With my 36th birthday looming, I have started to think about how I feel about getting one step closer to 40. Am I reaching for the bottle or researching non invasive cosmetic procedures? No. Am I considering being turned into a Vampire in order to stay young for an eternity (yes I’m a massive Twilight fan)? No, I can honestly say I feel absolutely nothing, no fear at all. Ageing is actually one of the very few things in life that I don’t worry about. “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” ~Maurice Chevalier, New York Times, 9 October 1960
There are all sorts of lotions and potions on the market. They promise to make you look younger, less wrinkled, revitalised and if you want to go down that route, that’s fine, its your choice of course. However, I do feel that these expensive lotions rarely work, although maybe the placebo effect makes them worth their money to some. The majority of the advertising for youth retaining/regaining products is aimed at women, that’s not to say that men don’t have the same issues with age but woman are definitely more heavily targeted. Society and the media place immense pressure on women to stay young. The advertising companies prey on the insecurities that many have about growing old. There is so much emphasis put on trying to halt the ageing process. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking care of yourself, staying healthy and looking after your skin and one day I will definitely, definitely try to do all of those things. However, I just don’t understand what’s wrong with looking your age. Why do some people struggle so much with admitting their true age? Why are we made to feel that youthfulness is the be all and end all? With age comes experience and knowledge so why try so hard to hide that, be proud.
I look at the amazing actresses over the age of 40 like Kate Blanchett, Jodie Foster, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Judith Dench, Naomi Watts to name but a few. These are strong women, much better role models than many of their younger counterparts who are still making their mistakes as we all do. Unfortunately they make them publicly for the world to see and judge and the pressure is all the more as they are held up to be role models. As girls/young women we feel the pressure to be a certain size, look a certain way, we have to make those all important decisions on where to take our life, school, university, work, marriage, children all those difficult decisions, but as you get older surely its time to take a step back, take in the scenery a little more and worry less about what people think of you. We gain strength as we grow older because we begin to understand what we want and what is important in life to us. When I look at what I have achieved in my 35 years of existence, I feel a small sense of pride and I look forward with excitement to the next 35 years and the adventures it may bring. The one thing I have always admired in the young is not their wrinkle free skin, it’s their enthusiasm for life and a few wrinkles don’t have to stop that. Enthusiasm for life is what keeps us young. “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” ~Samuel Ullman
While we grow older on the outside, we don’t have to grow old on the inside. Stay excited, whether it be for that chocolate pudding at the end of the meal or a holiday somewhere exotic, get excited for the things both small and big in your life. I still feel 25 and maybe that is the key, I’m young at heart and young in attitude and I hope to always feel that way. While the age of my exterior may not always match my interior age it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest.
“Everyone is the age of their heart.” ~Guatemalan Proverb