Aging Gracefully?


Cher

Cher at age 67

Ah youth. That time of life before gravity makes you it’s bitch and your skin still fits. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the term ‘aging gracefully’. In the past month I have been happily losing those ‘I quit smoking pounds’ thanks to a full-time job and a lot more walking. The down side of weight loss in your late 40′s, however, is that your chin starts to hang like mud flaps on either side of your jaw and your neck begins to pool just above your collar bones. It’s not a pretty picture. As Bette Davis once said, “old age is no place for sissies”. Middle age is no picnic either.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that I have been getting yearly Botox injections for the past 12 years. It started as a preventative measure, foolishly trying to ward off the ravages of time before they became indelibly engrained in my face. I spent about $800 per year on Botox, which may sound like a lot, but it works out to just under $70 per month and, unlike anti-aging creams, lotions and serums that many women pay as much or more for, it actually works. This past year is the first time I have foregone my Botox injections (mostly due to financial reasons) and I find myself in an odd conundrum of sorts. Part of me is horrified when looking in the mirror and seeing the crows feet, the forehead lines and the sagging skin, while a new part of me is beginning to emerge… a braver part. This new voice is asking if maybe, just maybe its time to let go of some vanity and let nature take it’s course all over my face. I have been asking myself questions like, ‘if you are so strong, then why are you so cowardly when it comes to wrinkles?’. The reality is they’re just wrinkles and everybody gets them if you are lucky enough to live past the age of 40. Just because I feel 16 on the inside, doesn’t mean I should try to look 16 on the outside. I have done a lot of living and should be proud of the lines I have earned. But, then vanity rears its ugly head and I start craving that needle. It’s an odd seesaw to be stuck upon.

I find myself wishing for a happy medium between this,

Joan-Rivers

Joan Rivers at age 79

and this,

babyjane

Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson at the age of 54 (just 6 years older than I am now… eek!)

Perhaps, I am desperately seeking role models in this era of surgical enhancements that look great without all the nips and tucks. Maybe I should summon my inner strength and try to be my own role model. These are obviously quality problems that can only be found in a youth, celebrity and beauty obsessed culture. As I type this, I am realizing that there are women all over the world who are currently struggling with issues like freedom and basic human rights and it makes me feel small and petty to be worried about aging, which for those women is a luxury. I am thinking that I have fallen prey to the North American way of keeping a woman from attaining too much power… keep her insecure about her looks and distract her with the possibility of eternal youth in a jar (or needle).

Maybe the answer is to get more involved with causes that are close to my heart and move away from the mirror. So, from now forward, I will hold my head up high (with pride, and because it stretches the skin on my neck) and say goodbye to Botox and hello to more worthwhile endeavors. Maybe that’s what aging gracefully is really all about.

On the subject of dates.


For the past five years or so this is what I thought of when I heard the word date.

cluster of dates with leaves on a white background

Or, more correctly, this.

date-squares-2

But last week something interesting happened. I was asked out on a date… you know, the social interaction kind. I had forgotten they even exist. The even more surprising thing is that I found myself actually considering it. You see, whenever anyone asks me why I’m single, I usually laugh and say, ‘because it’s safer for everyone that way.’ (which is funny because it’s a little bit true).

But here I was, considering making dinner plans with a perfect stranger. As a matter of fact I was seconds away from sending him an email with my available dates (the kind found on the calendar) when I thought, maybe I should Google him first. (I use Google in general terms here, as the search engine I actually used was Yahoo, but I digress.) The second link down the line was very telling. It was a site where people air grievances about dates (or, more correctly the people they had dated). It looked to be run by a small group of young women and it read like a high school slam book written by the mean girls. There he was, with photos and everything, the guy who had asked me out. He was accused of all sorts of unacceptable behavior. Now I usually like to get to know a person before I begin to believe gossip and rumours about them, so I didn’t judge the man on the alleged misdeeds.

I deleted the email I was about to send him because he comes with a lot of young girl drama and I am too old to be dragged into that quagmire, thank you very much. I was likely saved from having to wade through a lot of crap because of these girls, so I suppose I am thankful that they chose to air their personal laundry in public. I also suppose that they are achieving their goal in some small way in that I chose not to pursue even a first date (the social interaction) with this guy because of something they had published.

Some small part of me is relieved that it didn’t go any further, but I have a feeling that I may be ready to unleash the havoc that is me onto the dating world (even those who eat dates while on a date on any date the calendar deems appropriate) sooner than later. I may have to question the sanity of this… just when everything in my life is settling down and going well, I’m ready to muck it up with the whole dating conundrum?! It might not be smart, but like Amy Farrah Fowler before me, I must follow my endocrine system… but this time my brain comes along for the ride.

endocrine

Working Girl


working-girl_melanie-griffith1

In my opinion Melanie Griffith is one of the most over rated actresses in the history of Hollywood. From her ditzy voice, to the scary plastic surgery she’s had done, there’s not one thing I like about her. Yet… I owe her a debt of gratitude. As regular readers know, I recently moved across country and have been looking for work for the past two months. The good news is I just got a great job that I really enjoy, in a gorgeous hotel setting. The bad news is the job requires me to stand all day and even in comfy flat shoes my dogs are not only barking, but howling by the end of a 9 hour day.  It doesn’t help that I am still carrying 30 extra ‘I quit smoking pounds’either. My co-workers tell me I will get used to it soon. I find myself wondering when the heck soon might be. I walk the 20 minutes to and from the hotel. I never in my life thought I would be one of those women made famous by Melanie Griffith in the movie Working Girl, who wears a skirt and sneakers to go to work (I mean, I own 3 pairs of Louboutins for crying out loud), but they are the only shoes in which I can make the trek home without wanting to cut my feet off after walking a measly block.

If anyone out there is looking for a great pair of walking shoes, get thee to a Payless Shoes and pick up a pair of Champion walkers (priced under $40). They have air pockets in the soles and they are like walking on two little clouds. I may just be investing in several more pairs in the not so distant future.

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The shoes that are saving my life!!

I’d love to write more, but if I don’t put my feet up soon, I’ll never make it through the day tomorrow. So I will leave with a doff of the hat to Ms. Griffith for making it socially acceptable to wear sneakers to work.

From the “Well, Duh” files


Pope-Francis

The public’s love affair with Pope Francis continues. Just today he uttered the, quite possibly, the most obvious sentence I have ever heard and believers are all aflutter. Here’s the quote; “Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!”

duh

The Catholic Church has been pulling the old, ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ routine for so long now that many people no longer take them seriously. He may be winning back some hearts and minds with statements like the above, but for how long? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. My guess is that the pudding will be about as real as the invisible man they worship.

Misplaced Pride


Misplaced pride has been a disturbing trend of late where people take the most objectionable part of their personality and claim it as a source of personal pride. Yes, some people are shouting their misplaced pride to the ends of the earth. This type of pride comes in a multitude of forms.

There’s the proud racist.

White_pride

The white pride idiots exist all over North America (yes, in Canada too). They are too stupid to realize that the reason they don’t have that high paying job they are always accusing foreigners of stealing from them, is that they never bothered to educate themselves beyond the absolute minimum. They are also too lazy to lift a finger to help themselves, because that would be like admitting that the finger they did bother to lift… the finger of blame was a colossal waste of time. The last thing these folks want is to have to go out and actually work. They consider it a full-time job to blame those darned foreigners for taking their jobs, their women, their hopes and their dreams. Not to mention all of the effort it takes to indoctrinate their many children that they cannot support with as much hate and scapegoating as possible.

Next up is fat pride.

Fat sexy woman

Now I am all for women eschewing the media’s ideal of the stick woman as sexy and beautiful, but there are those who take it way too far. Morbidly obese women talking about how sexy they are with all that ass. Oh yes, diabetes and heart disease are so sexy. What these women don’t realize is that when (not if, but when) they get sick and need medical care, it’s the rest of us that have to pay for it. Even in a country with Universal Healthcare, the taxpayers are the ones to foot the bill. The more people who get sick, the higher the taxes get. Personally, I would rather my tax dollars go to kids with leukemia over the morbidly obese any day of the week. Being morbidly obese and proud is like flipping the bird to the rest of society. This is an issue you can control. There is a billion dollar industry in place to help you out of this health hazard… including medical help. The first steps are the easiest, admit the problem (as opposed to living in the deluded idea that morbid obesity is sexy) take responsibility and get help.

I find this next one particularly offensive. Redneck pride.

booboo

Again, a group of people who have it within their power to change their circumstances through education and ambition, yet refuse to further themselves because of misplaced pride. Everyone has the power to change their circumstance. There is always a choice. These people actually choose ignorance, racism, misogyny and general xenophobia as a way of life of which to be proud. It doesn’t help that reality television rewards this behavior with fame and money. Of course reality television isn’t as much to blame as the people who gleefully watch these shows in order to feel better about their own lives. This lifestyle would not be glorified if there weren’t a demand in the first place. Just how low has the bar been set if the only way you can feel better about your life is by watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, My Crazy Obsession, The Real Housewives (sure they have money, but they still act like petulant teenagers), Hoarders, Toddlers in Tiaras or any other show that the ironically named Learning Channel broadcasts?

Pride should be reserved for your accomplishments, not used to describe your shortcomings. Where has ambition gone? People use to strive to better their lot in life, to give their kids a better childhood than they had. It seems as though we are collectively giving up. The things worth having are the things worth working for. The sad truth of the matter is that, in North America, we have the luxury of having a host of government programs in place for those that actually want to educate themselves that go unused every year because people like these choose to live in ignorance.

There seems to be a theme forming here… take personal responsibility and make the world a better place.

responsibility

Everything happens for a reason


DCF 1.0

I have heard this saying more and more over the years. It always seems to be uttered by people who are trying to cheer someone who is going through a particularly tough time in their life. Scientifically, this saying is true. It’s a dumbed down and generalized version of Newton’s third law of motion which states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The folks who pepper their speech with this saying are also fond of espousing that they think, “The universe has a plan”.

universe-has-a-plan

Yes, these pompous idiots actually believe that the universe is a sentient being that, not only knows you exist, but actually cares about what happens to you. The level of arrogance possessed by the human race never ceases to astonish me. Sure, the universe has planned out every little fart in your life, just like the ocean has big plans for each and every grain of sand on its floor.

I do understand that we humans have an overwhelming need to answer every question, but what good is an answer that is obviously a load of crap?  No other species on earth has the luxury of being able to think beyond survival. We have that luxury and what do we do with it? We come up with trite little sayings meant to feed our already over inflated egos. But, it’s more than that, isn’t it? If everything happens for a reason and the universe has a plan, then we are not responsible for what happens to us. We can point the convenient finger of blame when things don’t go our way. Oh, it’s not my fault that I got fired, the universe (or Jesus, Allah, Vishnu etc.) has a plan and I wasn’t meant to have that job. Never mind that you stole from petty cash, sexually harassed a co-worker or disrespected your boss… it’s the Universe.

More of us should spend time looking through a telescope at the night sky in order to get a good healthy dose of just how insignificant we really are. A little humility would go a long way in this world. Perhaps, if we weren’t so puffed up we wouldn’t be so quick to go to war with each other. We might not go around belittling everything that is different from us by proclaiming that we are number one all of the time. We might actually realize just how little what we do, say and think matters in the grand scheme of things… and by grand scheme, I don’t mean the big script in the sky that has everyone’s roles all neatly written out. Conceivably, if we realized how unimportant and unnecessary we truly are we might spend more time on the questions that actually matter, like how can we live in better harmony with the planet that is hosting the parasite that we call the human race, as opposed to getting all caught up in blaming invisible forces or deities for our inadequacies. It would be a lot less of an effort to live and to take responsibility for our pathetically tiny lives if we just looked outside ourselves for a few minutes and saw just how little for which we are actually responsible.  I notice that these very same people who blame the universe never credit the universe and it’s plan when things go well in their lives… nope, they are perfectly happy to claim full responsibility when they have a success. So, which is it? Does the universe have it all planned out or not?

Or maybe, just maybe…

einstein