This New Skin

As some of you know, Jan 26th was my birthday. 59 and staring down the barrel at the big Six Zero! That sounds so crazy to me! Never have I ever imagined saying those words! I remember so well, being 13 and thinking my parents were so old, old fashioned and out of touch. Heck, they could die at any time! Haha They were turning 30! Boy, has my perspective changed.

Birthdays have a way of making you take your life into account, measuring the distance, the fluidity of time and change, all the forms we’ve taken along the way and consider what forms might lie ahead. How will I become this new thing?

With hope, gracefully although graceful is not my strong suit. My body is ever changing and I can’t say I’m overjoyed about that, especially since internally, I remain the girl I was and don’t really know how to be anything else. While I might hope to glide into 60, the odds are pretty high that it’ll be much more like trying to drag a cat into a bathtub.

Here’s to all the versions I have been and learning to inhabit this new skin.

I was a cute kid, you know? Of course I had my awkward teenage phases but came into my own as a young adult. I didn’t do pregnancy pretty. I wasn’t a glower by any means. Hammered, over stuffed sack of potatoes! Our son says of our (due next week) pregnant daughter-in-love, that coming home from work is like walking into the house to a loaded gun. “She’s pregnant as Shite and mad AF!” LOL I remember those days well but darn it, she glows!

I’ve varied in weight, a little cushy to model thin and ranged from couch potato to body builder fit.

Age 5…mom had a rat tail comb and knew how to use it and 16, platform shoes and disco.

Most days, I’m 17, ponytail and cutoff jeans, apt to break out into an awful (yet really loud) rendition of “My Sharona”. Lord forbid we’re out shopping and The Bee Gee’s “Night Fever” happens to start playing on their radio. I not only WILL but HAVE, gone full Travolta, right in the middle of a shopping center.
Sometimes I’m 25, in wayfarers and converse sneakers, long hair loose in the wind and I’m Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”. Other days I’m about 6 and don’t mind calling you a poopoo head, right to your face.

I rise each morning as any one of these characters and happily so, right up to the point that I pass a mirror. I’m stopped in my tracks. I recognize this face but it isn’t mine. It’s my mothers. My mother say she experiences the same thing!

Age 21, muscle beach and that 80’s punk hair & 26Some cosmic joke, isn’t it, that we grow old physically but not internally? I feel the same, I feel like….me. But, this flesh is ever changing and suddenly the two are out of sync. This new skin looks much older than I feel and I’m uncertain how to wear it.

Have you ever pulled your phone out to take a picture and the lens flipped to selfie mode? It’ll scare the crap out of you! My next thought was,”what the heck is this face I’m making?” If you’re not prepared for a selfie, it’s a wrecking ball to your self esteem.

How about hanging a mirror? You pick your spot, set the nail then bend over to pick up the mirror, “Sweet Jesus!!!!” Let me tell you, if you haven’t seen yourself from that angle, well that’s a real treat. You just go ahead and do that. I guarantee you, you’ll start picking stuff up with your feet before bending over a reflective surface again and you’ll stop leaning over people too!

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Age 37 … #Animal-Lover

My husband isn’t always a big help. Don’t get me wrong, he’s blind as crap so first thing in the morning, he says things like “I love your sleepy face”, “I’ve out kicked my coverage with you, babe”, “your so pretty”. I’m convinced this is code for ” You’re a little chunky and old, but I’m commited, so…”.

I know exactly what I look like in the morning. First of all, I don’t even understand English until coffee #2. I zombie walk to the kitchen, long hair looking like there may have been a tornado in the night and dark circled eyes warning that it might be a good idea to NOT make eye contact and just walk away. Yep, pretty.

Age 44, dating Clay & 47, sons wedding

BUT, his mother (who I might add was much closer to my grandmothers age) managed to convince young Clay, that she was the epitome of style and taste. Now that might be true … for 1967!!!! So, when we’re strolling through the outlet mall and he points to an outfit in a window and says “Ooooh, you’d look so pretty in that!”, and it looks like it was made out of my grandmothers couch, I give him “THE Look” (basically it’s stink face) but when he says “Well, my mom…..” (again, 1967) it’s all I can do to pull back a pimp slap!

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Far right – age 55 with mom & siblings

I have long hair and the “experts” say a woman my age should cut her hair because long hair makes you look older. That might be true but I’m not ready to chop my hair off. Heck, at this age, I’m afraid to cut it at all! It’s just one step closer to that old lady man doo. The next thing you know, I’ll be dying it blue and letting Clay dress me in couch fabric!

I’m not ready for granny clothes and mom jeans, wrinkles and man cuts. I’m not ready for my age. I’m finding it hard to embrace this new skin I’m in or gracefully move into the skin I’ll be in tomorrow. For now, I’ll just keep dancing and sing a happy tune (really loud) in cutoff Jean’s, ponytail and sneakers, leaving the fret of years for another day and cartwheel to the finishline.

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Age 56, retirement and lake life.

November 2020 Age 58

63 comments

  1. My 80 something year old aunt has always told me, “You are as young as you feel.” She still dresses young, even though her impeccable style is not quite like it used to be. So, I’m going with my 20’sπŸ˜‚… Although, I don’t think anyone would believe it!πŸ˜‚ You are beautiful in your skin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Derrick! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•
      I did cut it once about 5 years ago into a bob. Of course we still had the horse ranch then and it was in Oklahoma. The song from the old movie Oklahoma…where the wind comes sweepin cross the plain, is no jmmmoke! It is the dust bowl! Lol
      Oh I hated it! Not for the look so much but managing it. I’m not a preening woman. I wear very little if any makeup and rarely even blow dry my hair. Not only did I have to spend time funneling with my hair, drying and styling for it to look right but…I ran our horse ranch which meant stretching fence line, mowing pastures, mucking barns etc. The wind wreaked havoc on my hair, wrapping it around my face and in my eyes constantly and it was too short to do anything to get it out of my face! A misery! My long hair on the other had was easily swept into a ponytail or swept into a French twist where I could go about my chores. Now that we’ve retired, sold the farm and moved lakefront, the wind off the water remains an issue I would have to contend with. It may be aging on a woman my age and not contemporary and stylish, but it is certainly practical! Lol

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  2. I can relate!! Keep the hair β€” my hair has been long for years mostly bc my Mom would make me look like a boy with the old bowl cut {true story}. Do what makes you happy!! P.s. – I love your 80’s-90’s photos. Happy Thursday πŸ’›πŸ€˜

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  3. Your hair looks good on you!

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who will dance in a store. Trader Joes has a really good 80s set that often inspires me!.

    I started dying my hair bright, intense, teal around age 55. Technically blue but def not the old lady shade!! My hair is dramatically thinning and I may have to go for that “man cut” soon… if for no other reason than to be able to wear crazy drag queen wigs.

    I felt 26 for a looong time. But at 50, I started feeling 85. And don’t get me started on the horror of seeing my body on my new webcam!! (Yes, I’ve also had the accidental selfie-mode shock!)

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    • Hahaha. I love you’ll break out in a store to some 80’s, soul sister! Get a castor oil shampoo for that thinning hair or simply massage castor oil into your scalp at night. If that doesn’t help and you have to go short….do it in your own wild awesome style! I have those days that I feel 100 yes old too but I think even the young do too from time to time but inside, I’m still that same girl that I was….my body though, begs to differ. Lol
      Good Lord though, how about those wrap around dressing room mirrors!?!, whatever wanker thought those were a good idea? Ghastly! Lol

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      • I have developed the ability to look in a mirror without actually seeing myself. I don’t know the last time I was in a fitting room – probably the time I went to a specialty bra store for a custom fitting and NOTHING fit it was far worse than bathing suit shopping… the boutique carries all generic and custom sizes and I was NONE OF THEM.

        Thanks for the castor oil idea. Seems counter intuitive to me (my instinct is less gunk, not more). I know it’s a hormone thing but docs don’t feel I warrant hormone supplements. Biotin and Monoxidil have done nothing. My hair was the last thing I didn’t hate about my appearance and now it’s leaving!!

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      • Bathing suit shopping….grrrrrr, I shuddered at the thought! Lol
        That’s crap isn’t it? That doc’s resist hormone therapy at our age (when we actually need it)?
        I had to have a full hysterectomy at 26 and after one doc gave me an overdose shot of hormones, swore them off completely and did just fine until I hit 50. Because I have zero breast cancer in my family on either side, he gave me prescription for low dose Estradiol. It’s helped on soooo many levels from female dryness, dry skin, energy, better sleep, better skin etc.

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      • I describe my energy and interest in life as a big lightswitch that turned to OFF practically overnight, around 50. I used to love going out, I was a major flirt, life was fun. The *poof* no interest in ANYTHING. And overwhelming fatigue. Docs only want to treat me for depression or give me speed (which I hate). I czb’t get any to see that there is a bigger root cause and it’s my hormones!!

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  4. Loved this post so much of me in it….But I have gone for the chop albeit it spiky and fun..Too hot here for the long locks… And my blog title says it all as that ain’t never going to happen…I am now a barefoot or flip flop girl not a heel in sight and god forbid I ever have to wear them again…But having a hell of a ride …Thank you for the follow πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely, wholeheartedly, disagree. Short hair makes you look older. Long hair keeps you young. I swear. I think it’s cuz the gray starts to make it’s trip and sees the journey ahead and says FORGET IT. I think that’s why I keep teaching HS. I can’t ever feel as old as I am. The kids just don’t let me. And heaven forbid if I do or say anything “old”. I ‘d never hear the end of it. And even though my body continues to make sure to remind me loud and clear that I am not that young, my mind says “FORGET IT” πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

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  6. I read through, and look at the pictures, and see a woman who always been beautiful, and wonder what the fuss is about. At the same, travelling down memory lane, I think back to my ages and stages and can’t think of a time that I felt good about my physical appearance, always compared to much prettier sisters. The distortion is real, and sad at the same time. p.s. you’ve got lots of time to worry about getting old – you’re just getting started.

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    • Have you seen ” I Feel Pretty”? The speech she gives at the end is a stunning portrait if what we go through as women…. how we become riddled with insecurities but it wasn’t how we began. How we began as little girls pouching out our belly’s etc and brilliantly confident . It’s always in my own head that my voice says I’m not enough, as good as, failing to see my own unique beauty. I tend to try to portray others beauty instead of being beautiful like me.

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  7. My bestie has long hair as it suits her as it does you Laura. I tell her I love her every day. I have many things I say that strikes me in the moment or if we have been a part for a while. This is the latest “Sometimes I wish you could see what I see when I look at you”

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    • Thank you so much Angel! You bring sunshine with you wherever you go! I admit I’m dysmorphic. I can’t see myself accurately. My perception of myself can swing drastically from day to day or within a day and I tend to be my harshest critic. No one is as mean to me than myself. Lol. Those inner voices that say ” not enough”.
      Growing older, is well… uncharted territory. I’ve never been this age before and we don’t really talk about it enough to know what to expect. Nope, have to see a commercial for adult diapers on TV to even know that could become a possible future. I was like “What! What fresh hell is this now!?!?” Lol
      I hope to do this aging thing gracefully and with dignity but I fear I could possibly become that pink haired, punk rock granny who thumbs her nose at old age and cartwheels to the finish line! πŸ€£πŸ’•

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