The complexities of aging – and courage.

I used to be courageous. Whatever happened to that trait?

I used to be resilient. Whatever happened to my bouncability?

I used to be persistent. When did I give up trying? 

I used to be carefree. When did the anxiety begin?

I used to be adventurous. When did that bravery fade? 

I used to be blonde and long- haired. I still am albeit with some streaks of silver amidst the gold. 
My crowning glory is just that. Gloriously gold and silver and left free to fly in  the wind.

This notion that older women need to conform to the  short grey hair norm?  What is that all about? 

It’s more practical (they say). You will look ten years younger (they say). But who actually wants to lose ten years of their life experiences and memories? Every year of my life is memorable and valued. These deserve recognition and acceptance. 

Why is the flexibility of youth overcome by the frailties of age?  Should it? What can we do to take back our freedoms?  

Should I accept old age gracefully?  Or will I retain the courage of my convictions and keep bending the rules of societal expectations. 

Ok, so I can’t actually bend my knees as well these days  but my mind surely goes off in many flexible directions. Especially after midnight – I still burn the midnight oil in the engine of my brain. And it’s freeing to know that I can sleep in the next day if I need to catch up on sleep. 

I find myself rebellious against societal expectations of how older women should be. Just let us be!  Let us be free to be ourselves.

My goal is to retain my own true self rather than give up and conform to societal expectations. This insidious concept of the invisibility of the older woman continues but why?

What does age really have to do with it?  Yes, I do struggle sometimes with creaky achy joints but my brain still refuses to weaken. My creativity is taking another direction ( or two). I’m still alive and at last I have the time to indulge and develop new interests which may yet become passions.

The complexity of my life increases with each new direction, each new interest I find. I wonder sometimes what I am searching for yet then I decided it is just a continuation of how I have lived my life. Taking on new challenges as they arise. Seeking out and finding ways to keep my brain and body active. 

I have glimpsed my own mortality. It calls to me although I am not yet ready to go as I have too much still to discover and do, to think and to experience. Too many of my friends have not had that chance. In some ways I do this for them as well. I will continue to use every single day of my life to expand my creative options and live my life courageously and even outrageously! 

Life’s for living: Every. Single. Day.

I will still need courage to fight against the ageism in society.  After all, I have been courageous at different times of my life. Why should I stop now? 

This year I will work on regaining my courage.

“Your 40s are good. Your 50s are great. Your 60s are fab. 

And 70s are ****@#* awesome!”

~Helen Mirren

“Courage is when you dare to be yourself, in whatever ways you want to be

 – to not be afraid, to just do it.” 

– Loung Ung