Monday, March 13, 2017

A MATTER OF PERCEPTION

Look at the image on the left. What do you see? It's an old hag--right? She is looking forward and down, with a white hood covering the side of her head and her brown bangs hanging over her eyes. The flesh colored triangular shape, bottom center, is her chin and the line above it is her mouth. 

Look again--now what do you see? It's a young woman--right? She is looking away from us, her brown hair is pulled up under a white scarf that is fashionably draped over the back of her head. The flesh colored triangular shape, bottom center, is her chest and she is wearing a brown ribbon choker.

Perhaps that is how many women (and men) perceive growing old. They look in the mirror and see an old hag and wonder what happened to the pretty young woman that used to look back at them. I believe how we react to getting older is the true key to life-long happiness. The old hag exists only in our minds. She is actually an attractive woman whose face reflects a multitude of experience and wisdom. Old age is simply another destination on life's highway and the trip is merely another adventure to embrace.

The new anthology "I'm Still Me After All These Years" has hit the market and I've finally had a chance to read some of my fellow authors/contributors essays. They contain some wonderful insight into how other seniors are living life to the fullest and showing by example that age truly is only a number.

While reading the "Still Me" essays, I was reminded of a past incident in my own life that may be relevant to what I am trying to say. My husband and I went out to dinner with another couple. The wife was actively NOT celebrating her birthday that day. She was bemoaning the fact that another year had passed and she was getting old.

I studied her as she talked about the extra five pounds she'd gained since her wedding day, her "poochy" tummy, and saggy double chin. She looked great to me. I knew she was older than I but, up until that moment, I had never been concerned with my age except when I wanted to hurry up and turn sixteen so I could get my driver's license.

I was hesitant to ask her age, she seemed so sensitive about it, but she opened the door by asking my age. I told her my "number" and her eyes widened with shock and, I think, a tinge of jealousy. She said I was so lucky and I should enjoy it while I could.

I recall that was the first time I thought about the inevitability of growing old and it bothered me. Deep down, I was glad I was my age and she was the older woman.

Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you--she was twenty-four and I was nineteen.

If you could pick any time (or any age) in your life to relive, when would it be and why?

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Check out "Still Me After All These Years," to see what 24 seniors have to say about life in their golden years: https://www.amazon.com/Still-After-All-These-Years-ebook/dp/B06WWRK82K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489331314&sr=8-1&keywords=still+me+after+all+these+years+book

6 comments:

  1. Oh yes, the decrepit 20s. Why do we feel so old when we're in our 20s? I know I did, too.

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    1. Maybe that's the first time we stop wishing we were older? First you want to be a teenager, then you want to be an adult, then you want to be twenty-one, then you suddenly realize it all happened a lot faster than you thought it would.

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  2. I remember when I turned 30, a 40-something woman I worked with said I should celebrate. I asked why and she said, "If I were turning 30, I'd celebrate!" That did give me another perspective. No matter how old we are, there's always someone older who thinks we're young!

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    1. So true. And there's always someone older who makes you glad you are still younger than they are! ;-)

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  3. I'm in my early 20's right now, and I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough. I hope it'll get better in a few years.

    www.ficklemillennial.com

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    1. I believe some of the most successful people often feel this way, Gina. Make a list of things you have accomplished and I bet you'll find you are doing a lot more than you realize. As for your tomorrows, don't set unrealistic goals and forget about trying to prove yourself to others. If you do that, I think you'll find that you achieve more and are ultimately much happier with the "todays" of your life. (It works for me.)

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