. They are so clever and come up with some of the funniest ways of expressing themselves. They’ve taught me things like using “kewl” when I am texting. I love it. It’s an even cooler way to say cool.
One of my truly fun girlfriends is 20 years younger than me. I forget our age difference when we hang out together. I get caught up in her youthful energy and sweet optimism. With my friends closer to my age I share a wonder and sometimes dread of all the changes; mental, emotional and physical that menopause brings. And my friends that are chronologically older than me inspire me, like my retired neighbor who absolutely kicks my ass in Pilates class every week. I would miss out on so much if I cared about age when I am looking for friends.
Age is such a fluid concept for me I sometimes wonder if I was wrong to put the “mid” in the name of my blog. Sure, I am having certain experiences because my body is almost 50 years old, but that doesn’t mean that my experiences and ideas are only relevant to people my same age.
I do hate telling people my age when they ask, but only because I don’t want them to put me in a category or stereotype me before they get to know me. Now when I am asked my age, my standard answer is; I’m old enough to know better, but I do it anyway.