Tip for those aged 40 and beyond: If you don’t want to be seen as, regarded as, or treated as “old,” stop making constant jokes in public about your poor vision and hearing, your ‘bad’ knees, hips, and feet, having ‘senior moments’ and outright referring to yourself as ‘old.’ And whatever you do, don’t say to those younger than you, “Don’t get old” or “It sucks to get old.” Each time you do this with those who don’t know you or aren’t in your age group (but even for some of us who are), you perpetuate the negative stereotype that those over 40 are somehow diminished, weak, frail, even incompetent, and that only “youth” has value. Each time you say these things out loud, even in so-called jest, you also further convince yourself of the same.
Instead, learn to adapt to changes in your body and looks. If you have trouble seeing, get contacts or wear glasses rather than complaining about not being able to read the fine print. Get your hearing tested if necessary and see if assistive devices can help. Work with a personal trainer, yoga teacher or physical therapist to maximize your strength and flexibility. Keep your mind active with constructive reading, by taking classes of all types, and by staying socially active. Create a new level of attractiveness appropriate for your age and body type. Use an image consultant if necessary.
You can adapt and make adjustments to the changes that are inevitable with age and continue to stay in the forefront of life or you can resist, complain, suffer needlessly and fade into the background. The choice is yours.
©Donna Cardillo. All rights reserved.