Over the past two weekends, I’ve been to beautiful Santa Barbara for one of my best friend’s 60th birthday… and to my 40thMt. Pleasant High School reunion in exotic Wilmington, Delaware. There’s no way to put a fresh, unwrinkled face on these two events – as perfectly delightful as they were, they were clear and unmistakable evidence that I am, indeed, getting old.
Normally, I hate bitching about getting old. It forces people to politely deny the obvious reality with “No, no, you still look great… really!” Or far worse, “Wow, I thought you were only 55…” like that’s supposed to make you feel as if you’ve achieved some kind of botox/yoga nirvana. And then, of course, you have to fend off the well-meant flattery with self-deprecation in the form of “Oh please, I’m an ancient hag!”… and it’s all just too ridiculous and exhausting.
But these two weekends – with all their unavoidable underpinnings of decades slipping by—turned out to be a beautiful introduction to the upside of aging.
Mimi’s birthday brought together some of my best book club friends from Denver and we proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can still party like it’s 1999 –and putter like we’re 99. In fact, one of the sweetest moments of the four glorious days of luxurious spa treatments, sunset boat rides, manic flea marketing, and boisterous wining & dining was Sunday night when we all clustered inside Mimi and Mark’s Mission adobe home, placidly reading the New York Times, eating leftovers, and watching the Mavs kick the Heat’s butt for the NBA championship.
Walking on the beach every day, we talked incessantly about books, kids, grandkids, health stuff, old friends, new jobs and men … just like old times, but with a lot more gratitude and a lot less frantic anxiety. We’ve been lucky in life and we know it. (And of course, Mimi makes 60 look glamorous beyond belief — in fact, if she keeps this up, I might have to stop being her friend.)
My high school reunion was a mere four days later on the east coast and required a tolerance for ear-splitting screams of re-acquaintance, cheap wine, and the ability to instantly call up the name of someone you haven’t seen in 40 years. Of the 460 people in my class, 177 came to the reunion – some of whom had never showed up before. It wasn’t a wild scene (we’re too damn old to pull that off), but it was incredibly satisfying to see people with whom you shared so much history—who know all your bad habits & grade school nicknames (mine, coined by my 4thgrade teacher Mr. Burns and remembered instantly and broadcast loudly by Doug Swan, was “Busybody Betty” – because I could never stand not to know everything that was going on with every single person in the room – surprise, surprise!)
Nobody was posturing or had much to prove – probably because after 40 years, everybody’s been kicked to the floor a couple of times and failed at something –so we celebrated each others’ successes and commiserated with the inevitable disappointments. It was a time to bask in the warmth and laughter of people who knew you back when your mom cut your bangs straight across, you got a black eye falling out of a tree, and everybody in the neighborhood went barefoot all summer long, playing Capture the Flag and Red Rover out in the streets until it was too dark to see, then hightailed it home when your mom whistled to come on in and take a bath before bedtime.
Those were sweet times then … and it was sweet to still see, in the faces of these old friends, the kids that you’ll never forget. It’s always remarkable to me how many people hold the memories of my life … of my mom & dad; my sisters and brothers; Lulu as a baby; Larry & me meeting at the 25th reunion and getting married 3 months later … and how much it means to me that they do remember.
Yeah, I’m old – but I’m not alone out there. And life is good.
Greetings . . .
I love It!!!
You have captured the joys of childhood and adulthood equally well, Betty. It’s so refreshing to hear someone express gratitude for the things they have in their life. I hope you continue to enjoy them for many decades to come.
It must be my imagination, but I could swear some of those kids in your school picture were in my class, too.
Isn’t it amazing how all people from our era have elementary school pictures that look exactly alike?? I can’t get over how sweet and homely everybody looks …
and how even almost 50 years later, those faces are still readily recognizable! It’s good to go home again!
Loved your post. I just hit 40 this year and gave birth to twin boys! I try not to pay attention to a number. But boy do I feel my age lugging those boys around. 🙂
Oh, enjoy them while they are small! I used to carry Lulu everywhere until she was about 8… and now that she’s 20, I really miss those hold-em-close moments! Congrats on being the mother of twins at 40 … you are a lucky, lucky mom!! All the best & have a ball, B
Работу на заводе где калибруют габиуцу Д-30 полируют и отливают стволы, и фрезеруют запорную часть и шлифуют казенники стволов, надо отнести к искуству подобную описаному в книге Станислава Лема – “Пикник на обочине” и “Жук в муравейнике”… и работой наших модераторов форума.Алешкины Дети!!!
Шутка из САМАРЫ “Синие ведерки” вывели за ночь из строя половину светофоров и часть семафоров на развяках Сызранского УЗЛА.И отпилили четыре лакбаума… Лешкины Дети.
03 июля 2011 г. 16:27:09
Шутка из САМАРЫ “Синие ведерки” вывели за ночь из строя половину светофоров и часть семафоров на развяках Сызранского УЗЛА.И отпилили четыре лакбаума… Лешкины Дети.
РЕЖИМ все хорошо
РЕЖИМ все спокойно
РЕЖИМ построиться в КАРЕ.
03 июля 2011 г. 16:31:26
режим ЗАХВАТ ФОРУМА
03 июля 2011 г. 17:54:57
Congrats on your happiness!
Dear Real Anonymous — love your moniker .. and thanks for the good wishes!!
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This is a really sweet post.
Thanks so much!! Really appreciate it!!
WE http://totenham2.wordpress.com/ kurashew
I clicked on this article because I could’ve sworn that was my first grade class photo … we had the same clothes, display board, even faces looked familiar … close, but it was New Castle, Pa. for me. Great article, seems like we all have struggles with aging. I appreciate your positive aproach to this unavoidable issue!
Isn’t it a riot how ALL these class photos look identical?? Happy to meet a fellow neighbor from the Keystone State … and yeah, we all struggle with aging. That’s what makes it such a hot-button topic! Glad you wrote …
Fantastic. As someone in her late twenties becoming quite aware that one will not always be so young, your post reminds me time brings many more magical years to come.
Dear Sandra — You are really REALLY young — trust me! You don’t have to start thinking about aging for at least 15 years … so don’t borrow trouble but revel in your youth for as long as you’ve got it! Happy days …
Never really considered my age – always thought of it being “a few years ago, at school…” until you get the reminders on facebook for 25 year reunions and 30 year reunions… I wonder how my mom was acting at this age and somehow cannot ever imagine her ever being this young…. My apologies mom – i guess there are things about you that I’ll never know..
Congrats on fp!!!
Oh, there are SO many things we’ll never know about our moms … and since I had my daughter at exactly the same age as my mom had me, I’m always thinking of what she must have been going through when I was 15, 18, 20 … yikes! And yes, it is a shocker to think you’ve been out of high school 40 years — when it really only seems like maybe 20! Thanks for writing from South Africa!!
My 40th year reunion is next year. I have never gone to a class reunion. Your pictures look wonderful.
Connie — You should go!! I’ll bet you’ll find SO many people happy to see you … please write and tell me if you do!!
Thanks so much for commenting! Lovely photo ….
Hi Betty. I’m in my 20 somethings right now and sometimes I think it’s kinda frightening to me when I’m thinking about how is it like of being 40 or more.
Somehow I feel happy living my current life and I guess life has it’s own pace and it might be actually interesting when I reach 30 or more.
I feel like the more I get older, the younger I feel deep inside. Since there are so many things in life which I find in like every single day. They’re all seem so interesting and wonderful to learn. So I guess it’s just our body that getting older. Have you watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? I guess that’s what we really are. Getting younger each time, inside. It’s just my personal opinion tho. 🙂
Dear Decci, What a deep and personal comment! I am so grateful to you for sharing … and I have a feeling that you will continue to get younger as your age gets greater — with that wonderful, curious and exploring attitude! Life does have its own pace and is constantly unfolding in new and unexpected way — it took me til my 40s to really recognize that, so you are WAY ahead of me in that regard! Warmest thanks for writing!!
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Great blog, being 51 I understand everything you are saying, Congrats on FP!
Melina — We 50 sisters have an understanding, don’t we?? Really appreciate your sweet comment!
Betty, I am thankful to have read this today. I am in my mid-40s now and I love this time of my life! You give me further inspiration to keep learning and living. I love that. Thanks for sharing.
Mama Steph — You are SO welcome! And believe me, if you love your life, you’re going to be beautiful — no matter what your age! So happy you wrote!!
I too am feeling so Great right now at 45!!! A dear friend of mine who is 77 says I am just getting started!!! I LOVE that…what I really love is that all of you look young, active and radiant. Many of us can remember grandparents who at 60 were old, grey and no so active due to working hard and raising lots of kids. We are all very blessed in this particular time on Earth! Wonderful post and so Bright Side!!! Love it thanks for sharing!!! AmberLena
Love the title of your post, Betty. How I would love for it to be true. Now when you attend your 50th reunion, you’ll look back and realize how young you are now. How do you like this for a compliment: At age 40 I asked my gyn/obs if he thought I was in shape to get pregnant. He said, “Well, you may be 40, but you have the body of a 39-year-old!
What’s that Shakespeare phrase? “Killing me with faint praise…” — your ob/gyn was a douche! But you are SO right — whenever I look back at photos in which I distinctly remember feeling fat/old/haggard — I think “Gee, I was really pretty cute! Why didn’t I appreciate it AT THE TIME??” So now, I really do try to appreciate whatever I’ve got WHILE I’ve still got it… and let the chest fall where it may! Thanks SO much for writing!
I love this! I believe in an afterlife, so in light of that we are all just getting started! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos.
Thank YOU for writing — and I’ll see you in the next life light!
I’m cheating…this is my second time ’round here! But I just COULD NOT RESIST!
Just call me The Man With The Lyrics (it’s my obsession)> Now THIS IS GONNA MAKE YOU LAFF [a slightly barfy version of aging]:
I’ll go away now.
“My bulldog is barking in the backyard
Enough to raise a dead man from his grave.
And I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing.
Disturbance going to crucify my days.
And the days they get longer and longer,
And the nighttime is a time of little use.
For I just get ugly and older.
I get juiced on Mateus and just hang loose!
And I get bombed for breakfast in the morning!
I get bombed for dinner time and tea!
I dress in rags, smell a lot, and have a real good time,
I’m a genuine example of a social disease.
My landlady lives in a caravan,
Well that is when she isn’t in my arms.
And it seems I pay the rent in human kindness,
But my liquor also helps to grease her palms.
And the ladies are all getting wrinkles
And they’re falling apart at the seams.
Well I just get high on tequila
And see visions of vineyards in my dreams.
“Social Disease” lyric by Bernie Taupin for Elton John’s 1973 smash LP, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.The double album was the seventh studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John. It has come to be regarded as Elton John’s best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album with worldwide sales of at least 31 million copies.
Wow — that’s pretty dark! But when you consider that Bernie Taupin was about … 25 at the time … it’s no wonder that this is how he perceived the older years!
I am so glad you shared this!! I adore Elton John — and to think that he’s now got a new baby, is probably getting about 5 hours of sleep a night, has been sober for
decades, and is deeply involved in a Foundation that is amazing, profound, and doing great work around the world — well, it’s quite a different picture!! What a
great addition to the comments, Will!!!
Great article! This is rreally interesting for me as such as taxation in UK 🙂 – http://honka.tk
Reading this post made me feel a heck of a lot better about getting older. I just turned 34 last week and thought, “Dang, my youth is officially over…” There is something about being a thirty-something that really bothers me. But most everyone I know is my age, or older. So it’s not like I’m in this alone.
Dear Angie — You’re not even CLOSE to being alone — you’ve got me and a host of other 50, 60 and 70-somethings to show you the way!!
Trust me .. at 34, you’re not even close to being old — but you can also trust me that your youth is inside you — and can always be accessed!
thanks SO much for writing!
Wow – you guys look amazing!
On behalf of my cute friends, THANK YOU!
Nice post, thank-you.
Makes me think of ONE witticism:
“In old age we are like a batch of letters that someone has sent. We are no longer in the past, we have arrived.”
AND one sentimentality:
” I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.
Lyric “”What a Wonderful World” is a song written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968.
Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate of everyday life in the United States, the song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future, with reference to babies being born into the world and having much to look forward to. The song was initially offered to Tony Bennett, who turned the song down. Thereafter, it was offered to Louis Armstrong. The song was not initially a hit in the United States, where it sold fewer than 1,000 copies because the head of ABC Records did not like the song and so did not promote it, but was a major success in the United Kingdom, reaching number one on the UK singles chart. In the U.S. the song hit #116 on the Bubbling Under Charts. It was also the biggest-selling single of 1968 in the UK where it was also among the last pop singles issued by HMV Records before becoming an exclusive classical music label. The song made Louis Armstrong the oldest male to top the charts, at sixty-six years and ten months old. Armstrong’s record was broken in 2009 when the cover of Islands in the Stream recorded for Comic Relief reached number one. One of the featured artists on the song was Tom Jones.
I’ve always loved that song — thanks SO much for the reference and background! Really a great, meaningful comment!!
Yep – the closer I get to 50 the less I think of it as OLD. Friends and I were chatting the other day. My son recently went on a field trip to my college campus for a drama day camp. He mentioned the names of teachers who were there when I was there 20+ years ago. I thought they were old then. Now I think, wow, they must of only been my current age back then. I look in the mirror and think I don’t look half bad to be 42. And I plan to fight aging all the way. Age is just a number and I still have A LOT of living left to do.
Bravo, Kathleen! That’s the spirit — and I laughed when I read your comments about teachers’ ages ! I thought all my teachers were soooo old, but when I look at their photos in the yearbook most of them were probably in their late 20s, early 30s… ah, the delusions of youth! Thanks for writing — and trust me, 42 is YOUNG!
The avocado is funny. Liked the post. I also like all your quotes on the sidebar. Fun! How’d you discover them all?
Hi Jessie! Actually, it’s a PRUNE, not an avocado, but apparently a lot of people want it to be an avocado so … I’ll be guacamole! The quotes I have just been accumulating pretty much my whole life — I always just write down the quotes I love, so when it came time to put together my blog, I figured I’d use the wisdom of other people to enliven and inspire.
THANKS for reading them!
My exfiance is 10 years older than me. I am 36 years old now. I was 23 years old when I met him. He is so hot and one of those guys that you know always will be and will always look young. He has had a cartoonish aura to me before he looked so good. Even though he and I are not together now our love was so strong that I am sure that God wants me to know that I will be with this ex. The fact of his age difference and how set he is is helping me to glide through aging with out a fear, even though I have some white hairs now.
Loved loved loved reading this blog…..its so light, fresh, refreshing…..so youthful. thankyou for sharing
Dear Nandini — You are very welcome for sharing — and thanks for writing such a sweet comment! The beauty of writing is that you can sound incredibly youthful — despite all
your real-life years… at least that’s what I’m counting on! Really appreciate you reading …
Love it Love it Love it! The pictures are amazing. I am helping plan our 25th HS reunion this summer and linked to your post so people can share in your great energy and wonderful story. Thank you! http://gwhswv1986.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/old-its-the-new-young-by-betty-londergan/
Best of luck at your 25th, Elizabeth — and you are a saint for helping plan it !! I met my husband at my 25th, and we’ve been married 15 years — so it’s definitely true that remarkable things can happen at a reunion!! Really glad to hear from you (and thanks for re-posting!)
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Greetings . . .
I love It!!!
Thanks so much — can’t wait to check out your blog once I come up for air….
And I love that you love it!
I am not sure exactly how many candles you have on your birthday cake but I will be having 60 on mine this November. I think your article and indeed all the lovely responses are wonderful. I’m busy writing a book at the moment which focuses mainly on well-known folk who were actually born in 1951. (or thereabouts)
The book is called The 1951 Club and I have a website about it which you can find at http://www.the1951club.org
Please have a look as I think you will really enjoy it and will hopefully want to contribute and JOIN US.
I am almost 60. I’ve had my share of the upsets that life flings at us but I feel so privileged to be here and to love and be loved. Can’t ask more than that…although a lottery win would be nice!!! The other thing is … OK I’m almost 60 so … HOW COME I STILL FEEL ABOUT 16 .
All the best
Wow, Kris — we’re apparently both Scorpios, both big lovers of life, and just two years apart — I’m in the 1953 club! Love your energy and enthusiasm, which just pops off the page, and I can’t wait to check out yoyur website! My two best friends live in the UK, too — so I always love to meet another Brit! thanks so much for writing…
O.L.D Over Life’s Dramas.
You are all gorgeous period. Age is just a number.
Oh, I like that O.L.D. acronym!! What a great attitude … thanks for sharing this!!
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Well, I’m 32, and still found myself drawn to underlying thoughts you wrote of. I guess they pay no mind to numbers.
Your blog is the first I’ve hit the “like” button for. I’ve been ‘pressing my words’ since December of last year, and still seem to just be stretching my legs into this writing community.
Just thought I’d let you know I really enjoyed your blog, and thank you for being the one to pioneer me into joining fellow word pressers 🙂
Dear Margarita — I am humbled by your note — and so thrilled to be your first “like”!! I always am amazed by the blogging community — and though last year was so crazy, I really didn’t have a lot of time to spend exploring other people’s sites, this year has been an eye-opening and really inspiring exploration! I can’t wait to go on your site and check it out — we writers always need more encouragement from each other, and to build community. So — THANKS for reaching out! I’ll be in touch!!
I enjoyed it too!
GREAT WORDS! A BIG HUG FROM CHILE!!
Thanks, Patricia! And as somebody who has visited Chile and totally LOVED it, I’m thrilled to hear from a native! ALL the best!!!
High school reunions are something I look forward to every Easter Sunday!
It’s always poignant to reminisce good memories of the past especially when you are with people who have become part of it!
I am glad that you are happy and old!
GBU! I love the last photo…
I loved that last photo, too — there is something so invitational about it, don’t you think?? You’re obviously a happy camper, too — thanks so much for sharing your joy!!
Everybody had red hair in the 60’s? Just kidding! Excellent post!
I know!! Isn’t that crazy?? I love the haircuts on everybody — they were really no-nonsense, and cut to last … and last…and last (check out my bangs, for instance)!!
So happy you liked the post & thanks a million for writing!
Only two days in WordPress and am glad to have read wonderful blogs already. There I was thinking I’m in a quarter life dilemma, and scared of getting old. But you just made me realise that age is indeed a state of mind, and that it’s something we have to embrace. I remember my grandmother telling me “Life is a layer of thousand spices – the more you age the flavourful Life gets” I thought it was just some random kitchen quotes, but how can she be so right? lol. Happy for you and a toast to my aged, creased, sextegenarian self! 😀
What a lovely comment!! I love your grandmother from afar — she sounds like quite a spicy, happy gal!! It’s very true, though, that as you get older you do appreciate the complexity of life, all the different experiences and people that have made you who you are, and even the difficulties that have shaped your character. I can say truthfully that I really wouldn’t change a thing … so I wish the same for you, Mr. 25 year old — have a wonderfully flavorful life!!! (And welcome to WordPress, btw — you’re going to love it! )
Wow! Took me forever to scroll down to the bottom of the comments – clearly this post has resonated with many of us! I smiled the whole way through. Everyone pictured is gorgeous and the joie de vivre comes through. Beautiful, beautiful! Love your 4th grade nickname too! Cheers!
Hi Carla! Thanks so much for taking the time to scroll and scroll — I’ve been trying to write back to everybody, so that’s why the list is soooo long! But you’re right …
I think this did resonate with a lot of people! I’m so happy about that!! Aging is obviously on a lot of people’s minds, and it’s a daunting prospect to let go of youth.
But as somebody who is constantly looking around at & talking to other people (hence, the Busybody Betty nickname you love), I think it’s possible for us to really cheer each other on … and reflect our friends’ beauty back to them…. and then it’s not so hard at all! Really loved getting your comment today!!
I loved the post. Very inspiring! Best wishes to you.
So happy you liked it & thanks for writing!!
ohhh this entry made me smile from ear to ear! i kind of have this peter pan complex but reading this makes me want to embrace age. it reminded me so much how i wanted to be just like the Golden Girls when i get older! they’re my girls! thanks for this post, you’re all sooo beautiful! xx
I LOVE the Golden Girls, and if there is one thing my women friends and I are always saying is — How can we all live together when we’re old???
And oddly, my daughter always loved that show, too — it’s so aspirational!! I’m really happy you liked the post — and believe me, when you start getting older you can either fight age in a healthy, happy way that includes embracing the reality of it (kind of like Tai Chi) — or make yourself miserable mooning over your lost youth.
What’s the point of that?? You’re gonna be one of the Happy Ones — I can tell! thanks for writing!!!
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Great post! My moment of awareness came this semester, when one of my twelfth grade students entered the room singing an ’80s song. When I expressed my surprise and asked her where she heard it, she said, “Oh, I love listening to the oldies station!” Yes, “oldies station”! When I feigned (okay, half-feigned) depression–we were reading Hamlet, after all–one of her classmates tried to make me feel better by saying, “Don’t worry. You’re not old. The song’s old, but you’re not old.” Ugh. The good news is that I really believe that the kids keep me young. Usually.
Anybody who is a high school teacher is my HERO! And I bet the kids do keep you young — when they’re not driving you mental. One of my wildest friends at the reunion is a high school math teacher — and she’s knows every trend going. Her students even made her a YouTube video on calculus to some hip-hop song — so you’ve got a FINE youthful career!! Thanks for reading!!
yes! Here’s to realising that age is fine and real and happens to everyone and is not an illness!! Also, another bee in my bonnet is that people think you can only be friends with someone the same age as you… NOT true!!! One of my favourite people is sixty five and absolutely wonderful!!! I dearly love to snatch up any chance f spending time with her. :] xx
I agree, Catie Eliza!! I had kind of a reverse awakening — my career was in advertising, and as I got into my early 50s, I ended up working with kids in their 20s — and I loved it so much! I think anybody that despairs of the next generation hasn’t spent enough time with them — and I’m still really close with a lot of those women … It’s a great gift to cross the age barrier!
Thanks for the thoughtful comment!!
That was truly wonderful – an entry about the upside of aging. It’s not all bad and let’s face it – it’s a privilege.
Thanks for sharing your memories!
It’s a privilege and a responsibility, I think — to not look back in sorrow but to look ahead & think what you can contribute to the world before you go.
Thanks so much for reading!
Amazing how years go by, great blog!
Thanks — and yes, those years DID just fly by! Enjoy ’em while they last!
I’m glad you wrote this and I read your blog. I hate the idea of getting old. I’m 44 but feel like I’m 21! Of course I looked a lot hotter at 21 but I guess 44 is not so bad.
Dear Culture — I am so glad you read my blog! I think the idea of getting old is a lot worse than the actual reality — because even though I thought I looked old at 44, I now look a LOT older, and it doesn’t bother me half as much. So — it’s the new math! ha! Don’t worry, be happy … and thanks for writing!!
La vita e’ bella ;-)!
Voyagess, I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I’ll take it as a compliment!! (and it sure sounds pretty!) THANKS!
Like I tell my friend Anita who’s 93 – you can say you’re old at 98, not a minute before.
All of you look gorgeous! I see a smart group of women making a difference and loving life – what a great example for everyone!
Glad you got Pressed…
Thanks a million — speaking for all my beautiful women friends, we appreciate the comment!!!
This was a lovely heartening post that positively ‘glowed’ with good vibes! Loved what you said about having people in your life who remember stuff about you when you were little. That’s a precious thing indeed.
So glad you liked the post, Munira!! It was so wonderful to be with people who remembered you as a kid — and grew up with you. Such a gift to be able to see them all again!
I notice that you did your calendar like me. For title you wrote in June for this month.
Hmm .. I don’t really understand what you are saying — but I’m glad we’re doing our calendars alike!
So nice to read your post. I turned 50 last year and it was as if everything started sagging and wrinkling overnight (or maybe I just started noticing). Night cream and reading glasses are my new best friends. The worst of my midlife crisis seems to be slowly subsiding into reluctant acceptance and a new appreciation of wine and dark chocolate. Here’s to the second half century and to good friends who knew us when!
Oh, it’s not easy on those dark nights of the epidermis, when everything is going to rack and ruin … BUT once you just kind of roll with it (over it??) it does seem to get easier! And wine & dark chocolate?? My two best friends!!! So happy you wrote!
I love your positive outlook! You look great and not a year over 30 🙂
Now THAT’s what I’m looking for (completely, totally unrealistically) — and that’s what I was talking about when people compliment you by saying you only look a few years younger. When you get to be 57, you need at least 2 decades taken off before you’re going to look the way you really want to — so you might as well just suck it up and get okay with looking your age. But hey — I think all my friends are beautiful .. so I guess I’ll just feel beautiful and let reality go hang! Thanks for writing Toni!!
Captivating, very nicely written & encouraging. Thanks for sharing.
I completely love this blog. Isn’t it amazing what one can do with good exercise and diet these days! God you all look so amazing.
Angelique — you are my new best friend!! What a great comment — so happy you wrote!!
Loved your post.
I teach bellydance. Most of my students are much younger than me. I had to work on my birthday one night so I brought in some birthday cake. Students helped me celebrate after class. One of the women asked how old I was. When I responded “50” her eyes got big and she exclaimed “I hope I’m like you when I’m your age.” I think that was a compliment. 🙂
I wish my high school reunion had been as fun as yours. I found myself sitting with a group of people I hardly knew. I felt as much an outcast as I was in high school. That was several years ago. Maybe if I gave it another shot it wouldn’t be so painful.
Hey Jamie! Loved your comment — specially the belly dancing part! I admire anybody who can do that — I tried it for about 3 weeks and I was hopeless!
I would say definitely give your reunion another try — and pick a seat with folks you know & like!!! Thanks so much for writing!
What a well-written piece! And what freedom you have! Thanks for sharing it.
I love your title, Accidental Stepmom, and I HAVE to check out your blog! I do have an amazing amount of freedom, and I’ve been hugely blessed with abundance …
one of the main reasons I felt compelled to give back last year through What Gives .. and to share with others the giant joy of giving. We’re called to it, as in: “From those to whom much has been given, much is expected.” Thanks for writing!!
btw, this is a nice reading..have a nice day!
You too …. so happy you wrote!!
I skipped my high school’s 40th reunion 3 years ago, and then the 60th birthday party for everyone in the class (of 1,200) held last fall. I’m working up the courage to go to the 45th reunion, which will be happening in 2 years. But, never having gone to any of them, at this point, I feel like an oddity. I’ve lost touch with everyone, except on Facebook, where the people who wouldn’t ‘friend me’ in high school are now my friends.
Oh well, I have 2 years to lose 15 pounds, maybe I’ll go…or not.
Okay, Decide to Decide – I’m going to share a story with you. For 40 years, my friend Skip never showed up for a reunion. He was really nervous about coming, but the minute he walked into the room, about 20 of us descended on him and in a matter of seconds we were laughing our heads off — bringing up old stories … it was just GREAT! And he was so so happy he’d come … I really think that you should go, because you might be amazed at how warmly you are received, how many people will be thrilled to see you, and how many new/old friendships may be rekindled ! Don’t worry about the weight (everybody looks older & yeah, a little wider) — just wear a big, beautiful smile & you’ll be good to go!!
I can’t tell you how much I love this post. It’s about everything I believe about aging. I turned 64 in May. I love my age. I love every year. I own my age. The photos you posted are of beautiful, vibrant women. They are perfect examples of age 60. Life is life, aging is aging. We all age, no matter how “ageless” others might tell us we are. But we all get to be the best us we can be at whatever age we are. That’s pure joy. Bravo to you!
Well, YOU certainly sound like you’re in a good place — KUDOS on that!! My feelings about aging have certainly been influenced by women like you who embrace where they are in life, look beautiful because they are still so excited about their lives, and definitely are “being the best they can be” — just like you! Thanks so much for writing!
Hello, Greetings from the Philippines! First of all congratulations for being features. I read your entire post and I just love the last line. It sums up everything.
Thanks SO much, Diane! I can’t believe you are in the Philippines and reading my blog! What a global village we live in! Can’t wait to read YOUR blog!
This post made me feel so much better, I adore your writing style.
Thank you for being positive and for making my day better.
I’m glad my post made you feel better –writing it made ME feel better, too! Can’t wait to explore your Juicy Grass blog — great title!! Thanks for reading (and writing!)
I love your post! That’s funny that I came across it RIGHT AFTER I posted about my elementary school reunion. I’m only in my 20s but even grade school reunions bring back great memories. 🙂 I enjoyed reading this!
Thanks, TL! What synchronicity that we both were living out our elementary school memories! Can’t wait to read about YOUR reunion .. and good for you for going!!
Really enjoyed reading your post and seeing the photos. I’m in my early forties but worry a lot about age and stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Lawrence (my favorite name since it’s my husband’s, too) — Yeah, we all worry about aging, but the best antidote I think is just going ahead and living as fully and wholeheartedly as possible! Good luck & thanks for writing!
I turn 50 this year and your blog helped ease my impending dread, as I watch the lines deepen over my top lip. If I smile it stretches them out!
Excellent point, Sherry — smiles DO stretch out the lip lines!! And I feel your pain. I can’t even LOOK at my neck anymore, it’s so scary — but not looking has actually turned out to be pretty easy! Great attitude, girl! Thanks for writing!
Everyone looked stunning, happy and beautiful at the present picture. The years has been good to all of you. Optimism , a joyful attitude and living healthy all plays a role in looking great irregardless of the age group. congrats!
Island Traveler — wow, those two words are just magical!!! — thanks for writing and making MY day!
ah, the good days 🙂
Amen to that! (and these are the good days, too!) Thanks for commenting!
What a delightful piece! First, all of you do look great but that may be coming from NOT an impartial observer as I’m five years on in the race to who-gets-to-be 70 first. Doesn’t age come with its advantages which, sadly in the West, are often overlooked: living really care-free – that is if you allow yourself as Betty and her friends have done – no longer having anything to prove but, perhaps best of all, still having tons of those who knew you back when, to share old memories with.
As an African-born though naturalized American, I see both sides and appreciate the dilemma of Western-born and raised women to succumb to the relentless pushing of youth as the only time worth living. Those like Betty and her friends who’ve decided to embrace and cherish – and even enjoy – every phases of life, live best.
Thanks, Betty for the v. enjoyable write-up, the insights and, hei, the great pixes,
Thanks so much! I think it’s so fascinating how other cultures view age — and I love hearing the African perspective! I do think that being happy in your work, keeping busy and fully engaged in life, and having good friends (and being a good friend) will take away the sting of aging — and leave you simply grateful for your life! I have found that I am not as scared by new stages of life and the inevitable transitions as I used to be — because I’ve been through it before, and I realize that in order to experience new things, you have to both leave the comfortable old things behind … and be willing to go through an uncomfortable period of change. But — that can lead you to what you’re supposed to be doing in the NOW, and introduce you to incredible new people, places, and adventures. So … thanks for writing & being so kind about my post!!
“Those were sweet times then … and it was sweet to still see, in the faces of these old friends, the kids that you’ll never forget”. Love this idea. Being nostalgic and then discovering the old friendship and transforming it to long lasting one .. 🙂
SO glad you liked that thought, Stella! I do feel as if growing up with someone gives you a really vivid insight into their essential character — and those things never do change over the years. Like my friend Susie Webber’s adorable laugh. Or my friend Judy Manners’ ability to remember everything. Or Martha Sherman’s organizational chops. It really is amazing to me how those ties from childhood really do bind you to old friends — and how easy it is to pick up the threads and move so easily back into friendships in the present!
Thanks a million for commenting!!!
I love the pictures, outlook on life and your quotes along the side. I am 67 and I thank you for making me feel young
You are welcome … and if you feel young, you ARE young — that’s my mantra and I’m sticking to it! Lovely to hear from you!!
I don’t know if it’s me or what. BUT I enjoyed this readings and pictures so very much, I have laughed and had a ball. THANK YOU. My 50th high school reunion is next summer. NOW I CAN HARDLY WAIT.
Good for YOU! I hope you have a great time — and I have the distinct feeling you WILL! Thanks for writing!!
Such a refreshingly honest post – wow old age sneaks up on us all if we’re luckly. It is exhausting to constantly listen to advice on how to look younger instead of how to get on with life and embrace each turn – Thanks for sharing your great photos and positive perspective!
I SO agree — it is exhausting to have to try to constantly look younger! I think we’re all obliged to take care of ourselves, exercise and eat right — but I think the more
you focus on your” problem” areas — which at a certain point becomes pretty much your whole body — the less you can get out of your head and into your heart …
where all your juicy, joyful, FUN resides. And that’s what is going to make you really look and feel wonderful .. Thanks so much for commenting!!
Ugh old people thinking they’re hip. Unreal
Darling, as unthinkable as it may be –you will be old, too, some day. Hope you don’t take this bitterness along with you —
Betty I live in constant fear of aging, just as my mother did before me (and still does). So much of the grace we do (or dont) find in aging I think comes from role models. We need friends of all ages to show us the way. I have been so relieved to have older friends teach me what my mother couldn’t: that this business of growing up and slowing down can happen with grace. I just love your post and glad it was freshly pressed so I could find it. I blog at saysomethingyoumean.wordpress.com and would love to have you visit!
My plan, as soon as I can respond to all these wonderful comments, is to visit ALL the blogs that have found me today! I’m totally jazzed, and so glad you wrote!
I’ve always kind of believed that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear — because fear kills love — so if you can manage to throw yourself into a wild love affair with life,
it will banish your fears of aging … and you’ll be able to really feel the gratitude that comes with knowing you’ve been blessed in so many ways! And as they always say ..
It’s hard getting old, but consider the alternative! So glad you wrote & can’t wait to visit saysomethingyoumean!
Ah! This is beautiful! I love how you manage to still see the kids in your old classmates despite the number of years that have gone through. I am glad to know that there are still people like you who look at old age with some optimism. It makes getting old fabulous and not depressing. You guys look great in the photos by the way!
I know I am still far from being 60 (heck, that’s still in 40 years… I don’t know where I’ll be by then), but I am kinda scared to know how I’ll feel or what I’ll be doing when I get there. Will I be retiring at a beach house where I can wake up to the fresh breeze? Will I be rummaging through store shelves for the latest anti-wrinkle products? Will I still remember old friends when I bump into them on the streets or will I have Alzheimer’s? Or I don’t know. It’s a scary thought – this whole getting old stuff. But, thanks for sharing your confidence! You make me feel less scared. 🙂
Dear Cherszy — Well, everybody’s scared of aging, I think that’s safe to say. But it really isn’t as bad as you think — because as long as you don’t beat yourself up
about getting a few wrinkles, and you take care of yourself in the ways you can, you can still manage to look pretty decent. And the beauty thing is, all your friends
will be getting older too — but you’ll still look at them and see the young person you knew — and they’ll do the same for you! Everybody has fear, but the trick is, to go ahead and live fiercely anyhow! Thanks so much for writing!!
I guess you’re right. Live fiercely! I love that! 🙂
reunions scare the crap outta me……It’s like the crypt-keeper holds the key to the Buffet line……
Great piece though,
You are so funny, Charly! I guess reunions aren’t for everybody — but I’ve had the BEST times at mine, way beyond my expectations! Maybe you have to be a certain age to want to go there, but the gift of being able to see so many people from way back in the day was well worth the initial — omg, am i really going to walk in that room?? THANKS for writing!!!
Hey Betty, Congratulations on Being Freshly Pressed 🙂
I’ve never been to a school reunion – I don’t even know whether my school has ever had one. It must be so fun to renew old friendships.
50 is the new young, so is 60. It’s nothing for women in their 50’s and 60’s to run marathons, but half a century ago when my granny was fifty, she was such “an old lady” she’d just sit on a bench at the beach.
Rosie! You are one of my NEW friends, but I can’t wait to see where we are in another 10 years … something ELSE to look forward to! Thanks a million for writing — and I’ve loved your poetry blogs lately!!
You ladies are to cute to be ignored.
Steve — on behalf of all my super-cute friends, I REALLY appreciate that!
Glad you all had a great time. It is a rare occasion to see people that one grows up with….50 years later. Treasure it.
I know what you mean the celebration of life every day. From a boomer @52. I was cycling and taking the train in Europe for a whole month last year. Now I’ve entered into an organization, experienced in my career but a baby because the employees ….are my age are taking early retirement. OY! Oh well, more learning for me. I am on an Internet forum for women only who cycle regularily. There’s over 45% members over 35 and up. It’s just coincidence –we’ve come together to hit the 2nd stride in life. Or maybe it’s the fourth..
Wow! You are quite an inspiration to ME — can’t believe you are such a cycle enthusiast as my husband would think he’d died and gone to heaven if i would ever agree to bike more than 3 miles with him! LOVE that you are so keen about all your work/play/writing adventures … can’t wait to check out your blog –and thanks for writing!
Fabulous women here. And a great reminder of all the upsides of aging and the continuing importance of friendship. I’m there will you on aging. A pleasure to read this!
Thank you, fellow traveler! I DO have fabulous friends — and that has absolutely made these 57 years a joy! Really appreciate the comment!!
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Your resilience, humor, and deep sense of gratitude shine beautifully through your words. I was so pleased to find them on Freshly Pressed. I grew up in Philly (Cardinal Dougherty HS ’69), so we were in the same swath of geography. Your insights came as a pure gift and I thank you for them. Keep writing so that we can keep reading!
SJS — thanks a million for your comment, and since Larry & I lived in Swarthmore for nine years before we moved to Atlanta — I do know Cardinal Dougherty!
Will always love that Philly atty-tude … and I’m really glad you liked the post!!
Thanks for sharing your perspective on the “a” word that nobody really likes to think about, but everybody does it. Getting older is a privilege, and thanks for sharing the joy of your reunions.
And congrats on being freshly-pressed!
Thanks, Kris! Well aging is kind of inevitable so it’s something you really want to get kind of good at … or perhaps just ignore and pretend is not happening.
My approach is kind of a mix of both, but these reunions really made me think a lot about it. And seeing so many great friends who are in such a good place —
content, active, doing what they love, and being so open & up for anything — well, it was inspirational for ME! So happy to hear from you!
This post so warmed my heart. And meanwhile, thanks for all that you have given to our wonderful city.
I’m also so grateful for your putting a fun face on gettin’ a lil older…and your school photo looked just like mine!
Dear Reeling — OMG, all the school pictures from that era look the same! Isn’t it a riot?? Thanks so much for writing (and reading!) … and I Love ATL!
Loved your blog. And you all really do look beautiful!
Thank you so much, Karen — really appreciate the compliments (although mostly, I’m accepting on behalf of my beautiful friends…( ; !!
We were programmed to think hitting 60 was not a milestone but a gravestone. The Beatles with When I’m 64 and Elton John with Who’ll Walk me down to church when I’m sixty years of age. I’m glad we changed that way of thinking. I wonder what Paul McCartney thinks about age these days! I loved seeing you and Larry and I can’t wait until we meet again. Whooah!
Thanks, Scott — and I can’t wait til your book comes out! You are so right about changing what 60 looks and feels like … as in most of what we Boomers have done to turn history on its head (and take up all the space in the room, I’m afraid) , the perception of aging has really shifted I think (I hope!)… and just wait to see how we rock 70 (god forbid) !!!
Congrats on the FP. It’s definitely a worthy piece. I’m 46 and I look around at people my age all the time and think, “Man, do I look like THAT?” And of course I do, but then I have to remind myself that they FEEL like us.
Based on my parents and grandparents, I’d say I’m just starting to flirt with “middle aged”! Thanks for putting it into words.
Thanks for the insightful note, Eric!! It’s so true that as you get older, there’s a BIG disconnect between how you look on the outside, and how you feel on the inside. For instance, I can totally remember being in that blue dress in the 3rd grade class picture, and how cute I felt for just that one minute (mostly, I was racked with self-doubt)… and it really doesn’t seem that long ago. I think it’s really important to ignore all the kinda excruciating signs of aging, and just go for denial. And when you feel young .. it’s going to show in everything you do! Really appreciate you writing….
When I was a kid in 1962 the President of the United States was older than me. He stayed that way untill the last election. It is nice to see a young person carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. It is no wonder that I feel younger recently. Well done.
Hi Anonnickus! As someone who obviously loves words as much as I do, I take great pleasure in the fact you liked my piece on aging… and isn’t it funny how you kind of check out people’s ages in positions of power now? Huntsman, the new Republican candidate for President, is 51. Whoa. I agree — let’s let the young ‘uns take over. We’re almost ready to get out of the way! Thanks so much for writing!!
I loved this post. I hear all too many women complaining about getting older, and it makes me and other younger ones anxious about getting older. I often wonder if thats just what its like for everyone! No, its a choice. Your blog post was refreshing. I love it when women take life as it comes. Age is a fact of life. I’m looking forward to mellowing out and being more accepting of myself as I get older. I have a friend who is in her mid 50’s and she loves life, doesn’t care too much about her age. I admire her and she’s a joy to be around. Because she doesn’t worry about it, her age is only a number. I feel like we’re the same age in spirit. She’s one of my closest friends.
When I recently turned 30 everyone had something to say about getting older (pah!). My line was “I’ll worry about my age when I’m 70”. Until then I’m determined to ignore the cynics and live my life with vigor, no matter what the number is. I know its easy for me to say that now, but I have a feeling I’ll always be that way. Thanks again for your refreshing post.
Love love LOVE your attitude!! I love that you have an older friend who is showing you how to be beautifully vibrant at an older age! And I can assure you, if you just concentrate on doing the things you love, keeping your women friends no matter where you go, and trying to say YES to adventure and exploration, you’ll never feel old (although it’s no wrinkle cream, I can tell you that!) I can’t say that I love everything about getting older (my neck, for instance) but I wouldn’t give up a single year … they’ve all brought me a lot of joy, along with everything else! Thanks so much for writing — keep the faith, honey!
Reunions can be a lot of fun. I attended my high school’s 20th in 1995 and was touched by how happy people were to see me and to reminisce — and I had been badly bullied there in Grades 10 and 11, and some of 12.
It is deeply comforting to be reminded how well some people knew you; I arrived with a book under my arm and everyone said “You always had a book with you!” which I had forgotten. (I’m a writer, professionally. Go figure.)
I also reconnected then with Sally, my best friend from high school and we have since (she’s in Ontario, I in NY) rekindled a great friendship; our husbands are as fond of one another as we are of each other, so it all worked out.
Dear Broadside (LOVE that and can’t wait to check out your blog!) … what a great story! I really believe that reunions can also be a time of reconciliation and redemption ..
where the Mean Girls can come and do penance, the geeks can come and be awesome, the jocks can come and be smart, and the quiet ones can come and shine! It warms my heart to know you’ve reconnected with your best friend … what a great story! And nobody knows you like somebody who knew you as a kid…. THANKS for writing!
Fresh pressed, and I’m glad I clicked. You all look so happy (and beautiful!). I hope I look half as good, I definitely agree with your comment about a smile!
Thanks so much for clicking, Nora Rose — and for writing!! Sending you a smile….
This post makes me miss my parents, especially my mom. I hope you don’t take offense to that, but at 26, it’s easy for those I’m surrounded by to be bogged down by the questions of who you are and who are you going to be. My parents, like you seem to, have taken aging in stride, enjoying the moment and are happier than ever I think. (Time to plan a trip home)
Lovely Jenna — YES! you should plan a trip home and go see that wonderful mom of yours! Far from taking offense at your words, I am honored that I made you think of your parents and how they’ve handled aging — and being happy in your 50s is a great gift! I actually think the 20s are a really tough decade — because you are trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be … then in your 30s you get to learn that you are not in control… in your 40s you realize what it is that you most want out of life.. and in your 50s you get to be grateful for everything you’ve been given and experienced and you have to start letting go of a lot of stuff. So, there you have it! A road map to the next 30 years of your life –Ha!!! Loved hearing from you — and I hope you have a great trip home this summer!!
Wow, the melarry.jpg one looks like Richard Gere! Good actor!
Come to my blog and say something. Spread the knowledge!
I promise I will — and YES, Larry does look like Richard Gere. It’s his eyes … I’ll be commenting on iain later today — yay!!
I enjoyed this post. I’m turning 30 next month and have been a little panicked about it. Not because I feel like 30 is over the hill, but it’s the first time I’ve really felt as if life was fleeting. When I was younger, it just seemed like I had all the time in the world. Now, I realize that we only get a finite amount of time and I need to start making the most of it.
Well, from my perspective you are just getting started with your life — but I know turning 30 does make you want to stop feeling like you’ve got all the time in the world to do what you want with your life, and start making it happen. The wonderful thing is — now that I’m 57, I feel like I have much more time than I did when I was in my 40s (probably because the kids are grown and gone & things have slowed down a bit) … so don’t panic! Just be happy in your life, be kind & have FUN !! Thanks a million for writing!
i love your sense of humour 🙂 great post
and congrats for being FP!
Thanks so much for writing — I LOVED being on the FP page and feel like a princess!!! So happy you wrote …
Glad you had a great time. Love the picture of the happy seals.
Thanks so much for reading! I loved the seals — but what I didn’t show was a group of about 4 dolphins who swam with us up and down the coast,
right off the bow of the boat, almost the entire time. It was SUCH a thrill!
A great post fighting the fear of becoming older! And you guys look tons better than I do now – and I am 24! haha
Oh, I’ve seen your photo and honey, we each could be your MOTHER! But thanks for the kind words — and I love your post on the Q train today!
My daughter goes to school at St. John’s University in Queens, so the Q is a familiar ride!! Thanks for reading!
Wow, this was an amazing post. I’m only 19 and I’m already starting to feel the pressures of getting older, stressing, and taking on responsibilities, but it’s nice to know that life’s sweetness remains, as long as you retain the ability to recognize it in new places.
Amen to that & just enjoy your youth! I can tell you with great certainty, from the far vantage point of 57 — that worrying about your age only makes it worse. Enjoy the ride
and remember, a smile is the most beautiful thing you can do with your face!
I think that being inexplicably afraid of aging runs in my family. My mother used to rip out her greys and cry whenever she thought she had a new wrinkle (she studied her face daily). I’ve known few older people, as most of my grandparents are dead. When I do run into them (in public, generally), they tend to seem miserable and bitter. It helps me a little bit to not be so afraid, every single time I meet someone like you or read something like this. Thank you.
You are SO welcome & thanks for reading! My grandmother was always really strong & proud (she could touch her palms to the floor until her 90s) and my mom had almost no vanity about her age at all — so maybe that’s where I’ve inherited by cheerful oblivion. I just pretend like I’m still 30 — why not?? And I’m surrounded by beautiful women friends so they give me courage too!
I have my 40th HS reunion this summer too – still not sure if I want to go – nerdy girl returns home and all. Perhaps your post will inspire me to go. I’m still the nerdy girl, but nerdy is the new cool, and we tend to age more gracefully than the “popular kids” did.
Congrats on being FP’d/
Huffy Girl, you have GOT to go to your reunion! Seriously, you will be amazed at how many people are delighted to see you — plus, you’ll have the incomparable pleasure of proving your theory: that the most popular kids tend to peak in high school, while we awkward ones tend to come into our own in our “mature” stage! I hope you go — and write about it, too!
Thanks so much for reading!!
I am 56 years young and having the time of my life.
Congrats on FP
I love that your wordpress is jroycroft … as in Joy Craft…and just remember, you’ll always be younger than me! Thanks for reading!!!
Is that guy Richard Gere?
It probably will not help, but here is something to ponder about. Age is relative. When my ESL students (true story!) had to fill in the blank in a sentence:
My sister is 25. She is …. a) middle-aged b) young c) old.
guess what they came up with… the majority chose “middle-aged”, some decided to use “old” and only a couple – definite minority said “young.”
They were 16-17 years old group. First, I decided that the choices they had made were due to the language related issues. Nope. They wrote what they thought. They also gad the guts to defend their opinions!!!
What a riot! Just goes to show you that age is relatively… a matter of perception! That’s why I always buy movie tickets with the senior discount – I know that
anybody over 30 looks like an old fart to the teenager selling tickets — and I’ve got my AARP card, so I feel like I’ve earned the discount! (My husband is mortified by my behavior, btw)…. and yes, he does look a lot like Richard Gere. He gets that ALL the time!
That’s awesome, and while I’ll probably still avoid all reunions like the plague, the other get-together sounded just super. ;D I think I get why people have a sort of terror of growing old — I turned 30 this year and spent a few days with a constant “omg what, aren’t I supposed to know how to be a grown-up by now then?!” mantra in my head — but I look forward to it a little, myself. I know a woman with a weathered face and a thick gray braid who’s somehow simultaneously a flower child and a seasoned ranch hand. I kind of want to be her when I grow up. 😀
Thanks for reading, Mackenzie! I remember turning 30 and being wigged out — but I have to warn you: I still have the “aren’t I supposed to be a grown-up??” moments and I’m 57.
The only good news is — I was more freaked out about being 30 than about being 50 — probably because I had the best birthday party ever! 8 women on a horse-farm up in the Catskills, full moon eclipse, trip to Woodstock, freezing cold walks, raucous great time … things like that banish the blues and just make you want to holler for joy! BUT .. go to your reunion unless you really have an aversion to it — so many people who had avoided them for 40 years came back and had a blast!!
I have a more superficial comment: I LOVE your dress in the school picture, as well as the look of suspicion on the girl’s face to your left. Great post! 🙂
You are so cute, Sitajl — the girl next to me in my 3rd grade school picture is Maureen Donovan and she & I saw each other at the reunion and laughed our heads off! She was always very studious and attentive in class, so the fact that she’s looking off camera is completely uncharacteristic… how funny! My dress was no doubt a hand-me-down from my older sisters (I’m one of 8 kids) but I remember loving it and feeling very glamorous … so glad you picked up on that!! Thanks for reading …
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When you’re old and you have all that much life under your belt…it must feel good. Congratulations, and nice post!
Visit my writing blog at http://shelleddreams.wordpress.com/
Dear GD — thanks so much for reading! I’ll definitely read your Shelled Dreams blog — and YES, it does feel good to feel as if I’ve had such a good life. I’ve been blessed!
Okay, Betty, you are either a whiz with photo-shop….or you and your friends DO look amazing! And I`m not just saying 😉
What a great post on the joys and gifts of old friends (in years of friendship, not age!). Thanks for a great read.
Dear Isabella — I can tell you with great certainty that I am NOT a whiz at photo-shop, but thanks for the nice words! So glad you read my post — and as an ardent (but critical) Catholic myself, I can’t wait to read YOUR blog! Thanks so much for reading!
You have a great outlook on life! I’m only 23 and you make aging sound so enjoyable that I’m even more ready to take on the post college world than I already was!
Hey Brianna — Trust me, you have a GREAT adventure in front of you! I made about a million mistakes in my 20s, so just learn to forgive yourself, dream big, be a good friend,
and have FUN! Thanks a million for reading & All the best out there!!
I so love this post, as I turn 50 next year and am trying to prepare myself in advance for the inevitable decline–but, God, I guess it’s already begun–who am I kidding!
Lovely piece–fun and inspiring–and I love your title!
Okay — here’s what you do: throw yourself an awesome 50th birhday party (I had took 8 of my best women friends & went away for the weekend and it was a blast!) And then, just stop looking so closely at yourself in the mirror. I always think delusionally that I look about 4 times better than I actually do — and it cheers me up immeasurably! Thanks for reading — and the title made me laugh, so thanks for noticing that, too!
I just met with a friend I haven’t seen for I guess about 20 years. I used to babysit her kids. She brought one of her adult children with her. I was so glad to see them again. I’ve visited her periodically out in Calif. but this was the first time she’d come back East, at least to the old neighborhood. We’ve all grown, but not necessarily old. Her eyes and smile, and her daughter’s, were the same as I remembered them from 20 years ago. We visited another friend of hers who had grown old with time and trials. She couldn’t, or didn’t want, to remember, “the old times” it appeared and marveled at our friend’s memories of the Junior Women’s Club. I thought that myself at one time. 3,000 miles was too far away for friendship. Then along came FB and I realized time and distance really don’t matter as long as you don’t break the connection between your hearts.
What a lovely reflection!! I think you’ve utterly captured my experience at the reunion — there was such joy at seeing people with whom you’d shared your childhood … and so many precious memories! It’s such an affirmation of the connection we share and that is available to us if we reach out and show each other our affection & how much we mean to each other! I am really happy you wrote this!! Thanks …
I loved this post. I can’t believe how many people came to the reunion! I had my 10 year reunion a couple years ago and we didn’t even have that many people. It was great to see everyone though, especially since I moved out of state and don’t get to bump into them a the grocery store.
Thanks so much for reading! I moved to Colorado for 22 years after high school — so I totally relate to your feeling of distance from your high school friends .. but I think you’ll find that at the more distant reunions (25th, 30th …don’t want to scare you by going any further!) that more people come back .. so by all means, keep going! It’s funny but as you get older, your childhood and your own history comes to mean more to you & prompts you to reconnect with folks. Good luck at the next reunion!
Can I just say you all look amazing !!! I did not want to turn 50 in January but it happened anyway and then I realized it wasn’t a bad thing. Life is good and as I watch my children struggle during these difficult times I am glad I’m not 21 or 27. 50 is just fine for me. I know where I have been and I know who I am.
A satisfied person is a beautiful thing to behold — Thanks so much for your kind words on the photos … and thanks for reading!!!
Wonderful post.. This is what ‘Aging gracefully’ must mean.. Very inspiring 🙂
I’m actually NOT graceful (I fall up the stairs about twice a day), but I AM aging … and you are wonderful to write! Thanks for reading, Vandy!
Hey! that looks exactly like my class picture from 1962. What a hoot! I was wearing jumpers & saddle shoes, etc. only I was in Falls Church, VA. What a wonderful photo. Isn’t it funny how 60 actually looks? It’s not so bad at all. In fact, you all look wonderful! I can still remember sitting my classroom in 1962 (strains of Bobby’s Girl running through my mind: I want to be BOBBY’S GIRL!) & wondering what the turn of the century would bring. I couldn’t imagine anything beyond being 50 years old. Thank goodness I got beyond that. Thanks for the memories.
Well, technically I’m not 60 yet — but I’m 58 this year, so really what’s the difference? I couldn’t believe that people in my class had saved all these school photos —
and it is something that totally captures the era. I love the boys’ haircuts … and all our clothes. My fourth grade photo was so goofy — I was dressed entirely in red with
what looked like a 4″ kimono belt around my waist, with bright red kneesocks. Wow. One of the things nobody could believe was that in junior high, we used to
constantly play “Fire” on the jukebox, which started with the lyrics, “I’m the God of Hell’s Fire and I bring you … FIRE” — can you imagine the uproar if that happened that today??
Luckily, at that time, nobody was paying attention to what we were listening to — they just wanted us to be quiet at lunch! What memories .. THANKS so much for writing!
What a fabulous post! And you all look so amazing! I always say nothing is more beautiful than pure joy and it sounds like you all know how to really embrace life. Thanks for sharing!
Thank YOU for sharing, Anonymous Betty — obviously, I’m not quite so anonymous, but I am full of joy for the life I’ve had… great comment!!
Great post! Looks like a wonderful weekend. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
Thanks, Rufus .. and it WAS two wonderful weekends … really appreciate you writing!
You are an INSPIRATION! What beautiful women, obviously loving life and so confident.
I’m personally facing my 20th reunion this year — and I still am facing stupid insecurity demons. Ugh…
Thank you for sharing this!
Just GO .. you’ll be so happy you did! And at my 25th high school reunion, I met my husband (a good friend in junior high but hadn’t seen him in years…) so you never know what could happen!! Plus, you’ll see all YOUR beautiful women friends … bonus!! Thanks so much for writing!!
I love it when people embrace life. You’re inspiring. Great photos!
Coming from someone whose photos I ALWAYS admire, I take this as high praise, indeed! Thanks a bunch for writing!!
Thanks once again for your perspective, Betty. I wish you could shadow my life right now and explain it to me in your humorous voice. I would pay you (in wine, of course.)
Honey, if you pay me in wine — I am THERE! I miss you & can’t wait til we get a chance to hang out again … plus of course, solving the mysteries of life! xoxoxo b
Betty — you are truly the greatest! Loved this post.
Joan in Denver 🙂
Joan, getting to know you better in SB was the absolute highlight of the trip for me — and what a gorgeous picture of you that is!!!
My older brother just went to HIS 50th and had a blast! And I’ll definitely be going back for mine … but that isn’t an avocado — it’s a PRUNE! ha!
(the above is for the beautiful Judy Clements— sorry I got my order screwed up!)
Thanks for a wonderful example of how to embrace the realities of moving through middle age with humor and gratitude.
You are more than welcome — and let’s face it, the realities of middle age are tough ones to face. Gratitude helps ease the discomfort & focus your heart on what’s important — and humor gives you perspective and the will to live (wrinkles and all) !! Thanks for writing, Lucy!!
“with a lot more gratitude and a lot less frantic anxiety…” lovely and it does make aging (almost) worth it. Thanks for the affirmation. For moral support I do keep a magazine pic on my frig of Lauren Hutton, wrinkled and crinkled and fabulous.
Pat — I like the (almost) … cuz let’s face it: as Bette Davis said, “Aging isn’t for sissies.”
Although if anybody is the picture of Sensational at Sixty, it would certainly be YOU! So happy you’re reading … xoxox
Thank you Betty for writing this. I’m sitting in Mexico feeling very nostalgic and warmed. How wonderful everyone looks and feels.
We missed you beachside, Book Babe Emeritus Alice, that’s for sure! Everybody did look great on both coasts — but more important, they seemed to feel good, too. Maybe that is the payback you get for getting old — you get happy??
Better to be 60 years young than 30 years old. You guys look FABULOUS! xoxo, Juanita
Thanks, Juanita! We were having fun that’s for sure…and it’s amazing what a smile can do for an old face!
This arrived in my inbox as I was exchanging messages with Druid Hills HS classmates of long, long ago about planning our own reunion – but our 50th! The 40th is but a fond memory. You aren’t as old as you can be, Betty. Love the avocado image.