Monday, August 20, 2012

HOW Old???

I've been getting hit lately with social zings of aging, and I keep thinking to myself "I am not THAT old!!!"  Here's a couple examples:
  • In the new movie Hope Springs, the characters have been married 30 years and are in a rut. You guys, they look OLD.  I mean, put-on-a-cardigan-and-slippers-and-puff-on-a-pipe old - and that was Meryl Streep's character (hah! I crack myself up).  Jeff and I have been married 28 years.  Does this mean that in two short years WE are going to look like cranky old fogies?
  • I was looking at some volunteer opportunities online.  One jumped out because they wanted you to "share your wisdom" (the first thing I thought was "believe me, you don't want MY wisdom" LOL) - but they were looking for people who are 60 years or older.  Oh, that's pretty old, I thought.  Than I realized that I'm only 11 years from 60.  What?  How can 60 be old, then?
There is definitely a disconnect between how old I am and how old I AM.  For example, I occasionally will read that someone has died, and they were, say, 48 years old.  And I think, oh how sad.  Then it hits me - I'm 49 years old!  The worst was, though, when my high school alumni page recently updated the "In Memorium" section and I saw quite a few new names added to my graduating class.  My former classmates.  Of course, I'm still picturing them as teenagers, but still...how can they have died already?

I don't feel any particular age.  Turning 30 didn't bother me (well, except for the massive blunder SOMEONE made with a less-than-optimal birthday gift), and turning 40 was no big deal.  No angst, no mourning of my youth...it really was just another year.  And while I've consistently held this attitude, it didn't always show on the outside.  As I lost my excess weight, I cannot tell you how many people told me that I looked younger.  It's amazing how many years you lose along with the pounds.  I always joked that the extra fat in my face filled in the wrinkles and kept me younger-looking, but truly, there is a huge difference:
Left: 43 years old; Right: 48 years old.

I'm 49 years old.  I know it sounds cliche, but I really do feel like I have a new lease on life, physically, since I've lost weight.  Mentally I was always there, but now, the outside matches the inside.  Just one more bonus to finally getting that weight off, and every day that I keep it off feels like I'm putting the exterior age on hold...or at least in the attic with my old picture.

Oh and also?  I'm NOT old! ;)

43 comments:

  1. I have the same feelings towards my age as you. In fact when people ask my age I even have to think: was it 43 or 44? I know I'm aging but since I hit 30 it doesn't feel like that. I still feel like 30 although not particular in the morning :)

    My boss turned 50 last Friday and he doesn't look 50. And you look much younger than 49 too, you're smoking hot Shelley.

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    1. Fran, I've done that too - think "wait, am I 45 or 46?" (turns out I was 48...).

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  2. Age is just a number. I would, however, advise not leaning over to look into a magnifying mirror. Trust me on this one.

    You look great! And Happy Belated Birthday - I must have missed it somewhere.

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    1. It was in June...and I LOL'd on your magnifying mirror comment, as I looked in one at my best friend's house. Magnifying mirror plus good lighting? EGAD!!!

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  3. and for that reason ALONE we opted for the campaign last night.
    LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE.

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    1. Hehe, glad you saw The Campaign. Necessary fun!

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  4. Shelly, so true! You do look younger. You look younger and happy. Fountain of youth!!! Congrats.

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    1. Thanks - and who would have guessed that the fountain of youth was inside, under all those layers of fat?

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  5. I have reached the point (unfortunately)where not only do I look my age, I feel my age - or older. But that only started happening in the last year or so, so you're safe for now ;)

    When I feel bad about looking my age, I use that app on Facebook that tells you what age you look like vs. your real age. Last time I did it, it said 44. Since I'm 52, I'll take that!

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    1. Girl, you are crazy. You do not look 52. Stop saying that right now!

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  6. Funny how your perspective on the number changes as your own number changes! I just turned 61, but I'm thinner and fitter by far than I was at 51 and I feel younger than I did then. Trust me, you ARE young, you look young and you shd feel young!

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    1. Haha, exactly on "as your own number changes" - too true! And yes, being thinner and fitter makes a huge difference in how young we feel. I wouldn't have pegged you for anywhere near 61!

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  7. I do think you look younger in your 48 year old picture! My graduating class has a memorium page too - so sad, although with a graduating class of 1000 kids, there are way too many names on it.

    And its surprising to me too how many of my high school friends are just now starting to have families - and I am 44! They think its weird that I have a daughter whose a jr. in college already!

    Have a great Monday!

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    1. Thanks, Biz! Yeah, I'm shocked, too, when I see some of my classmates with young children now...but maybe that keeps THEM young?!

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  8. You do NOT look old and you certainly don't act it. Old fuddy duddies (is that a word?) don't run half marathons. You looking good, lady! Keep it up.

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  9. I felt just like you about the younger decade birthdays. But 50--there was something different about it. Mostly as in "I'm 50 years old
    You're not going to tell me how to act or think.

    I enjoyed the synopsis of Dorian grey.thanks for the link. Stupid kindle ...

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    1. So when you turn 50 you get to drop the polite act? LOL, good to know!!! ;)

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  10. The age thing doesn't really hit me until they mention how old certain actors are. I've always thought of Sharon Stone being an older actress (I guess it is the roles she has played), but then I realize she is only 8 years older than I am. I wonder how that can be....

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    1. So of course I just had to see how old Sharon Stone is...54. Maybe because she's been around for so long, but I thought she was older, too!

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  11. You sure aren't old! It's mostly about attitude, anyway. One thing I noticed with a lot of people who lose weight is that their eyes look larger and that makes them look younger. Not all people, but a lot of them.

    I so don't feel my age. I cannot believe I am 44!

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    1. Interesting observation regarding the eyes!

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  12. Thank you, thank you for this post. You look great and you know you feel great and that's what counts. Over the weekend the hubby and I had our senior moment when we were looking at music and the sign posted said seniors. What!!!!! I posted a picture on my latest post with the hubby's expression. It really was hilarious. Thanks for keeping me chuckling

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  13. Oh yes...I've had several similar moments. Most recently I was in a group that was asked to do a visualization exercise and at one point, the woman leading it said, " and up ahead you see someone...it's you, 10 years from now..." and I thought, HOLY CRAP...I'll be almost 60!

    And six years ago, when my husband turned 50, I remember a few weeks later we were sitting at the dining room table, and I looked at him and thought, "how did I end up married to a 50 year old?" And now here I am LOL!

    It's funny though...I have a blog post that I am in the process of writing for my 50th birthday, which is in November, and a good part of it is how freaking transformative my 40s have been, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am REALLY looking forward to my 50s.

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    1. I think it's great that you're looking forward to your 50s!

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  14. I'm not sure what 49 should "look like", but you don't look like it! :) Up until VERY recently, age has never phased me, but I'll be 50 on my next birthday, and have to admit, its made me a bit "introspective". I have a great life,and I'm super grateful but there are parts of my life that I certainly didn't expect to be living at this age. I thought I'd be more settled, more financially secure, and somehow more "established" I dunno...I just thought I'd feel like a "grown up". It's weird. Rational me wants to just make the next half of my life extraordinary, irrational me thinks "is this it"???. And don't even get me started on the chin hairs...I'll be bleating like a billy goat while I blow out my candles. HA!!! Hopefully they don't catch fire!!! All that said, age is just a number, and I'm committed to making every day count, chin hairs an all. Have a great day my fellow 49 year old! :)

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    1. Roz, I had no idea you were 49...I though you were just into your 40s! I think expectations can throw you if you're not where you think you should be, but on the other hand, I also think that our generation has the ability to NOT have to be locked into a path early on and forever.

      Chin hairs...they are so rude, showing up uninvited over and over again! ;)

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  15. You definitely don't look your age! And I think the weight loss does make a huge difference on whether or not you feel your age. Exercising of course gives you more energy and adrenaline, which I think helps us feel younger. The rest is definitely a state of mind. I've watched my own parents resign themselves to being "old" as they've gotten into their 60's, but I see my fiance's parents really getting out there and enjoying life at the same age - they look at least 10 years younger for it.

    I know that once I decided to work really hard at getting healthier last fall, I was feeling pretty sluggish and run down, and felt and looked older than I am. I had a hard time with turning 30 last year (I know, I know, I can't even believe I'm complaining about that to you! I was so silly back then) but once I hit 31 this spring, I was actually excited to reach a new age and I can say I've never felt better! I feel better than I did in my 20's, and I hope that a healthy lifestyle will help keep that feeling for a very long time.

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    1. I'm so pleased for you, Anne, that you made such a big change early on - amazing to see the difference in aging attitude between your folks and your in-laws. Kind of sad, too, but it's never too late to get on the healthy-living bandwagon!

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  16. No you do not look old. Wait til you're 59 like me. Then you'll be old! Only kidding!

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  17. I told myself that the fat filled in my wrinkles as well, just another rationalization. I got a million of them :)

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    1. We ARE good at rationalizing, aren't we?

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  18. I hate it when someone says, "You're in really good shape for your age." Excuse me? I think you look terrific and your biggest asset in aging is your ability to adapt. My fitness has been through several ups and downs, but overall I'm holding my own at 57.

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  19. Oh Shelley - you're the youngest (at heart) person I know. I think that counts more than anything.

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  20. I just turned 48 (yesterday, in fact) and can so relate! I find myself shaking my head when I look at the number, thinking I darned sure don't feel 48! :)

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    1. Happy Birthday, Vegan Gypsy!!! I know exactly how you feel. :)

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  21. I will be 59 next month. I don't consider myself old. I am working three days a week teaching preschoolers with special needs. If that doesn't increase my endurance, nothing will. Plus it keeps me thinking young!

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  22. This is a good post! ANd got me thinking. I'm a few years past 40 and recently I have FELT old. I'm sometimes surprised to see myself in the mirror, because I look just normal and almost energetic. But I have felt really tired and totally out of energy. My dream is to get the energy back. Then I'm happy and pleased with my life whatever the age!

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  23. Interestingly, many people do look older when they lose significant weight, but that is not the case for you at ALL. I think it's all the vitality (and that lovely long hair :)) that exudes from you now; even when you are feeling down, you have so much energy and joy emanating from you.

    But I sure do hear you on getting flat-footed when you realize how old you are, especially compared to others. In my office, it's a bit of a running joke about how young my co-workers were at significant moments in my life; my closest one was 8 when I got married. LOL!

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