I work with a lady who is in her late 40's. Julie has 2 daughters who are in their early twenties, and she has a very close single-parent relationship with them. But, Julie is OLD. I don't mean by way of age, but at some point Julie has resigned herself to being grandmotherly. She wears long dresses, with no shape, that look like they are from the early 90's. Visiting Julie's house is like visiting a grandma, lots of doilies, she collects bells and has various nik-naks everywhere. Everything about Julie is old!
On the other-hand, my ex-mother-in-law, whom I adore, is in her 50's and is far younger and hipper than I ever dreamed of being. Jane wears the newest clothing styles, she decorates her house in a trendy manner and she is tuned in with technology, and entertainment news. Everything about Jane is young!
What is the difference? Why do some women chose to age themselves prematurely? Honestly, watching Julie makes me worry about falling in to a rut. I don't want to lose touch with everything modern. I worry that it is slowly happening though. Already, I prefer music that is just a little bit old instead of the latest stuff. Already, I refuse to buy the latest fashions, rationalizing that they won't stick around and it isn't the frugal choice. I have never seen an episode of Hanna Montana! Oh no, I even have doilies in my house!
I've always planned to age the way Jane has, planned to stay connected with my kid's generation. Maybe the effort is futile, I wasn't even the most hip kid when I was a teenager myself. While, I want to look appropriate and not end up being a 50 year old who looks like I'm trying to be 20, I also don't want to be a 50 year old who is trying to be 70.
Are these choices we make or is it something that is intrinsic in our personality? How do we strike the balance? How do we age gracefully?
--The Short of It