A Certain Age

I’ve always been mystified by the people who are terribly age-conscious. When I was younger, I didn’t get the agonies my peers went through over longing to be old enough for this, that, and the other thing. Driving a car was never especially thrilling or compelling to me, alcohol had little allure as an illicit tipple when I could see how stupidly my peers (and many legal-age drinkers) behaved when drinking more than they could handle, and I’ve still not had the remotest interest in trying to smoke anything. I didn’t even care about R-rated movies any more than I do now; most of those are too violent, too rude, and or too loud for my usual taste.

When I got old enough to do all of the supposedly grownup-geared stuff, I became just as amazed and confounded by those who wish and try to be or appear younger than they are. If I want to lie about my age, I won’t pretend I’m some young thing I’m not; I’ll certainly tell everyone I’m much older than I really am so they’ll be impressed with how fit, alert, and fantastic I am compared to everyone else “my age”—but that’s too much effort for a silly joke on my part. I’m pretty content to be myself, whatever age I am, and let people love, respect, and admire me—or not—for the real me that they know. I’m happy to have accomplished what modest things I’ve learned or done, to covet the thin grey hairs and fine-lined wrinkles I’ve earned through years and experience, and to relish the freedom that comes with age.

Because as far as I’m concerned, the biggest and best goal of growing up (insofar as I’ll concede to attempting anything like that) is to be so at home in my own skin, however baggy and spotty and misshapen it might be, that I can like myself fine and expect the same respect from others without trying to be someone or something I am so obviously not. Here I am, 53-plus years of ordinary, thin-haired, not-so-fit, tacky happiness jammed into a humbly passable carcass, and I’m mighty glad of it.Ink drawing: A Certain Age

27 thoughts on “A Certain Age

  1. Good morning Katherine…
    I love this image and what you have to say. I agree with you totally that to be obsessed with one’s image is just too time consuming and also what’s the point?
    I have to admit that it took me until I was forty to begin to feel really comfortable i n my own skin…
    What a relief it is. Have a lovely Tuesday. Janet:)x

    • Far better than the skin being too tight, as I’ve learned from watching people who decided that an extreme facelift was going to make them look more youthful, and ended up looking like aliens instead! 😀 Your beauty is quite evident on the surface, but even more so from within as I get to know you!

    • Your mindful approach to your whole life is what I see as *the* key to growing content and happy with who we are. If we can learn to be patient and understanding and hopeful with and for others, then surely we should extend the same courtesies to ourselves. 🙂
      Blessings and peace!

  2. Love it that you’re comfortable in your own skin, and don’t mind being whatever age you happen to be at the time. It takes a certain amount of confidence or contentment with oneself for that to be true, in my opinion. Good for you!

    Speaking of being of a certain age, today I turned 56. The funny thing is, I’ve been saying I was 56 for about four years now (always seem to accidentally add a few too many years). Now I’ll have to figure out how to remember that I actually AM 56 … perhaps I’ll just start using 60. It’s a nice, round number, and easier to remember. 🙂

    • As I’ve said, I’m much more inclined to exaggerate my years than to minimize them, though to be fair I’m so bad with numbers it can take me ten minutes to remember how old I *really* am, anyhow! I figure age is truly determined more by attitude and health than by calendars, and since health is not exactly under our control beyond a certain point, all I can do is focus on whatever attitudinal stuff is possible and useful for the day. 🙂 I think *you* know what I mean!

  3. 60 coming up, and I’ve earned my wrinkles and grey hair! I just wish that so many of my parts weren’t out of warranty!! 😉

    • I hope your 60s are fantastic, no matter what! Good thing the quality of tuneups is advancing along with our age, eh! I happen to know that wrinkles and grey (or no) hair comprise the new Cool. 😀

  4. Never did I think I’d reach 60, Kathryn, and to regret or deny it would be about as ungrateful an act as I could muster. I’ll celebrate every day and start each with a “Thank you.”

    • And I, in turn, thank *you* for that wise reminder. Living ain’t always easy, but it sure does beat the alternative. And, by the way, I am thankful *for* your existence. Happy weekend, my friend!

    • Thank you, Anna! It’s an old bit from my sketchbooks, but I finally dug it up and fiddled with it a little digitally to make it work here. Sometimes I miss teaching Life Drawing because of the easy access to good models, but then I remember the stress of the teaching/admin part and am very happy indeed to find my subjects elsewhere! 😉

  5. I have loved each year. Life is a gift, and the numbers reflect how much time I have had to get where I am. I am not done, yet! And one always should consider the alternative…aging is better.

    • Absolutely! I find in many ways that the perspective of age’s greatest gift is knowing just how blessed I *have* been in the past and how much that opens up possibilities for future joys in me.

    • You are among the people I would see as the least constrained by numbers. Your inner sparkle shows through too brightly for anyone to be distracted by your outer beauty, no matter what years you think are marked on the latter. 🙂

  6. At 61 I’ve never been more content. When one considers the alternative to ageing, being grey and wrinkled and a bit ‘worn’ is quite welcome.

    • Indeed. I’m so happy that you’ve grown so content; may your experience and wisdom and, yes, your being ‘worn’ into a comfortable state will serve as inspiration to others as it does to me!

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