Ageless Is What You Should Be Striving For!

Recently at a get together I have heard several 40 something women, make such a huge fuss about age “women our age should not be doing that”

My thought bubble instantaneously went up “WHAT!”

With my 46th birthday around the corner; I am one of those who believe that age is just a number. I have met women who are 60 and 70, they can give a 30 year old a run around the proverbial block. It’s been said that 70 is the new 50. It doesn’t matter the number of candles on your birthday cake you are only as old as you allow yourself to be. You want to be amazing, then live amazing. You want to be beautiful, then be beautiful. Please don’t make your age a hurdle. You have earned your stripes, so be your authentic self.

At 40, I believe you have reached a pinnacle in life, where you can be as bold as you chose to be and as cheeky as you want to be. You don’t need to be an apologist for your choices and decisions.

In our culture, without even knowing it, we’ve been brainwashed into believing that we’ll slowly decline into a world of dentures, memory loss and senility. Who ever said we need to live in that brainwashed mode. We have a choice buy into what society is telling you about aging and your future.

If you believe that your life is supposed to wind down to an untimely death of vibrancy and your actions need to be quelled as you get older, then that’s exactly what will happen.

However if you feel deeply in your heart that this next phase of your life can prove to be the most interesting, joyful, and meaningful one, then you are headed in the right direction.

I recall my aunts and great aunts, who simply refused to let age get in their way. They were energetic, they refused to stand down because they were 50.

I recall fondly my mother’s cousin, was around 60, I was still in my teens.

She was like a breath of fresh air “a dolce vita” type woman. Her scarf, handbag and shoes always matched perfectly. Her hair was always impeccably knotted into a ‘bun’ although grey, but not a strand out of place. She exuded such joie de vivre at her age. Back then it would be deemed going against the societal norms of those days; but she did not care, nor did she care about her age.

We claim to have come so far, yet we allow age to hold us back, even worse is seeing other who are actually younger, and confining themselves to society’s boundaries.

At a lunch on Monday, a colleague mentioned her aunt who is 90 plus, she still exercises, drives herself, cooks her own meals, socialises and has her wits about her. She doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

I guess it’s a choice, the number you are can either cause you to fight it and fear it or own it and embrace it. I chose the latter. When all is said and done, you were born in a certain year, you will live X amount of years – Voila—that is your age. There is nothing you can do about it, so why age yourself quicker by sweating about it.

If you are 40 something you are not defective, yes you are not a spring chicken any more, it’s not about how others define you, it’s about how you define yourself. I am a firm believer, that if you value yourself, and you have inner confidence; who cares about a number. Being awesome is ageless.

The other day someone jokingly said “you still wear converse takkies at your age!”

“Yeah at my age, I have a converse in black and white, I wear trainers, when I am dead, you can have it!” another thought bubble.

Each year you have lived is a gift. Recently I found out that a friend has a terminal medical condition. When I think how much time we spend stressing about how old we are, or things which are insignificant, I realise how blessed I am to be at this age, life a blessing at any age.

Since when has age become something we view with fear and disdain?

Look at it as getting some extra mileage under your belt, but damn ENJOY the ride at least. Imagine the rocking stories you will have for your grandkids and great grandkids. You get to be viewed as a wiser person for having lived this long. You can one day share how you got to where you are from sheer desire, you can tell people about the knowledge you acquired and the adventures you experienced on this road of life.

Then in your wise words, you can tell whoever is still around about the benefits of aging, because you truly who you really are, how you maybe be older but always young at heart.

So quit complaining about being 45, 55, or 65, be young, live now, or keep saying you are old and wait patiently for death … while you wait, remember aging is inevitable, but growing old is optional. The choice is yours!

About Saffiya Ismail

Born in Pietermaritzburg, she now resides in Johannesburg and says her most important role in life is being a mother. Saffiya is a freelance writer. A contributing author in “Riding the Samoosa Express” (Anthology launched 21st March 2015). With a second chapter submitted for the next book, Saffiya says her passion is writing.

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