The hardest part of growing older....

Other than possibly losing your looks, I would say it's my energy level. I feel tired all the time. I'm going out with 3 friends on Friday to celebrate St Paddy's Day and I'm wondering if I have the energy for it.
From Michael Berg:

Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all."
The hardest part for me right at this moment is being the one who takes care of the older folks in the family - parents, aunts, uncles. I'm the 'dependable' one so I'm the person everyone calls. I give rides, run errands, house sit, pet sit, help them figure out medical bills, etc. I've got family overload.
Spending too much time at the funeral home is another not so great thing right now.
Sigh.
But other than than, and the occasional case of invisibleness, I feel pretty darn good about being an old fogie.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
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CurlySuzGuide
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Having to stand aside and watch your young adult or teenage children make mistakes that will effect the rest of their lives.
Am I shallow for saying losing my looks is the hardest part (although believe me, I am very grateful to be healthy)?

I'm actually happier now than when I was in my 20's and 30's (not saying life is perfect, just better). I just wish my skin looked like it did then, my hair looks better though!
sdcurly
If you're shallow then so am I! It is hard to look in the mirror most days!
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
hey, jeepcurlygirl!
I saw your curlypix on your photo album - your grey is coming in beautifully - it looks like it will be silvery! Congrats for making it to 3" of new growth - it should be easier now, esp. if you keep your hair about the same length while the grey is growing out.
Myself, I tried several times a number of years back to let my grey come in, but I never made it past the 1.5 inch mark - it just looked awful! Maybe someday - sigh! I know the time will come when I get sick of coloring my hair, and it will be too much of a chore anyhow, the greyer it gets!
One of the hardest parts about getting older now is the fact that media depictions of women have raised the bar as far as what's acceptable for beauty - we're all supposed to have perfectly even complexions and no wrinkles, spots, etc. Since I have done digital retouching, I know how easy it is to remove blemishes, wrinkles, etc. from a picture. Removing too much, and well, you have these actually pretty scary fashion photos. Removing just a little, and it just perks up the photo without removing someone's character - just makes the person look like themselves on a good well-rested day! Well, that doesn't happen unless one makes like a mole for the rest of her life, or goes the route of increasingly invasive skin and facial procedures, etc. Also, it's OK out there to be 50-something, as long as you go for all of the above, and have the personal trainer/chef/makeup artist on board. Sure, anyone can get into fabulous shape and appearance with that kind of money, but for the rest of us there comes a point where one has to make peace with Mother Nature, to a certain extent, even with self-reliance in the way of health and fitness.
Worst part of middle age? (I'm 48.) I think it's a toss-up between the physical changes and just the feeling that time, and possibilities are running out. I have arthritic knees, and have had two arthroscopies. I am better than I was, but the doctor cannot give me twenty year old knees. No more running for me, I can't dance as much as I used to, and I'm hoping that with physical therapy, I'll be able to ride a bike again. I hate my gray hair. I don't have a lot of wrinkles yet, but my skin looks like it's getting looser, if that makes any sense. I used to be able to keep my weight down easily; now, the pounds just seem to be creeping on and I can't seem to get rid of them. That I have to be so careful with my knees doesn't help. I cannot run or ride my bike, or take long hikes like I used to.

I also have to accept that I simply cannot make certain dreams come true. I haven't had children. When I was younger, I could hope that maybe this would change in the future...at 48, I must accept that I'll never have kids. I had certain other dreams, things that I was working to achieve...things did not work out at all as I'd planned. I will not reach certain goals that I expected to.

I don't mean to be all gloom and doom. I've also had some marvelous experiences, like living and working overseas, and I've reached some goals and had some successes. I still have some goals and dreams that I can shoot for. And as I've gotten older, it's also been a relief to drop certain activities and goals that really weren't right for my life...it's a mixed bag, honestly. I do feel calmer, and less concerned with whether I please or fit in with others, and that's been good.
Boy Cara4curls,

You said A LOT of what I wanted to say! I also believe losing one's looks or more to the point the 'slow deterioration' of one's appearance (or how we see ourselves, or think people see us) does affect us, especially in this country. We seem to be such a youth-oriented society that many older women are grasping for those last vestiges of youth however they can. They have surgeries so extreme that they not only DON'T look like a young version of themselves, they look like a hideous caricature of their older selves! I have seen several of late on TV! They all look like that old puppet "The Madame" - you guys remember her? The puppeteer was named Wayland Flowers, and the puppet was a sassy old lady....

Anyway, I was looking at Joan Rivers the other day and she is one of the ones that looks like "The Madame"! Same for Faye Dunaway - she was nearly frightening! I have never considered myself a 'great beauty' by any stretch of the imagination, so I don't see myself ever doing something so extreme - nor do I have the funds it would likely require if I wanted to!

Nevertheless, beautiful or no, I see the wrinkles slowly appearing around my eyes and forehead, the lines developing about my mouth, the once taut skin getting just a little saggy and finer, and even just a hint of a possible 'jowl' that may appear as I continue to age, and I have to admit it bothers me. Not just the face either. I see all the changes taking place in my physical form and it almost saddens me, but I think the reason it saddens me is because it brings me face to face with the unrealized dreams I had in my youth, many of which I will never accomplish because they required being young (and agile) in order to do most of them!

Still and all, 50 is not so old and God willing, I will have many more years ahead of me, with other dreams and goals that I can fulfill in their stead. Then, I also think about my sons, and how they've grown up to be such fine young men and continue to grow , mature, and study to achieve their dreams and it fills me with such overwhelming joy because had I accomplished some of my 'dreams of youth', I may not have been blessed with the opportunity and good fortune to have borne and raised these boy. I would have definitely missed a lot. They are my pride and joy, and my greatest 'achievement!'

So, yeah, getting older kinda sucks, but at the same time, the wisdom I've gained over the years has a 'sex appeal' all it's own, and is just as valueable or more so, than retaining my youth.
Hair 3a/3b.
Physically-my skin.
It just seems so....dull

Otherwise,my mom getting older is starting to affect me
"what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"



"If you judge people,you have no time to love them"
-Mother Theresa
cara4curls
Thanks for the morale boost! It was a rough beginning. After 40 plus years of seeing dark hair around my face, it is weird seeing the lightness, but I'm starting to get used to it. The 'skunk stripe' is definitely there, but it's starting to blend in a little. It's been a few weeks since I've had the urge to reach for the henna.

Of all the changes that have happened to my face, hair, body - the one thing I would change if I had a magic wand are the new jowls. I just hate 'em. But, hey, I'm not a plastic surgery kind of person so I'll just be an old person who looks old!
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Aug 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
Worst part of middle age? ( I used to be able to keep my weight down easily; now, the pounds just seem to be creeping on and I can't seem to get rid of them. That I have to be so careful with my knees doesn't help. I cannot run or ride my bike, or take long hikes like I used to.
I also have to accept that I simply cannot make certain dreams come true. I haven't had children. When I was younger, I could hope that maybe this would change in the future...at 48, I must accept that I'll never have kids. I had certain other dreams, things that I was working to achieve...things did not work out at all as I'd planned. I will not reach certain goals that I expected to.
And as I've gotten older, it's also been a relief to drop certain activities and goals that really weren't right for my life...it's a mixed bag, honestly. I do feel calmer, and less concerned with whether I please or fit in with others, and that's been good.
Originally Posted by Tamrin
Tamrin et al-I can really relate to many of the things you are saying,for me at 56 it is definitely too late to have kids. I have stepgrandkids but it is not quite the same. As an only child I really have nobody to depend on in later life. My husband is 70 and loves me but chances are he will be gone before me. His kids will probably drop out of my life when he is gone. I do have a wonderful niece and nephew through his family and my cousins, but bottom line is I must take care of myself and make sure I have someone trustworthy to advocate for me if I lose the ability to do so for myself.

OTOH luckily I still have the ability to run, go for long hikes of 5-6 hrs or more, swim and do all the things i like to do. Physically I am a magnificent specimen. Not that i am perfect to look at, I'm about 20 lbs overweight and getting wrinkled and my teeth are getting odd looking but everything works great and nothing hurts. I see and hear well (reading glasses only) and digestion is excellent.
I have a loving husband, a meaningful career I enjoy, a semi professional musical hobby, financial security, a great place to live and lots of friends. My parents are gone so there are no people I need to take care of tho I wish it were otherwise.
so there is a lot to be grateful for. However, the thought of time running out and loss of certain dreams as well as fears of the indignity of old age are with me as well. like everything else, it is a mixed bag. life is good. Tamrin says: "I do feel calmer, and less concerned with whether I please or fit in with others, and that's been good"
--this is really important!!
banjo
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
At 47, it's the physical changes that are the hardest for me to deal with. Not so much with appearance, although mine is definitely changing, it's more to do with seeing the beginnings of physical limitations ... ugh, I hate even phrasing it that way because I'm quite healthy. It's just that I still feel so young inside, but my body is feeling a bit creakier so to speak. Luckily, that's inspired me to eat healthier and become more physically active so there's an upside to it too.

Also, banjocurl, I can really relate to what you were saying about not having children of your own and worrying about what will happen later in life. DH is 10 years older than me, and I do have a really good relationship with my stepkids, but I often wonder (and worry) what will happen if DH goes before me and whether my stepkids will drift away. I hate to think such morbid thoughts, but it's something that has to be thought about, and as you said, a plan has to be made. And on the upside of that, we just found out this weekend, that DH's youngest is expecting -- this will be our first grandchild -- woohoo, a grandbaby to spoil!!

Yes, I am an optimist at heart. Call me Pollyanna
Hey B-Wavy and Banjo,

I totally understand your fears with regard to aging and being alone. I also know that not everyone is alike in thinking or has the same relationship that I have with my parents, or that I had with my in-laws. However, I will tell you how I feel regarding this issue.

My parents divorced when I was 15, after a very chilly year of separation within our home. That is to say, they stopped speaking to each other and mother slept on the extra twim bed I had in my room. I, being the oldest child, was blatantly aware that things were spiraling downward at a very rapid rate, and I was used as a 'go-between' to relay messages between my parents during this time, not to mention that I acquired the responsibility of doing dad's laundry, etc. as my mother refused. It was a painful year for all of us and when mother filed for divorce and ended it, I was almost grateful, though it broke my heart to see my father leave. The upside of this whole thing was that my father and I, who had never had a close relationship (I adored and feared him at the same time), grew in our relationship as parent and child and my father who was a hard man and never really showed affection, became a bit more loving and actually told me he loved me a short time before I lost him in an accident.

Anyway, my mother remarried when I was 18. I was angry and resentful at my mother dating again after her divorce. It's the same old thing about wanting to see your parents get back together, but in my heart I knew that would never happen. They were so completely different in personality, goals, etc. that in truth, I feel it's a wonder they stayed married as long as they did! Over time, I got to know the man the became my stepdad, and realized that he had come into our lives at a very rough time (my brother and I were in our teens), and still he managed to 'survive' us. Over the years he has been as much or more of a father than my biological father was and I love him dearly.

He has never had children of his own, with my mother or his previous wife and he has never referred to us as other than his kids when he speaks about us - we are not his 'stepchildren' or 'his wife's children', we are HIS. My children are his grandkids and though they know about my father (have seen pics, etc.) Daddy (which is what I call him!) is the only grandpa they know and they love him.

Dad is 70 now and not in the best of health, but he won't stop working and when he's not working, he's tending the yard or helping mom clean house...just always keeping busy. I believe it's the activity that keeps him alive. He'd go stir crazy if he retired and had no place to at least indulge his hobby (he grew up doing carpentry work with his father). He likes to remain active all the time. I swear he has more energy than I do any given day!

If my mother should pass on first, he knows that I, that we all, will be there to care for him. It's my responsibility as his daughter and I will not let him down because he has always been there for me! We love him and he knows it, as I know he loves us!

Our hope is that a good job offer will come up for my DH in another state where the cost of living is not so high, so Dad will retire, and he and mom will come with us. Our dream is to own a house with an in-laws quarters, or better yet, with their own apartment/house (they are very independent and self-reliant!) and some land (a few acres) to build him a workshop so he can indulge his hobbies - and he's told us he would be thrilled to get on one of those tractor mowers and mow the land! A real hands-on kind of guy! So, if any of you pray, keep us in your prayers that something positive comes our way. I know mom and dad both said they'll retire and go with us if we find something in another state and I am looking forward to having them with us, as is my DH!
Hair 3a/3b.
I think it's seeing the "life cycle" in full force - my parents getting older, me getting older and seeing my sons branching out on their own.

It's been a mixed blessing of enjoying the freedom that comes with them not needing me as much anymore as well as sadness that those years went so darn fast! My husband and I haven't been able to have a child of our own (I had an ectopic pregnancy five years ago) and that saddens me to know that we won't be able to share that experience together, particularly since he doesn't have any children.

But, we are all healthy for the most part and happy and that's truly a blessing.
CG-modified since 4/05
2b/3a and 3b on occasion!
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