Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aging Gracefully - Part III

"Timeless Books" by Lin Pernille Photography
Part III in a series of musings and ramblings concerning turning 50.  Today's entry is a continuation of my version of "I'm Over All That", based on the book by Shirley MacLaine.

I’m over following the rules and fads of fashion and design. “True style means simply being your own person.” (Nothing's Too Small, Urbanska and Levering)  Let’s face it, my home is not a Better Homes and Gardens layout, and I’m not a supermodel.  At 50, I have accepted those facts and I’m over trying to adorn either of them to impress the clerk at the grocery store, my daughter, or the church committee ladies.  I know what I like, what is and isn't flattering and what makes me feel good about myself.  Good enough.

I’m over spending time on hair styling and make-up.  Not that I’m giving either of them up completely, but I’ve stopped trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and have refined them both to a quick routine that is as flattering as possible without professional assistance. Too much time and money has been spent trying to retrieve the thick, bouncy hair of my youth. I have come to terms with the fact that I either wear my hair short or look like a balding chipmunk.  As for cosmetics, my theory is that makeup applied incorrectly makes you look older, and as we age, the range of appropriate colors for eyes, lips and cheeks narrows substantially.  I have refined my makeup choices to a few essentials.

I’m over political correctness at the expense of truth.  “I reject your reality and substitute my own,” is one of my favorite Mythbuster lines, and I use it on occasion to humorously avoid admitting I’m wrong.  But I can’t actually create my own reality.  Lowering the standards in schools so that all students are on the Honor Roll looks good on paper, but it doesn’t make them all academically equal.  There’s a difference between sparing someone’s feelings and denying reality.  If I am offended at being called “old” and choose to refer to myself as “chronologically advanced”, that’s fine – but it doesn’t change my age.  “Tami is 50” is still the truth. 

I’ll never be over learning.  I didn’t finish my bachelor’s degree.  I was twenty and I knew it all.  That stuff they were teaching in college wasn’t interesting and didn’t pertain to me.  I got a job working for the university and I was happy.  Then I got married and had children and I was even happier.  The consensus was that I needed to finish my degree “in case something happens to Dave”.   But we never lived near enough to a college to allow that (there were no on-line classes then) and, honestly, I never cared much.  As it turned out, Dave’s still alive and well, the kids are grown and realistically, even if I had had a degree, I probably would still have ended up working clerical and secretarial jobs in the string of small towns where we’ve lived.  There weren’t a lot of opportunities.

But sometime over the years I discovered the joy of learning – just for the sake of learning.  Did you know that you can actually get a Bachelor of General Studies?  (Really, I looked it up.)  You get to learn a little science, a little history, a little art – like glass blowing.  How cool is that? Someone should have mentioned that thirty years ago!  I want to learn art history.  I want to re-learn American history - I wasn't paying attention in class.  I want to learn to knit.  I want to speak Spanish and Italian.  I want to read classic literature.  I want to answer all the questions on Jeopardy.  Ok, I still don’t want to learn math or any science that involves dissecting, but I’ll never be over learning. 

"You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world.” - Tim Gunn

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Your "Aging Gracefully" posts are great! I've noticed the older I get, the more I want to learn - now if I can just get my 10 year old son to realize this! Ha!