Sunday, 9 March 2008

No Spring Chicken

I woke this morning at about 6.30 to a deep blue sky, tinted golden in the east as the sun rose across the roof of the railway works that’s Crewe's only real claim to fame. Not the most picturesque view, granted, but watching the sky turn to a dazzling blue as the sun rose higher as I listened to the birds sing from the branches of the trees in the street brought a smile to my face. No matter where you are, if you look for it, nature has given us beauty to be enjoyed.

Sadly, the weather soon started to change as thick grey clouds rolled in from the north, laying themselves like an old feather duvet over the gardens and rooftops. A cold breeze picked up and crept in through the open window; I pulled my own feather duvet tighter around me. I was snug as a bug in a rug.

These changes came about quickly and for some reason they got me to thinking about how our own lives change.

At 47, even without my medical problems, I’m sure I wouldn’t still be able to do the things I did at 27. Even if I were physically able, would I really want to be visiting night clubs, having children, and rushing off on some new adventure at the drop of a hat? No, I wouldn’t. My priorities have changed.

Each age holds its own doors of opportunity open and as one shuts, another opens offering new and different possibilities. Our values change as we grow and learn, as do our needs, and our knowledge of life, both human and otherwise, gives us a greater depth of understanding.

But I look around and see so many people – women, mostly - fighting desperately against the natural cycle of life. They’re afraid of getting older. They try dressing trendy even though it’s obvious to all and sundry that they really don’t have a clue, they have their hair cut in the latest styles, they wear far too much make up in a bid to hide the lines and wrinkles that are nature’s statement of experience, dance to the latest music embarrassing everybody but themselves, and now they’re even participating in extreme sports in order to prove that they’re still fit enough (and only the young are expected to be fit enough for that so they must still be young, surely?).

Isn’t it better to just grow old gracefully in the way we were meant to? Everything that Mother Nature ever developed was designed for a specific purpose and with a cycle to fit that purpose. We’re designed to grow older, draw on our wealth of experience and knowledge, teach those who come after us, and lead the way through the path we’ve helped shape. What purpose is there in continuing to strive to be one of the young forever?

Again, a lot of this can undoubtedly be blamed on our economic system; a system based on enticing us to spend as much as possible and what better target than feminine insecurities?

You won’t be a valuable member of society if you don’t look young and healthy (read: able to reproduce) so buy this cream, that cream, this hair dye, that mascara, this lipstick, have surgery, join this gym, buy, buy, BUY!

You know the score. Those ads scream at us every time we open a magazine, turn on the TV, or visit the supermarket. We can hardly do anything these days without being told we aren’t good enough unless we buy loads of crap that’s overpriced and doesn’t work. Are we really that gullible?

What’s wrong with a face that’s glowing from being in the outdoors, a body that’s fit through regular walks, and hair that’s taken on a moonlit glow?

I may not wear purple and I’ve yet to start running my stick along railings but I wear my wrinkles with pride, my tits point south and that’s fine – they did their job of feeding three children adequately when they were meant to - and when I do turn grey, I shall wear that with pride too.

Sharon J


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Anonymous said...


I hope to embrace the same feelings as I age. It's hard in today's society. but I admire women who feel this way and hope to inspire others the same.

Chris said...

Wearing purple! Urge to go outside and run my sticks along the railings right now! Another fab post as ever!

Anonymous said...

I love this post and totally agree. I am also 47. I still have all my children at home (19,15,5). Sometimes I feel so old. I try not to care but sometimes I do. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it everyday.

Take care,

Sharon J said...

Emily. I agree, it IS hard with so much pressure around us to stay young and I have to admit that sometimes I fall for it, too, but then I realise how foolish it is and get back on my own chosen path again. I do wear mascara and a little lipstick when I ‘dress up’ but otherwise I’m barefaced. I certainly wouldn’t spend money on cosmetic surgery, expensive creams and potions, try to get rid of my stretch marks or any of that palaver though.

I’m sure you will inspire others – you already do :)

Chris. Now wouldn’t that be fun? We don’t have to dress like mutton to keep the child within alive ;-)

Margaret. How lovely of you to join us. I’m so pleased you enjoy the blog :)

I too feel very old at times and yes, there are times when I care. It’s very hard to avoid caring with so much media pressure around us (and pressure from our peers, who have also been influenced by the media, of course). I’m determined not to let them win though – there’s beauty in an experienced face and body too :)

Chris said...

Sharon! Message for you on my blog! And I mean it ( well of course I do or I would not have written it!) Thanks

Gavin said...

Well said. I think that a lot of people in our society have caught Affluenza, and are trying to be something they are not. Live long gracefully I say. Great post.

Sharon J said...

Chris. I'd already seen it before I saw your comment. Thanks :)

Gavin. Affluenza is definitely a symptom of the consumer society that the majority of us have picked up at some point. Happily it seems that more of us are increasingly looking for a treatment now, having lived with the symptoms for too long.

Thanks for stopping by :)