Middle-aged in a New Millenium

“Time and tide wait for no man.” 

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales.

~ ~ ~

Chaucer’s line from The Canterbury Tales shows how even back in the Middle Ages, people paid heed to the inevitable process of aging. And unlike nowadays, an unspoken code existed back then on appropriate conduct as you moved away from young adulthood and got older.

 Even a short fifty years ago, standards for individuals in the prime of their life were defined by society. Ward and June Cleaver knew how to dress, speak and socialize (I’d bet the neighbors looked forward to ‘bridge-night’ with the Cleaver’s).

Yet as today’s baby boomers hit middle-age, the standard is simple: if you can pull it off, anything goes.

We don’t see ourselves as aging. We see ourselves as getting better with age. I cite Bon Jovi and Sting as living proof (are they hotter now or is it me?) And Steven Tyler still swaggers across the stage carrying ‘cool’ like it’s his middle name. Nope, middle-aged doesn’t mean you’re one step away from staying home and watching Lawrence Welk anymore.

But this often ignored age-bracket does have a way of creeping up out of nowhere. I’d floated through my thirties with the mind-set of a young woman thinking endless days lie ahead to pursue my dreams. My fortieth birthday stunned me with the force of walking into a glass door.

I’d just been tossed smack-dab into the second half of my life!

Sure, I didn’t feel that old, but I really wanted to be younger. I wouldn’t take this lying down (although I had noticed an increase in my weekend nap time.) Like Ponce de Leon, I hunted for a modern-day Fountain of Youth. There had to be a means to turn back the clock. And then it hit me…people my age who appeared more youthful simply gave the illusion of youth.

I turned to my oldest daughter for suggestions as to what I could do.

“You can start by getting rid of those Mommy-jeans,” she said. Without hesitation, I ran out and purchased some lower-waist styles.

She rummaged through my make-up bag. “Sephora has better stuff.” All off-the-rack supplies from CVS were tossed in the trash and resupplied with her suggestions.

“And Mom… nobody wears white bras.” She looked at me with pity, as if she’d just seen me wearing my nineteenth century whale-bone corset. “You need to go to Victoria’s Secret with me.”

I knew she wasn’t wrong. A glimpse at her messy bedroom floor proved bras now came in a variety of styles, colors and fabrics (not to mention I’d noticed her underpants barely covered her rear-end, but I had my limits.) I burned all my standard issue white Playtex bras and dragged myself to the mall.

Initially, the surface changes helped. My neighbor told me that every time her mother runs into me, she exclaims, “Sharon looks younger every time I see her.” And it did give me an updated feel.

Yet the aging-clock continued to tick. Ten years after my mini-makeover, I may appear somewhat modernized on the outside, but the inside suffers with more aches and pains than ever.

Still, my optimism will never fail me. I’ve decided to cling to the notion fifty is the new thirty-five.

And I believe Chaucer’s statement has merit, but I’m pretty sure if he were alive today he’d post something on Twitter like, ‘Not 2 worry… age is just a #.  Follow me on Twitter @Geofchaucer or my blog@ www.gchaucer.com.’

*** Next post…Embracing your Inner-aging Goddess (while staying close to my younger one.)

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25 responses to “Middle-aged in a New Millenium

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog! You are right that teenage girls will be very honest in giving fashion advice! I will be checking in to see future entries!

    Thanks!

  2. Hi Kathy. Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in subscribing, I’ve added a link for you to do so!

  3. Wow! You are singing my song! It’s all about attitude. Thanks for a great blog. I’ll be recommending it to all my friends who are now living in the midst of the “middle ages.”

    Linda

  4. Wow! You are singing my song! It’s all about attitude. I’ll be recommending your blog to all my friends who are now living in the midst of the “middle ages.”

  5. Hi Linda. That’s for subscribing and recommending my site!

  6. Great reading. You do have a wonderful flair with the written word. As I start to think about (like I have a choice), entering the 6th decade of my life, I do agree the it is just a number, but it’s what you do with that number that counts! I also agree with your daughter, ( I have one also that thinks I dress like a teacher), that white bras are passe, so I wear an ‘ivory one’ purchased at VS!!! Keep writing, it’s good for all of our souls!!! I’ll pass on your whitty words of wisdom to my fellow boomers.

  7. Loved your piece on being middle-aged! Very well written and fun to read. You should be proud of yourself for entering the 2nd 1/2 of your life with such a positive attitude. I truly look forward to reading more.
    Deb

  8. I always find myself laughing out loud (or LOL, as the younger group say) when I read your writing. You really have a gift, I look foward to reading more. Elaine

  9. I am now going to throw out some of my CVS cosmetics(I have had a Sephora Gift Card for 2 years and have not used it), but I am a bit scared about Victoria Secrets. I really feel that you are writing about me, so I can’t wait for the next blog. Those rock stars are sexier and I even went to see Aerosmith a few years ago and I almost touched Steven Tyler’s pants.

  10. It was hard to feel middle-aged at 40 when I was holding a 6 month old baby in my arms. So life went on in denial for the next 10 or so years. It helped that there were good friends that exclaimed ” you can’t be fifty!”. But teenagers have a way of making you see reality like the scratch of the needle across a 78! Now as the next decade is looming in the distance, I also listen to the 16 year old voice in my home, but the good part of being in that middle age is that you can choose denial, or face the truth, and be good with it.
    Keep writing, Sharon. Your writing is so easy and fund to read. Forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your last “Chicken Soup” piece!

    • Thanks for your compliments and for reading, Lynn! If you subscribe (button to the left of the post) it’ll notify you when I post next months’ piece…Embracing your Inner-aging Goddess (while staying close to my younger one.)

  11. Sharon,

    I like your blog and the set up you created. I wish you well with your manuscripts. You have some interesting story lines that certainly peak your interest. Being in the next decade of life….60’s it is interesting to read the concerns of my younger counterparts.

    Have more photos out there of the dogs…..they are naturals!

    I look forward to reading more on your blog.

  12. Sharon, Bravo!
    Sandra

  13. I feel unworthy to respond in writing…my skills are deficient! You are TRULY gifted! Reading your work is refreshing! Thank you for sharing your talents and soul!!! I will read every post! (but may not comment) I am a FAN 🙂

    • Hi Diane. You’re so funny…you expressed yourself beautifully in writing and I’m so glad you read the blog. I’ll be posting once a month, so if you ‘subscribe’ (button to the left near my post) you’ll get a notification when I post again. Thanks again! I always love your enthusiasm!

  14. Fun and funny, Sharon! Good for you and good for all of us stay-at-home,work-from-home, start-new-career-in-middle-age moms and women of substance! Keep it up, girlfriend =)

    • Thanks, Susan! The best part of it is how my girls have seen that you’re never too old pursue something new. They’re proud of me and that’s made it worth everything!
      I will be posting monthly, so if you want a notification when I do, you can subscribe on the by clicking the little box under the confused knight 🙂
      Thanks for posting!
      Sharon

  15. Maria Shanley

    Thanks Sharon for putting this link on facebook. I love reading all of these topics that you have written. I especially liked this one. I can also relate to the makeup and clothes. It seems to get easier now that my daughters are a bit older and communicate better with me and my generation. I look forward to reading your blogs. Thanks again and great attitude towards life! It is so inspiring to me.

    • Maria,
      Thank you for all your kind words. Life is always a bit easier when we find people to relate with.

      I always post this to facebook, but if you want an email subscription just click on the button to the left on the blog page. Either way, I’ll make sure you keep getting it, though!
      Thanks for reading…
      Sharon

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