In a few weeks, I turn 70. And I’ve been really struggling. 70’s are…dare I say…old!
The mere mention of that word—old—sends shivers of shame through me. As if being old is an affliction I must hide…lest I be diminished in the eyes of others, or deemed irrelevant.
I remember when I turned 60. I awoke that morning, big smile on my face. In my mind, 60 was simply ‘middle aged’…no big deal, perfectly acceptable.
But 70 feels radically different. I have no desire to retire, no fear of death and I definitely appreciate the wisdom I’ve accumulated. But—here’s my candid confession—I’ve bought into the cultural bias against aging women.
Western society, in its adulation of youth, tends to ignore, patronize, even disparage the elderly, especially females. Yet here I am, doing it to myself. I’ve fallen prey to my own latent prejudice.
Oh, the insidious ways we women devalue ourselves when we don’t meet some mythic ideal.
I know botox isn’t the solution (though I’ve tried).
My challenge now is finding self-acceptance—to see myself as, say, a fine wine, increasing in value with age—despite the pervasiveness of ageism.
Perhaps, one day, I’ll share with you how I’ve joyfully and powerfully embraced the aging process. I’m not there yet.
But if you are, I’d love some advice.
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