Daily Post: Age-Old Questions: “Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?
Actual conversation that occurred about 3 weeks ago between me and two female coworkers, both age 30…
Coworker #1: I’m not sure how old Erica is. I think she’s in her late 30s by now.
Coworker #2: That sounds about right.
Me: Erica and I are very close in age. I think she’s 39.
Both of them look at me in stunned silence.
Coworker #1 and #2 (simultaneously): WHAT?!
Coworker #1: How old are you?!
Me: Um, I turned 40 this year.
Coworker #1: No way!
Coworker #2: You do not look that old! I thought you were my age. 31 or 32 at the most.
Coworker #1: I thought you were 30!
Coworker #2: You look great!
Coworker #1: You look amazing!
I was flattered, sure. I like when people tell me that I look younger than my age. Especially when those people are vibrant, younger women. Though, I was not thrilled about the part where they acted like 40 was “so old.”
I turned 40 this year. I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy. I have had a hard time coming to terms with my fleeting youth. Now, I don’t really feel like 40 is old. However, in our society, women of my age are considered by many to be past their prime and less desirable than 20-somethings. Society often makes women of my age feel less attractive. I know I shouldn’t buy into that nonsense but…
Forty has been like a gateway age where I have started to realize that I am not quite as young as I feel. Sure, there’s the gray hairs (just a few), eye wrinkles and sagging skin. But its more than that. I’m at a place in my life where I have different concerns and priorities than my friends and coworkers in their early 20s. Life experience will do that. Despite that, I do still feel young. Or, at least, I don’t feel old. Maybe I just feel more mature.
And my coworkers are right. I do look great! I am rocking 40.
I try to keep the right perspective on aging. Aging is better than the alternative. I’ve lost loved ones who died way too young. Life truly is a gift.