Sistah Take A Seat

Sistah Take A Seat: Age Accordingly

The problem with Generation X is that we really ascribe to the Toys R Us “I don’t want to grow up” syndrome. Never in the span of the generations have we come across an age group that refuses to age accordingly. When you got the media reminding you that a certain R n B singer of questionable character is actually 50 years old but he’s dressing like it’s first day of school ’round here, we have to pause and contemplate the whys behind our fear of aging and aging gracefully at that!
No one is saying to turn in your Fabulosity and Swag for dentures and Icy Hot, but goodness! The way a 14 year old wears converse isn’t the way a 40 year old wears converse. Ripped jeans on a 20 year old should look different from ripped jeans on a 40-50-dare I say 60 year old. Future blog on when to give up the ripped jeans ghost coming soon. When I got my first pair of Jordan’s this year (at age 42 at that), I thought long and hard on how I was going to pull it off. Pinterest was no help either.  If I saw one more photo of skin tight jeans and a cropped top with them vampire nails! I had to eventually pair it up with a calf length spaghetti-strapped tshirt dress, the two layer ones, with a complimentary cardigan that framed my mama-inspired hips. There’s levels to aging and being cute. I have no plans to sacrifice one for the other. I just know well enough to stay in my 40 year old lane. 

The point to all this is to not fear the process of aging. I woke up the other day and found a gray hair dangling right above my eyeballs. The pesky thing got plucked and dang it, didn’t grow back! Then there’s this curly one up front and center acting like she’s a conductor of my Sisterlock symphony. She’s got no plans on leaving either. Under my eyes seem kinda tired of late. Not sure if it’s fatigue or age. I look at photos of my younger self and I see the change coming. My face isn’t as full. There’s an angular, leaner look to it these days.  But I can’t find any anti-aging commercials that will point my melanin self in the right direction.  My knees creak more and although I’m not giving up my heels (perish the thought!) I know well enough to keep some cute sandals in the car. Just in case. 

In my Game of Thrones voice “The Wrinkles Are Coming!” Unless you want to “Little Kim” your body into oblivion, accept the progress of time. Embrace those things that just won’t change no matter what you do. Fight fair in your quest for health. Eat right. Drink lots of water. Try to keep some level of activity going. Hang around the younger folks who will keep you feeling younger if nothing else. But accept the fact that the fountain of youth is yet undiscovered and no matter how many times social media would like to make you feel like you need to get your life, remember it’s just filters on that IPhone 7 Plus that’s got them looking like front cover material. What glitters is really never gold. 

Family

Not For The Faint of Heart

Famed human development psychologist, Erik Erikson, mapped out our lives in eight stages. I’m in the 7th where work and family are important. At my best I believe I am contributing to humanity’s advancement in these so called best years of my life. At my worst I may feel “stagnated” and at a loss for my life’s purpose. Thank God for God cause I’m erring on the former side.

I think of my dad who at 70 doesn’t look a day over 50. Looks spry and fit. Yet I think of these past few months and I know it’s wearing him down. He doesn’t have a job to go. No children to raise. Not many active friends like he used to have. Very little to keep him busy and distracted and his mind on the mundane things in life. He grieves the best way he knows how. Most are held “hostage” by children whose lives are too busy (like mine) to make a day of bringing all the parents together.

My dad has been dealt a recent blow. My half-sister’s mother passed away in Haiti this week. I hear the sadness in his voice when we speak. There is a life long connection with the person you have children with. Theirs was an amicable relationship. He worried about her care during her long illness. There was always compassion in his voice. Now both sets of his children are motherless.

Erikson says the “65-death” stage should be years of “ego integrity” where one is able to reflect and eventually close this chapter with a true sense of accomplishment. To have done right by loved ones and left a footprint worth remembering. Then there is what Erikson calls despair. That searing hopelessness that causes its inhabitants to live in the land of regrets. To wish and dream of yesteryears. Wishing to undo or redo what can never be changed.

I want my dad to be on the ego side–and to stay there. To know that his life meant something, that it still means something to we his children. That as his friends and loved ones become ill and in-firmed, as his own body continues on it’s ultimate decline, his life was worth living. That his life lessons have been passed on to others. That his passion to help others and his work ethics has taken his children a mighty long way.

Aging is not for the faint of heart. It takes super human strength (and the enduring grace of God) to gracefully exit stage left.

Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

At The Line of Thirty-Nine

I’m admittedly one of those chicks that is doing well for what people may think is the “over-aged” range. I get the “I wouldn’t put you pass your twenties.” I politely smirk but on the inside I’m giving myself high-fives and doing cartwheels. Damn right I look good! I wasn’t part of the junk food generation and took no part in the drug and drinking life. Weed never touched my lips and sex wasn’t casual recreation. I gained 30 pounds since high school, lost ten and kept the rest all in the right places. I’ve gotten braces, said no to the “creamy crack” and hello to a full head of locs. I said no to cow milk (hormonal hell) and yes to almond milk; a more health conscious life. My trainer gets on me for missing sessions but I’m trying to do right by my body. I may look young but my mind and heart is light years ahead of this 5’3” frame.

Thirty nine won’t be the year of aging jitters lined with endless regrets. I remember when Oprah turned forty and my nineteen year old self couldn’t figure out what was the big deal about getting “old”. I laugh because like Oprah, I’m celebrating the beauty of aging and aging oh so graciously. I get the “old lady” comments from former students and young family members. I’m out of touch they say. Old fashioned and stuck in my ways. I own that and more.

I own my values and beliefs. I believe in commitment of one man to one woman; that the cow and the milk comes in one package, not piece-mealed until she’s turned into dry powdered milk. I believe in friendships that come with passports stamped with words like loyalty, endurance, and adventures. I believe your word is your bond, strong work ethics is a must, and an unwavering moral compass makes for clean living. I believe in solitude to think, crowds to enjoy and balance to keep me sane. I believe in living my best life now. My twenties was full of mistakes and my thirties was about making it right.

So this is it! The last of the thirties! No fan-fare and no parades please.