What's in a Number?
What's the first thing you think when I say I'm 80?
When I asked this question on Facebook, some comments were, "No way!" "Lookin mighty good!!! "You look like you're 60." "Are you f'ing kidding me?" "Nope… not true!!" Notice how they relate to how I look.
The other day during my conversation with a lovely young woman at an online networking event, it came out that I had just turned 80 a few months ago. She was clearly shocked and said she didn't believe it; I looked so much younger and had such youthful energy. On further reflection, I felt a twinge of pride and saw how many women have been brainwashed since birth to prioritize their appearance and fear of becoming old, wrinkled, and grey-haired.
I felt sad that I had fallen into that trap.
However, from the time we are born, when others coo over us and say, "Such a pretty baby!" we start to get this idea that our worth is dependent on how we look. And truthfully, the pretty girls in school usually had the edge; they were the Cheerleaders, Homecoming Queens, and the popular ones.
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't take care of ourselves; we absolutely must treat ourselves and our bodies with love and respect. Taking care of our health, our bodies, and our skin, is a priority if we are to feel good and be able to contribute. But we must accept ourselves as valuable, contributing human beings with wisdom to share, especially as we age. We've been through a lot and, hopefully, learned valuable lessons we can pass on to younger women.
I won't hide my age or pretend I'm younger just to fit in. I'm proud I've made it to 80 and can continue contributing to others' well-being. I won't let younger women talk to me in that high-pitched baby voice reserved for older women they consider senile, elderly, and need to be pitied. Perhaps you've also had that demeaning experience?
Think about how you feel when your age is being used to define you as less than capable. It isn't very pleasant. 60, 70, and 80 are numbers; look beyond the numbers to see what's there without making assumptions about capability.
Truthfully, as we age, living life does become more difficult for us, and adjustments are made to allow us to continue functioning well. Health issues do happen that need to be handled. It's a fact of life. We must develop resiliency to make life worthwhile. Resiliency also includes rest and a mental attitude that seeks solutions to aging issues rather than complaining or giving up.
When you hear how old a woman is, make neither good nor bad assumptions. Look at her as she is, and maybe even ask some questions about her life. You may be surprised and grateful you did.
So, don't let your number (and other people) define you; you get to define it for yourself, so make it strong, resilient, purposeful, joyful, fearless, and visible!
What's your number, and what does it mean to you?
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Starting in March 2023, I will accept new clients for my pilot program, Transform the Way You Age Group Coaching Program. The program begins when we have six women who want to change age-ing into sage-ing and have fun doing it! And because it's a pilot and I'll ask for your honest and valuable feedback, you'll get a reduced price!
We'll begin by identifying your limiting beliefs about aging, move on to create your model of health and wellness, discover your body's wisdom through using Qigong, develop resiliency if you have physical limitations, and more.
If you're interested or want more details, email me at email@example.com. And if you want to start coaching with me immediately on an individual basis, I am ready!