Aging. It’s just one of those things we have no control over; growing old is inevitable and honestly, not worth fighting. The aches and pains, the wrinkles, the sagging etc. will all be there. There’s no escape. But none of this means that we should stop trying to stay fit, because growing older has nothing to do with how healthy or fit you keep yourself.
In fact, my belief is, we should start a stricter workout regime as we add numbers to our years just to keep ourselves agile and keep those niggling pains a bit at bay. And of course, prevent muscle atrophy.
Now that I have reached the magic number of a half century, the phrase that stays on top of my mind now is “aging gracefully.” I don’t know if I am suddenly getting to hear it more or if I have become hyper-sensitive about the term of late. I must sheepishly admit that aging is something that’s bothering me a bit; more so because I am getting up each morning and trying to feel all the aches and pains in the body that are supposed to be showing up and slowing me down.
A Quick Look Back
This dichotomy of expectations brings to my mind two incidents.
The first one clearly implies how the term is rather closely associated with how we dress. After I posted some pictures on Instagram in bikini and shorts (stuff I usually wear when I go swimming and in the summer), I got to hear I was showing off unnecessarily. That I am a “too body-oriented” person. Also that wearing a bikini and shorts was “not right at this age.”
The other was when I posted a video of me dancing to Gangnam Style when I visited the Gangnam district in Seoul this summer. It was tough not to break into a dance since the music had been following me the whole day. Once again I was told, I was behaving in an embarrassing manner.
I’ll begin by addressing the behaviour issue first. Yes, I am the kind that laughs aloud easily - guffaws actually - at work and among friends and family. But I choose not to use swear words in public, and I never did even in my college days. I don’t even talk loudly in public spaces so that I don’t inconvenience others. I feel these are basic manners we need to stick to and they clearly hold good irrespective of any age.
As long as we have the basic code of conduct and decorum sorted, I see no reason why we should change our behaviour after hitting a certain number.
Now comes the major bone of contention - dressing according to age. Here are some of the things I’ve been told - and I’m sure you’re all familiar with them:
1. You are the mother of a teenager
2. You’re a wife
3. You’re a daughter-in-law, an aunt etc.
So, apparently, all these reasons mean that I - and all women over 40 - should stop dressing in a certain way. And “by a certain way”, we mean we can’t assert any aspect of our sexuality.
But heaven forbid - did I just say sexuality?? Gosh! How could I be so brazen??
Time to Take Charge