Wow! It’s Wednesday! Afraid of Becoming Afraid of Growing Old

So let’s stick with this growing old well theme. Yesterday, I posited that growing old well means that you should …

1) Keep on learning

2) Acquire new gadgets

3) Keep up with advances in your field and technology in general, and

4) Be reachable by cell. I don’t care how old you are. If you’re 22, and I can’t reach you on a cell phone, you’re basically useless and irrelevant — especially if you’re in a job that requires you to interact with me.

Funnily enough, on the same day that I was pondering how to old well, Jezebel asked the hypothetical question. “What if women weren’t afraid to grow old,” and moreover, “What if women stopped lying about their age?”

smilingoldladyTo the first question, I want to clarify something: I’m not afraid of growing old, I’m afraid of not growing and becoming irrelevant.

Quite frankly I’m looking forward to speaking my mind even more than I do, being grumpier than I already am, and telling those damn kids to get off my front lawn with a shotgun in my hand. I’m also quite excited to give my daughter advice she didn’t ask for. Oh, and grandchildren — man, I can’t wait for grandchildren. If I could, I’d start nagging Betty about grandchildren now, while she was still in the womb, but CH has convinced me to wait until she’s partnered up.

So as long as I’m abiding by the first 4 rules and rocking an awesome gray Afro, I’m down with getting old. And I’ll tell anyone who asks that I’m 32. To tell you the truth, I was pretty angsty and confused right up into my late 20s and I love that life just seems to be getting better and better ever since I hit 30. The bad stuff isn’t as bad. And I’m now able to appreciate the good stuff more than I ever did when I was in my 20s. Yes, my 30s are definitely better than my 20s. And I hope, hope, hope my 40s and 50s will be even better than my 30s.

However, when I went home to St. Louis last time, I noticed that none of my aunts nor my grandmother were rocking gray anything. For the most part, they were all dyed up or wearing wigs. They all seemed to be covering up or ashamed of being in their 60s. Even my grandmother has a couple of wigs, and she’s an agoraphobic recluse who never leaves the house unless surgery is involved.

I began to wonder if I’d be able to keep this attitude about aging as I actually aged. Will I wake up one morning, look in the mirror and decide that I actually need anti-wrinkle cream, botox, and a boatload of black hair dye to cover up my bodacious gray Afro? If all my friends are covering up the signs of their age, will I feel the need to cover up mine as well?

So now I’m afraid of becoming afraid of growing old. How about you? Do you plan to age without fuss, or do you plan to fight, fight against the graying light?

. photo credit: cheirhuey