Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Red Hat & A Purple Dress

"What gives with a red hat and a purple dress?" my uncle asked me a few days ago in response to a recent email. I had referred to the possibility of my someday writing a blog, once I got a red hat a purple dress. Apparently, he had not yet heard of the Red Hat Society.

I sent him this link:

and hoped he would read all about it. Surely he would get the joke. After all, I was certainly not a candidate for the Red Hats. Or was I?

As a matter of fact, I have been getting advertisements from AARP for a good 15 years now, and am about to find myself an empty-nester, come September when my youngest heads for college. Indeed, they have only one basic rule: that is, one must be a woman of 50 or over. Well, I've reached that milestone, but I certainly don't feel like a woman of 50 (or over *grin*), at least not emotionally. Maybe I could slide in with a pink hat instead (women under 50), like my girlfriend, Kim.

Some of my classmates celebrated our 35th high school reunion this past June (I didn't attend; in fact, I haven't attended a single high school reunion). My dh and I just just recently celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary in May by watching "Law and Order," eating ice cream, and going to bed at the wee hour of midnight. My eldest son will be 24 in November, and I can now order off the "senior" menu in some restaurants, although I doubt I'll ever do that, even to save a dollar.

It seems the years are adding up though, doesn't it? So why don't I feel 50-something? Could it be because I am stuck in time somewhere, never having grown out of some childhood trauma or misadventure of my youth? Does one require certain experiences that I have never enjoyed in order to feel as though they have earned the age of 50?

Perhaps I simply need to change my mindset: when I was young, 50 seemed so old, and in fact, 50 used to be older than it is today. Think about it. The median age of grandparents in this country is 57. My grandmother was 75 when I was 18! We in our early-50's are the tale-end of the baby-boomers. The world seems to be at our feet. Advertising is aimed at us for everything from health care and wellness to insurance and travel. We are a large portion of the population, and according to recent statistics, senior citizen population will grow faster than all others in all 50 states by the year 2030. Wow! No wonder "they" are all trying to get our money. The upside is much of it is geared toward helping us to look young, feel young, and stay young.

I have heard the old adage, "you're only as old as you feel." And since we choose our own feelings, I will choose to feel young, even at 50. Is it okay, after all, to "not feel 50."

Not only must I change my mindset, but also the words that come out of my mouth. Negative words ("I feel so old.") reap aches, pains, and curses. Praise and positive words reap strength and blessing:

1. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
................................................Psalm 103:1-5

So, here I am: 53 years young, and writing my first blog. I wouldn't go back for anything, although I have learned, grown, changed, and suffered a lot. I have also gained so much more. As my aforementioned friend Kim says, "I wouldn't trade my ____ years' worth of wisdom for anything."

But, I'll not yet buy a red hat and a purple dress. Not even a pink one.

Have a blessed day!


jmagnan said...

I cannot imagine you as a member of the red hat society. I have heard that anyone 15 years older than you is old, and anyone 15 years younger than you is young, so that makes you still just a kid!

Good luck with the blog!

Junosmom said...

Congratulations on your blog! You are a good writer and I look forward to reading. So dad was responsible for encouraging your blogging?