My writer friend Joan Price is pretty incredible. She’s a fitness and dance instructor, motivational speaker, and an author. She reviews sex toys. She line dances. She’s written two books: Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty and her soon to be released tome, Naked at Our Age. Not surprisingly, she falls into the demographic she’s writing about. While I’ve only met her in person a few times, I always look forward to her Facebook status updates. She’s so positive and funny, and she relishes her life. You can tell. For Joan, age is really just a number.
I wish I had the same positive outlook about getting older. I’m not thrilled about it even though I’m not even close to senior citizenship. For example, every once in a while I find myself getting very sad that I’m no longer 26, the age that one of my best friends and I decided we would be turning every year once we hit the big three-oh. I also feel a twinge when I don’t get proofed buying beer. And I am ashamed to admit that I am wistful when I acknowledge the fact that I could never (not that I’d ever want to) date the random guy I see doing squats at the gym. He’s probably 22 or so. I could have babysat for him. I even find myself asking, as I try stuff on at the mall, if something is too young for me. And you’ve all read about my craziness about nakedness. My body is like ground in Antarctica: It’s bathed in darkness for a good chunk of the year.
And yet there are so many awesome people around like Joan or M. at the gym, who must be about 75 and spins circles around me in my group cycling class. Or E., who at 67 has the courage AND the abs to wear a belly shirt to yoga. And I can’t forget my other friend who will be nearly 42 when she delivers her third baby. None of those folks care about age. To them, at least from the outside looking in, years don’t really matter. Maybe that confidence comes with age, who knows? What I do know: I still have an awful lot to learn about feeling good about myself.