If there is one thing I learnt from my time living in Spain, it’s this – forget your age! Don’t let it hold you back, try not to focus on it so much, especially if you are about to turn the big Four Oh or maybe the big Five Oh! Yes, just forget about it!
I was filled with joy when we went out for dinner in Madrid as I would find myself distracted by the sound of giggles and laughter and would turn around and there I would see a group of ladies of a certain age (well, over 58 and above) and they were dressed in sparkles, hair done, lipstick on and they were so excitable. They weren’t cowering in a corner all meek and mellow. They were out and proud and loud and I saluted them (internally or they would have had me removed from the restaurant).
I revelled in the joy of walking into a glamorous ‘it” place and seeing a lady in her fifties, hair shiny and long, teetering stilettos (elegant ones, not trashy) and a top casually falling from one shoulder. Yes, this woman had sex appeal. She wasn’t tucked at home with her slippers on, she was out and about and enjoying life. l loved the self confidence.
It really did make me feel that i needed to revamp my John Lewis (I still love you, don’t worry) wardrobe. I needed some pieces that brought me right up to date; I needed some pizzazz; I needed to work some magic. It took me another six months to get to the shop (here in Chicago) and be persuaded by the beautiful shop assistant that the rock ‘n’ roll coat she had got for me to try on (I was looking for a big, puffy, warm number as usual) was the right choice. But “Aren’t I too old?” I wondered out loud and she took a good look at me responding, “No, it looks great” and she didn’t look devious and she wasn’t laughing or raising her eyebrows and I thought “What the heck!” and got it and you know what – I love it! When I put that on I rock baby! Yeah! I even went to buy high shoes afterwards to go with the coat! Now i rock from top to toe and I love it! Then Monday comes around and I’m back to my walking boots, trusted warm and rather ugly bear coat, my big gloves (sometimes two pairs) and my gnome like woollen hat, yet I still feel great as I know that coat is tucked up inside my cupboard and its magical transformative powers are just waiting for me.
I think that’s the point of ageing, it happens, things change (all those weird extra hairs anyone, what are they?) but your mind can still be energetic and you don’t have to start regulating your purchases to fit your new age. You just have to work around it.
I spoke to a friend today about this very subject and my advice was, she may be reaching forty but don’t focus on it. I have noticed that the more focus you give something the bigger it gets until it’s almost unwieldy and it sucks you up. Focus on the bigger picture and get busy! Take a look in that mirror and say “I’m gorgeous” because, well why not and in my case, who else will! Oh, and get some sexy high heels and if you have sore ankles (I know, it’s the age… ssssh) and you worry that you are now a bit too wobbly to totter along in those towering numbers, there are all sorts of sexy low ones too! Go on, “Because you’re worth it!”
Pic: The luxury of homemade cake at the hairdressers in Chueca, Madrid