50 Doesn’t Look Like it Did Thirty Years Ago

50 Doesn’t Look Like it Did Thirty Years Ago

I watched The Golden Girls recently. You know, that 80’s show about the adventures of ladies entering their “golden” years? “Blanche” was 53 when the show began, the same age I am today! The day I learned that I realized…50 Doesn’t Look Like it Did Thirty Years Ago.

Rose dressed in “old lady” clothes. Blanche dressed in “slutty old lady clothes”. Dorothy dressed like Maude. Do you remember Maude? If you don’t, google her! There was grey hair, aging topics, and the attitude that they were elderly and living younger lives.

The show now bothers me. I am 53. Many of my friends are in their late 40’s and older (a few into their 70’s.) As I watched the show one afternoon it hit me:

I don’t do 53 like my grandparents or parents did. 

My Nana died at 54 after a battle with pancreatic cancer in the mid-’70s. Treatments were not as successful as they are today. 

My Nana was always old. I remember her as always having grey hair, wearing dirty blonde wigs and housecoats, you know, things a grandmother would wear! When she died, she was one year younger than I am now.

50 Doesn't Look Like it Did Thirty Years Ago elderly lady hands

My other grandma? There were no wigs, just a lot of mumus. She wore them around the house and outside.

My grandpas were much the same.

The parents were old at 40. I kid you not. They began acting old at 40. By 50? They may as well have been in rocking chairs.

Maybe it was because I was a kid or maybe it was the lifestyle at the time. Either way, I realized that afternoon watching The Golden Girls: 

I am younger at this age than my parents and grandparents ever were at my age. 

Want to know a secret? I color my hair, take care of my skin work on my health and try to maintain a youthful appearance. There’s a full-time job, a couple of freelance gigs and a business that I work on my off-hours. I don’t see myself slowing down. The thought of retiring is a crazy fantasy (what would I DO?) I make an effort to stay active, socialize and find joy. Falling off the ladder reminded me that it’s important to do those things.

Lifestyles today are very different. We are not waiting for grandchildren and death. Not that those go hand in hand, just sayin’. 50 Doesn’t Look Like 50 Did Thirty Years Ago.

I don’t own one mumu, housecoat, or wig. AARP? I won’t join on principle. I know that’s silly. I’m not mentally “ready” to take that leap. 50 doesn’t look like it did back in the day.

I am young.

I like that people don’t believe me when I tell them my age and am often mistaken for being ten years younger. It makes me feel young. I like being young. 

That’s not to say I’m not aging. I have less patience. I live more simply. Obtaining material things means less to me. I like wearing flats and flip flops. Heck, flip-flops are my all-occasion shoe (black Crocs to be exact.) I have aches and pains.

I don’t agonize over my outfits every day. My clothes are “grab and go”, mostly black or grey, which matches everything.

I enjoy my alone time, my time with friends and family, and the in-between times.

I’m aging gracefully and slowly, I hope! 

My 53 is where my parents and grandparents were in their 30’s. I’m cool with that. 

Read more about me and why I’m taking a starting over after 50.

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Penny, blogger at www.flipflopsandsensibleshoes.com, signature