I was in the elevator of my building recently. I began a conversation with some random neighbor and I said that my daughter went to X University. he replied, “Oh, someone else in the building has a kid that goes there.” I looked at him quizzically, because there aren’t that many college age kids, and I know them all. He said- “He’s the guy on the board. Maybe you know him”. And I laughed and said- “yeah- that’s my Husband. We both have a kid at that school, or something like that.” The guy looked at me quizzically and said OK.

It was the OK that got me.

And, I know that I am totally reading into the situation, but I felt like the guy was trying to figure out how that guy was my Husband.

My Husband is four years younger than me, and in annoyingly good shape. If we had an attic I would assume that there was an aging painting in there. He has all his hair, he’s slim, and he has limited wrinkles. He doesn’t even look his age at all…

This is when I hate men.

Alas, I am a post menopausal woman who likes to eat and cook and I have the stomach to prove it. I know that I am not as physically attractive as I once was, and I’m normally OK with that…

All right, I’m really never ok with the fact that I’m not as attractive as I once was…

And this day I felt it.

There was no consolation in the fact that I was in the laundry room in my gym clothes, because I’d been to the gym and wanted to get the laundry up while I showered. My hair was in a pony, I had not a drop of anything but residual sweat on my face, and seriously, I looked like I needed to be put in the wash cycle. I’m sure I didn’t smell so great either…I was definitely not wearing perfume…

I felt old and dingy and washed up.

Amazing what the mind does to you…

And then I wanted to go make a high calorie cake for my husband and hide my moisturizer that I let him use. Let him get dry skin…let him look his age…

But that’s being petty.

I should be better than that…

I should be…but I’m not…

What is it about aging and beauty, or lack there of, that gets me every time? Why is it so hard to accept that looks change as you get older? How do we learn to accept ourselves as we get older?

It’s funny because I thought I was OK with my body, my face, my drier skin and grey hair. But I guess I’m not as emotionally and mentally strong about this as I’d like to be. It’s another thing to work on, one more task for my to do list…I just wish it was easier to plot out the goal, for me to say- to become more tolerant of my aging, I just need to do steps 1, 2 and 3…

Alas…it’s not that easy…

But I’ll try.

First, I’ll have a little pity party, and then I’ll remind myself that I am healthy and can still hold my own in a Spin class, and that I really don’t have that many wrinkles around my eyes, and I don’t yet need reading glasses…

And I’ll just get on with it a day at a time.

I need to remember that aging is a gift, a gift that many do not receive.

83 thoughts on “How I Felt

  1. At our age, EVERY day is different. Some days we feel beautiful and NOT old, then other days, we can tell we are getting older. With your husband, if he’s a little younger than don’t worry, his turn is coming. Many men are fretting over their looks too that’s why when they get divorced and look for a woman in their 30s, they get MAD when the lady snubs him. We FEEL young inside, but the body shows something different. Imagine the older guys with girls 20 years younger. Now, they MUST be feeling OLD every day and IMAGINE their wives thinking… SIGH… my husband sure got OLD fast. I look at this as EVERYONE goes through it, so do the BEST with what we have, right! Make sure you wear your lipstick earrings every day — NEVER KNOW who you might meet — Italian mothers/grandmothers ALWAYS say that!! I hear you, feel the pain, I have those days too. TODAY though, FEELiNG youthful. Going to RUN WITH IT! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Why is it so hard to accept that looks change as you get older? How do we learn to accept ourselves as we get older?

    I don’t find it difficult at all, but maybe I don’t take things all that personally. I’ve been ignored a lot in my life. I’ve just decide to like myself as I am– and get on with things.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. First off, YES to Ally Beans comment! Since retiring I stopped with a lot of the daily things I used to do to feel somewhat presentable at work. Although wearing PPE I was mostly always covered anyway, but the official retired decisions were to let the hair go naturally gray, forego a formal style, do away with most makeup most of the time-yes even when I run errands- I speak with people just as freely as before- both male and female, do my usual routines exactly as before, and easily forget that I have not had to fuss over things like I did before. As long as I don’t have children run away from me screaming or people cringing when they look at me then my days are good so I don’t need more than that. We all internalize others reactions to us in different ways and everyone comes to their own conclusions about themselves in their own time. Just be you LA and perhaps don’t feel you have to judge where you are in the process.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I do have wrinkles around my eyes and was told by the optometrist last year…”you shouldn’t be driving without glasses.” So much for the 20/20 vision of my youth! You gave a good reminder, however, aging is a gift not afforded to everyone. I’ll just keep dying my hair and take my glasses off when I pass the mirror!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have felt the way you do. On my days off I will often drive to a walking trail and then stop at the grocery store on my way home. I’m sure my hair has been messed up from the wind–or worse I have been sweating since it is a hot day. Those are the days I usually run into someone I know.
    Aging is a gift–but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about my changing looks.
    99% of the time I think that I won’t ever want to pursue dating after losing my husband. But I’m sure that I would feel more vulnerable about my appearance if I put myself out there for others to judge whether I was worthy or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hate that feeling. There was a whole where I felt like my husband was getting all of the good stuff and I was just a washed up hag. That was perimenopause 😂😩. But I adjusted a bit. I still thing that women get the raw end of the deal hormone-wise. Pre-menopause they make us feel lousy monthly, during menopause they make us feel lousy all the time. Post menopause I pine for the effects of estrogen (even on HRT)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your posts so often prompt me to recommend books, maybe because I know you’re a reader, and I think we sometimes have similar tastes. Here’s one I think will resonate with you: On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old, by Parker Palmer. You’re still young, by Palmer’s standards, but all ages can appreciate his thoughts about what we lose and gain as we age.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I say this in all truthfulness and hope it will ease your mind…I found your reply to him a bit confusing at first take. (Yep, no coffee yet…plus old enough that confused is becoming not so uncommon). But maybe that was the only reason why he looked at you quizzically? When I bump into someone unexpectedly who looks at me funny in conversation, my first thought used to be that I must have salad in my teeth, or that it’s obvious in all the bad ways that I’ve just had a workout. (IOW, it must be my appearance.) But the older I get (and maybe this is just me), the more I find it’s just that sometimes my conversational responses are confusing. (Ok, so I’m not just losing my looks, I’m losing my marbles, lol.) And so…after saying all this, I’m not sure if I’ve offered much comfort. 🤦‍♀️ But this I know from experience—people’s inexplicable responses to us tend to immediately alert our insecurities, which will come running as reliably as a well-trained pup to offer us their ‘reasons’ regardless of validity. (Eg. If I have loss & abandonment issues, an inexplicable silence from a friend will likely cause me to assume they’ve finally been overwhelmed by my faults and left me for better friends.)


  9. Yeah, I look at some old photos and wonder where that girl went. Then I remember three kids, a house, a full time job, a husband with medical issues and I dare anyone to go through all that and not change. My mom lived to 98 and hubby’s mom is 96. That’s what I’m striving for. How I look when I get there really doesn’t matter much actually. Oh, fortunately, my husband has aged himself and for the first time in our 37 years together I weigh less than he does so that helps. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have days where I don’t want to go out in public because of how I feel or look. Then there are days I feel young and pretty. I was at the Y in a barre class and looked around at all the plastic faces around me. I felt like I was among aliens. I’d rather look like aging me than a doll. As for your husband, I think maybe you read to much into that “OK” comment.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I have been in this EXACT position numerous times.

    Sometimes I know I’m overthinking and overanalyzing things, I put pressure on myself, but other times… it feels like external pressure interfering with my emotional stability and I turn to a pity party for a time, too.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Yes, aging is definitely a gift! You may be reading too much into what the man in the elevator said. Maybe he was just catching on to what you were saying about that other man in the building being your husband and you both having someone going to that college. He may have been a little slow:)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I really think that was it. The way you phrased it took him by surprise and five minutes later the puzzled look probably left his face as he said, “oh!” to himself.

        As to the “men look younger” issue, yes, they frustratingly often do, but I wouldn’t take it personally. I don’t love my wrinkles, but I do love being alive and I’ll work on the rest of me. I have to point to Sean Connery. The man didn’t age; he became more intriguing, more sexy, and gained more depth as an actor. I do not have stars in my eyes over stars, but if I were ever to drool over a man, it would be Sean Connery–at any age.🤔😂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Trust me on this one…men feel it too. It’s not vanity, it is more pride, and that is not a bad thing. My wife and I are pushing 70 now. Neither of us looks or feels like we did even 10 years ago. But the never stops us from looking in a mirror. Maybe that’s just to make sure everything is still there, I don’t know. After reading this about you, I gotta say, your husband is a lucky man and I’m sure he doesn’t see you with the same eyes that you do.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Yeah I agree. There are so many things that we have to get used to as we age but my biggest thing is the aged skin. I can cope with the fact that as I am in my 80s I can’t look as good as I did in my 60s. In someways I’m glad that I was 60 when my late husband died. He didn’t have to see me with me with wrinkles and ugly skin. But there are also thanks to be had for living as long as I have and being as fit as I am. So get out of your pity party and have a celebration that you can do all the things you do. Just saying!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I had to smile at your post. I feel my age every day at work waking up at 5:45 am and trying to keep up with middle schoolers. The other day a middle schooler asked me my age and I asked him who did his hair design as I could tell it was expensive. He looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if it was expensive and timely. I said, “There are some things you don’t ask a lady.”

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Okay, here’s the secret ~ hang out with people who are vastly older than you, I’m talking decades (like me), and obviously avoid all individuals born after 1990! Just kidding…I think we look considerably better when we smile regardless of age, so whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy. Obviously, I’ve put a lot of thought into this subject! Hugs, C

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I hate to break it to you. but there are many men out there who don’t judge women by their looks, and all the trouble you take over your appearance is lost on us. I don’t want a trophy wife, I just want someone who will put up with me and keep me entertained during Covid. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally get what you’re saying in theory. However, I have yet to walk down the street behind a man who has not watched a woman walk by, and I’ve seen men actually grimace when looking at a woman, so….I could simply go with men who are happily married are great, but those who are not suck…😆

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The last line sums it up wonderfully. We all, whether people want to admit it or not, have those things about ourselves we would like to be different, yet, we are here, we can serve, live, love, etc. A gift, indeed. Oh, and, you’re beautiful just as you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t know, maybe he was thinking of asking you out and when you said the man was your husband, he was disappointed and the only reaction he could give was ahh “ok.” I could be crazy, I’ve been called worse, but which response is correct: yours or mine. We don’t know? My point is: don’t beat yourself up. The guy (and guys are prone to doing this) could have said ‘ok’ because he didn’t know what else to say or he looked down at his phone and saw that the Jets just gave up a touchdown. We can’t read what’s in other people’s heads. Stop beating yourself up. My two cents. I hope that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Even I feel very conscious of myself at times. Not looking the way I used to be. Not having the me time to focus on my well being. But then I always felt self conscious when I was young and thought people were nice to me because of my looks. That they think I am just a pretty face with no brain. So I started concentrating on being brainy than being a beauty. Was I wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I think it’s hard for us to accept our aging bodies, because our society isn’t exactly tolerant of them. Women are constantly getting messages about how to look younger, even if that involves risky surgery and/or injections. And men don’t have nearly the pressure to look young that women do. It’s unfair, but it’s the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Well it doesn’t help that the world is ready to throw away a woman after she hits 35. Honestly maybe this guy doesn’t have a sense of humor or it didn’t click that you were being witty, that’s how I took it.
    But hide the moisturizer and bake the cake.. Petty is the way to go! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s hard because you’re battling against a society that hates aging and that also favors men and what they think about women’s bodies. I have something coming out about this Monday.

    You’re fine. We’re all fine, as is ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just stop it right now! You are a beautiful dynamic woman! You are young (compared to moi), you are healthy enough to exercise, and you are intelligent. If you lived in Europe you’d feel more confident because women of all ages are considered attractive and sexy. American men can be shallow. My late husband was seven years younger. He only made it to age 55. Nobody knows how long we will live. And some of us are taller, thinner, and may age better. But who knows what is happening in their lives. I missed my 55th high school reunion last weekend because I was too sick to attend. My friends sent me photos. Most everyone looked old but their smiles revealed the teenagers they were in 1967. As long as you keep smiling you will always be beautiful.
    As women we torture ourselves for what naturally happens to us as We age. Seriously, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be proud of who you are! I think I worried way too much about aging since I was in my 40’s. How much time I wasted with those negative thoughts. Cancer aged me about 20 years. But so what? I’m still alive. It shouldn’t have to take a disease for women to realize we are more than just our outer shell. It’s something the ladies we in treatment talk about. How we stressed about the wrong stuff.
    Men for a while do seem to age better. But honestly. By the time I went to my 50th reunion all the women looked better. It catches up to men too.
    But, I understand how you feel. Every time I look at my daughter in law i think, “I remember when I looked that good. “.
    The reality is that There will always be someone younger . But remember, nobody else will have your smile or your talent for writing. So to heck with that guy. Don’t let anyone take awAy your thunder. You are awesome! Don’t forget that!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Funny how one comment can trigger such thoughts. I can only sympathize. Been there. Hope you feel better soon. Just consider for a moment, That being affected by this fellow gives him way too much power.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. A way to a man’s heart in through his stomach…especially during COVID lockdown. I had a friend that looked like she could model in her 60’s. She ate a hard boiled egg and a spoonful of peanut butter for meals. Your husband must love your cooking! It is a just a saying, but beauty is as beauty does. My husband recently told me I am still beautiful while I rubbed his feet, I am trying to do 15 minutes of kindness each night which means he gets a back or foot rub most nights. It is easier than cooking risotto!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thanks for making me feel better about leaving my idiot ex in the rearview mirror. He’s 6 months younger than me but while our marriage spiraled downward I’d like to think that it aged him a lot more than it aged me. I might even have the photos to prove it, like those from our daughter’s wedding. I at least have the words to prove it, anyway.

    Now that he has been able to rope yet another poor unsuspecting woman (or at least I assume she is) to marry him and take care of him as his alcohol-soaked body and mind continue to deteriorate, I can now start my own new life (again). I expect to find my own happiness again in the process. This may or may not work its way out to my external appearance. I don’t care if it does or doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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