We’ll grant you that some things about getting older are neither pretty nor fun. Maybe there will be times your body decides ‘nope, not today’. Maybe your crepey neck, laugh lines and stray greys will betray the fact that you ain’t seeing 40 again.
Maybe you’ll need an ambulance instead of an Uber to take you home if you stay out all night shooting tequila. So, yep, there’s that.
On the flip side
Plenty of things about getting older do not suck at all. In fact, go ahead and give us a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus because these are your freedom years. Got battle scars? Of course! But you earned every single one of them and it’s time to show them off! We’re not saying you don’t give a damn now, we’re saying you get to pick and choose what to give a damn about!
Strength in the numbers
Age confers a certain self assuredness and inner strength that the younger you didn’t likely possess. All that youthful angst, turmoil and confusion about life and love and what it all means? No thanks! As the old country song goes, ‘there might be a little dust on the bottle, but don’t let it fool ya about what’s inside!’
10 ways to enjoy your freedom
Voice your opinion
Especially when something matters to you. Your point of view is valid, whether it gels with everyone else’s or not. Different perspectives lead to healthy debate. Or punch-ups. (Though aim to avoid these.)
Stop second guessing
Ever noticed how older folks tend to speak their truth and move on without agonising over every word and worrying whether they’ve stepped on someone’s toes? Your turn. Say what you need to say and move on.
Leave the house naked
Let’s be clear, we’re talking about your face, not your bod! (Because that’s illegal, duh.) It’s amazingly freeing not to feel compelled to apply a face full of make-up just to head out to the shops. Bonus? We often look younger and fresher without layers of spackle. Try it!
Eat the dang cake
You want dessert? Have dessert. If this is the worst thing you do today, that’s a win in our book. It’s not time for sweets? Even better. Have it anyway.
Everything is not your fault. Crisis in the Middle East, traffic jam, bad weather, someone else’s rude behaviour, your partner’s politics, someone accidentally runs into you with their trolley? Why are you sorry? As women, it’s often our knee-jerk response to apologise for every little thing. As older women, we can quit doing that. Or at any age!
Run your own race
Measuring your worth against others and trying to emulate them can lead to insecurity and discontent, not to mention debt as you try to keep up appearances. Gals who’ve been around a time or two recognise this; they simply don’t care what others may think about the size of their bum, bank account or house. The end.
Ignore the wardrobe police
Women of a certain age have learned what works for them and what doesn't in the style and if that means comfort and practicality win over so-called fashion, so be it. You are free to never don another uncomfortable push-up bra, pair of stilettos or slit-to-the-thighs asymmetrical skirt again. Go ahead and rock your activewear every damn day if you please!
Say no and don’t feel bad
If you can’t or don’t want to oblige a request or invitation, it’s plenty OK to say, ‘Thanks for thinking of me but I can’t this time.’ Offer a brief explanation if you feel it’s appropriate, but it’s not necessary to fall over yourself furnishing intricate details or apologies. Worse, don’t say yes when you want to say no – that’s a sure and well-worn path to regret and resentment.
You’re still here! Sadly, many don’t make it this far. That may sound flippant but it’s the truest thing you’ll read today. Don’t bemoan your age, embrace it!
If not now, when? Maybe you’ve always wanted to write, to travel, to dance, to learn a new language, to move on from an unhealthy relationship or job? What on earth are you waiting for? This is your one life...