World making you feel old? Here’s why I’m not letting it

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Is the world making you feel old? Here's why I'm not letting it
Golden Girls Funko Pops

Did you happen to see this 60th birthday boudoir shoot we posted recently? It’s deliciously sexy and makes age seem irrelevant, so much so that it sent a couple of our staff members into look-inward-mode about aging. It was a tiny reminder that age is just a number and you don’t have to succumb to those being-old tropes if you don’t want to. For me, it was a reminder that we don’t have to pre-age ourselves (AND especially not have it thrust upon us by our peers).

I’m 37. That’s not old. I don’t feel old. I don’t know what “old” even means anymore. I am still knee-deep in technology and attempt to keep up with what the younger generations are up to (it’s a necessary part of working in an online field, in my case). I know others who are my age, or even far younger, who have fully accepted their #oldladystatus and embrace becoming increasingly less aware of what the yoots are up to. No shame, it’s just not my intended game.

Is the world making you feel old? Here's why I'm not letting it

So when someone lumps me into a category of the uncool, out-of-touch, and erstwhile based solely on my age, I bristle a little. I work in fields where youth is king and when you lose it, you’re easily replaced. There’s even a whole damn TV show about this exact phenomenon. It’s challenge enough without having those of us in the trenches inflict pre-aging on ourselves.

There is, however, a general push to accept our oldness and the fact that we’re “definitely out touch,” even when we probably aren’t. At least if you’re one of those trying to stay in the loop to retain your ability to do your tech-focused job well and avoid obsolescence.

20-something grandmas

There’s a trend among those in their 20s where they’re embracing the grannie lifestyle: PJs on Saturday night, Irish exiting from parties early to get back into said PJs, and rejecting the stereotype that youth = partying hard. There’s nobody more on board with that lifestyle than me. Give me my Roku, cats, and tea all night. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Hashtag bestlife. Just don’t let this particular trend make you complacent in defending yourself in the workplace, with your friends, or with whomever thinks you can no longer handle whatever it is you’re supposed to handle. Be your own advocate.

Is the world making you feel old? Here's why I'm not letting it

Work for it

If you’re claiming to be hip to whatever’s new, make sure you’re actually backing that up. It is true that it’s harder to keep up with trends and technologies when your peers aren’t surrounding you with it. And when you hit those post-20s decades, that’s a real thing. It takes more effort, but can be just as fun.

Living the Golden life

I’ve been re-watching The Golden Girls lately and loving every minute. It’s easy to make them a golden years goal — hell, they’re having fun. And that’s just it: the thing about The Golden Girls is that they didn’t act like old ladies. They were progressive as hell, had killer social and sex lives (Sophia included!), and were constantly acting in plays, coming up with schemes, and almost never chilling in their jim-jams at home. Okay, granted, there was a lot of kitchen cheesecake.

But nobody can accuse those feisty ladies from ever being anything less than amazing in their later years. So admire the show, but don’t forget that they never made aging seem old. And you never have to, either. There are real reasons that your lifestyle, circumstances, health, or physical and mental abilities will change (it would be ableist of me to think otherwise). But if you feel youthful, put in the effort to keep up with new challenges, keep an open mind to social and political change from those dreaded youths, and generally want to be as young as you feel, you can be. Plus, there may be science backing it up.

Now I’m going to take my passé dinosaur ass back to my newsfeeds to learn what Google is doing with search. And learn what Millennials are killing next. And read hilarious Russian captions to cat photos.

Is the world making you feel old? Here's why I'm not letting it

Comments on World making you feel old? Here’s why I’m not letting it

  1. Stay curious! Every cool grandma I know is curious, interested in what EVERYONE is up to, young or old. They ask tons of questions and never try to “impart their wisdom” when they are not asked. My favorite grandma says, “well things were a little different then”, when pressed, she’ll explain her beliefs, but she never says anything is weird, unusual, bad, or even new. She just says,”this worked for me. What works for you?”

  2. I never tried to be trendy when I was young, preferring to set my own fashions and laugh at anyone who got uptight about it, and I’m not going to start now. I had to stop some things I used to love, like dancing on both feet (oh how I used to dance!) that I can’t physically do now, and modify my clothes to suit my post-menopausal absence of waist (for one thing things that my hips used to hold up now fall off!) but I would never change anything that didn’t have an unavoidable physical cause.

    On the other hand there’s a lot of perks to aging. Nobody dares tell me I’m going through a phase. People are more likely to see me as a lovable eccentric than as a weirdo outcast. I have a lot more experience and context to make life easier, and I’m further along the learning-curve, having made my fair share of mistakes that don’t need repeating. I’m done with menstruation and PMS. And practically everybody looks to me so much like adorable children that I can barely resist hugging them all. People give me their seats at buses and events (which I really appreciate!) Plus, if I want to dye my hair with the blackberries outside, silver hair shows up color better than black, without harmful chemicals.

    • I want to be you when I grow up. I’m in my 30s, and have never been trendy, pop culture has always eluded me. But I want to be the eccentric old lady dancing with my walker.

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