I should know. I’m 70 and I’ve had a good look in the mirror. I can’t get anyone else to look in there with me, but…
Being older than you were is a universal phenomenon – we all do it from the day we’re born till the day we die. Then we stop and hand over the problem to someone else. The thing is – it ain’t a problem.
Poverty, illness, criminality,war…they’re problems…but getting older isn’t. Oh, you’ll have to pay the price of aches and pains and insults – those are the common lot of mankind. But you’ll also have the privileges of age; no-one will listen to you so you can tell ’em the truth with impunity…no-one will desire you, so you are safe from the hazards of vice…no-one will lend you money, so you are kept from indebtedness. All you really need is a moderately successful digestion and something to read while you’re sitting on the can.
But don’t neglect being pretty. Being pretty is something you can have as long as you like, and when you are old you can have it on your own terms:
a. You are not subject to the whim of current clothing fashion. You can wear the clothes that make you feel good and that flatter you. If they are the designs of 3 or 4 decades ago, that is fine. You will move and speak, see and think far better wearing them than some imposed look from the current catalogue.
You can certainly wear socks and sandals if they are comfortable and make you feel happy. No-one can say you nay based upon some meme or whim. If they try, you are free to curse them roundly in public to their embarrassment.
b. You are not required to participate in foolish ventures – you can treat them with undisguised contempt. You’ll be assumed to be wiser than the foolish youth, even if you are not. Just refuse politely.
c. On the other hand, you can certainly do foolish things and get away with more of them than you might have earlier on. People will regard it as just an effect of your age – of course you might play this for all it’s worth and cause mayhem, but then mayhem can be a nice hobby.
c. Your hair is no longer anyone’s concern. They are not running their fingers though it, sighing. You’re not, either. If it is not there, wear a hat, cap or touque.
Get a good barber or hairdresser to make it look the way you like it.
d. Do you like green? Wear it. Yellow? Wear it. You may be a parrot.
e. Do you like to read? Or to go to the cinema? Or to fish? Or to garden? Or to build model airplanes? You need not hesitate to do any of these things, in any form you desire. Nor need you hesitate to pursue any other honourable activity. Go toit.
f. Like a drink? Like to eat certain foods? Well, as long as you’re not driving, you may order your menu as you like. Your digestion will set a natural limit to your consumption and there are always tasty alternatives if your physician becomes oppressive.
g. Gain is fun and exciting when you are 20 – whether it is financial, sexual, or sensual…you want it and you want it now. Well, now that you have passed the point of being able to effectively rob and rut, you are allowed to let those desires go – you need not prove anything to yourself or others. You can have friends who are not potential customers or potential lovers.
You can cease to keep your eye out for the main chance and stow it back aboard. The passage through life will be smoother and more pleasant.
h. You are allowed enemies. And as long as you keep them at arm’s length, no harm will be done. Treat yourself occasionally to a bout of either Schadenfreude or forgiveness – just as the fancy takes you. Most enemies will be straw figures anyway and the best method to deal with them is to refuse to stuff more straw in.