I’m kind of old, but not really. You could say I’m “oldish”.  Around the edges, a hint of old. I’m young-old. People might refer to me as an older lady, but not as an old lady. Since we humans are living longer, we can be located on an age continuum that is growing longer each decade. So how old is 68? I think 68 is “oldish.”  So lets call it “50 Shades of Age” for fun!

Why does it matter how “oldish” I am?  I doubt it matters much at all to most people because they see what they have learned to see. Our mind wants to label things, to categorize things and understand the rules, because then we have the world out there figured out. It is likely that what I see and hear from others about “old” is the way I will see “old”. Unless I think critically  about what old means to me, I’ll just go along with the status quo. I will not be a pioneer or a catalyst for changing the stereotypes of aging. That’s a whole other subject, but for now I’m curious about how I am changing to meet the challenges of being “oldish”.

Is my head in the sand or am I looking directly at the wrinkles on my face and the wrinkles in my life? I have lived in my body for almost 69 years and I know I’m not nearly as flexible as I once was. If I have to squat to reach something, I will not spring back up. At the same time I know I am more flexible in my approach, decisions and planning. Experience has taught me that few things are actually an emergency, and being inflexible means I may break into pieces. Square pegs do not fit in round holes no matter how much we may force it. I’m not likely to try and swim upstream and insist the world do my bidding. By electing to respond to challenging situations with changed attitudes and a willingness to look at different responses, I’m more flexible.

My reflexes and reaction time are slower. I may not be able to grab something in a millisecond to stop it from falling. My reaction time when I am driving is slower. Though I am older and slower I have found ways to respond in a timely matter, just in time, to what life sends my way. My car GPS helps me to keep on track and to think ahead, just as my inner navigator keeps me going in the direction I have decided is best for me. I practice my emotional skills and think ahead about where I want to be. Certainly things have happened and will continue to happen that catch me by surprise, but I am confident that I will be resilient and respond rather than react.  I may be slower, but I’m smarter. 

I hate to admit it, but I do have more aches and pains now. Just ask me and I will tell you!  I’m not a well-oiled machine, some parts of me are pretty rusty and they do hurt at times. Sometimes I can compensate for this by using supports like braces, splints and walking boots, and sometimes rest is the only way to heal myself. Not so good on “rest” yet, but gaining more patience and acceptance that  self-care sometimes requires that I stop and rest. Rather than focus on those things that I can no longer do, I choose to focus on what I can do. Maximizing my strengths can compensate for some of my weaknesses . Parts of me are still excellent!

So yes, I think I am “oldish”. Don’t worry I’m not going to write a trilogy of “50 Shades of Age”!

I’m too tired.

Giggling Girls

“Look at Rick R. He’s really cute!” (Giggles)  “ I think you should “like” him.” (More giggles) Junior High? Nope, just two girlfriends in their sixties checking out the guys on Match! It’s really not all that much different despite the huge gap in years. During that gap : dating, marriage(s) children, grandchildren and spouses passing away in their early sixties. The possibility of finding a male companion for dinner and social events, or a possible long term relationship, has turned both of us into giggling girls believing in possibilities. Maybe Rick R.,who is 70, might “like”one of us and even send a message, which leads to more giggles!  Are we trying to recapture our lost youth?  I don’t think its a matter of age so much as asserting that we are capable of feeling excited about love, and about men who are not boys anymore. We have minds which have sexual thoughts and bodies which have sexual feelings. We desire male companionship and friendship. We can still giggle.

Last week, in my post on “Selfies” I wrote about how I had difficulty deciding what pictures to use for my profile on Match. I elected to just take a couple of selfies and post them. My attitude was that I didn’t want to make a big effort to “present” myself and my goal was to be as real and authentic as possible. I see now that my attitude of “What you see is what you get.”may in part be self-defense for being disappointed or hurt if I put some real effort into it and no one is interested. There is a middle, sweet spot where I care about how I present myself to others and hope others perceive me positively, without paying excessive attention to my self- presentation and appearance. I haven’t hit that sweet spot yet, but I’m getting closer.

Tell me about yourself. What are you looking for? Well I haven’t been skiing in the Alps or scuba diving in Bali like you have. I don’t have a motorcycle or a boat. How will you ever find the time to be in a relationship? My weight is average, isn’t everyone 15 pounds overweight?  I’m spiritual, but not religious, and no I don’t want to go to church with you. Politically I’m left of center and Donald Trump makes me vomit. You say you are conservative, so do you use the words “like” and “Trump” in the same sentence?  The “girls” aren’t giggling now, we’re trying to decipher what “he” means. Thinking “He’s cute.” doesn’t mean much if we are total opposites. At this point in my life, I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not to impress the cute guy. Sure I want to make a good first impression, but I know the thousandth impression is really more important . But, and this is a big but, I need to get in the same room (coffee shop) with someone to make a good first impression and have a chance to get to know them. 

Scrolling through the photos and profiles on Match is fun, hence the giggles.  Things get more serious when considering who to reach out to and then waiting for responses. Then we’re on to being excited to see “You have a message from Joe Blow” and “OMG, he sent a message!” And more giggles. Of course, if and when, I actually get a meet-up scheduled there will be lots of giggles and discussions about what to wear. Maybe I should call some teenage girls I know and ask them for advice!


I see my face on my iPhone screen as I take the selfie, so how can it be that I want to say “That’s not what I look like, that’s not me.” It IS me on the screen, but I don’t recognize myself.   The self is primarily an “inside” job, so I feel myself more than I see myself. I remember hearing my voice for the first time on those old tape recorders that actually used recording tape, and thinking “I sound like that?” There’s lots of discussion now about body image and positive body image. Most of us don’t see our body as it really is. There’s my cellulite and my pimples, but I’m still beautiful, or there’s the photoshopped image  without cellulite and pimples. We can make our flaws “disappear” by editing our photos and then posting this illusion. Who are we deceiving? I think mostly ourselves. 

I’m exploring on-line dating, and this is an arena where photos are a big part of the process. Some people have 2-3 photos and others have many more. I took a couple of selfies with my phone and posted them. I know a still shot of someone is a very poor representation of that person. Certainly a photo from 10 years ago is deceiving. I’ve seen several  people requesting “current” photos and one man who said “If you don’t look like your photo you’ll need to buy me  drinks until you do.” Aging women like me worry about looking “old”, grandmas aren’t supposed to be sexy! Hell, I can’t even figure out how to “dress my age”, if there is such a thing. My outsides are sometimes at war with my insides or vice versa. Or if it is really “You’re as young as you feel” why isn’t the face I see in the mirror as young as I feel?

It is said “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Different people have different perceptions of what is beautiful. Why would I presume there is one Barbie Doll standard of beauty wanted by all men? Richelle E. Goodrich said  “I will admit you are the finest if not the loveliest rose in the garden. But you see, my dear, I was looking for a sunflower.”  I don’t know if I am a rose or a sunflower!  After years of trying to control how others see me,  now I know that I want to be myself, damn the consequences. So if “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. (Coco Chanel),  my beauty is growing. Pamela Anderson says “Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror.” and I would rather spend those 2 hours writing, creating, or snuggling with my dogs. Online dating sites are based on first impressions, and we all know how important first impressions are, but I have decided my first impression of men on Match, based strictly on their photos, needs to be held lightly. Maybe it’s a good photo or maybe its a bad photo. If they don’t have an eye in the middle of their forehead or look like the UniBomber, I give a second look. 

I’ve chatted online, but I haven’t met any Match in person so far. Now that will be interesting! How will I handle that? What are my options? Running away screaming or sitting still, suffering and sweating come to mind. To be honest, I’m more worried about what  they will think of me than I am of what I will think of them. This is way too passive for this woman of a certain age!  I really don’t want to waste my time  convincing someone that I am desirable. He may be looking for a petite, Barbie doll who giggles a lot and that is so not me. If my good points and bad points were averaged I would come out pretty amazing, but then I could have told you that.