As we embark upon what I will deem our “silver years” (because after all we aren’t the Golden Girls), it causes one to do a little soul-searching and much reflection. What happened? How did we get here? Are those sparkle-gray hairs really sprouting up and reproducing in number every time we look in the mirror? And oh my God, where did these stray hairs on my chin come from?
In all seriousness, how can we embrace this awkward spiral down the slippery slope into our Golden Years? Well, unfortunately, I do not have all the answers as I am also in this somewhat weathered, patched up boat that once was more a little more shiny, more streamlined and perhaps a little more sea-worthy. But read on, we can be that shiny yacht, that gleaming Titanic that did not sink before its time. It’s our time to shine, ladies!
As Coco Chanel said, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” Looking back in history, most ancient cultures had an understanding that with age one would transcend into spiritual dimension so to speak. In these cultures, older people were respected and revered. Older people were repositories of wisdom and provided depth and meaning to the young searching for their way. For example, “grandmother” in the First Nation’s culture is highly dignified and respected. But in our culture Grannie or even Mom can mean a negative term, and old is considered almost an insult. Instead we candy coat the word old and say “elderly”, “middle-aged”, “past your prime”, etc. Old is considered useless in our society, washed up, wrung-out, un-stylish, out-of-touch. I believe it because as we grow older in this fast-paced, indulgent and get-ahead at any cost society, we are less “doing” and more “being”. Modern day society has a problem with not doing and just being. There is absolutely nothing wrong as we grow older with “doing” less and “being” more. And by being I do not mean quitting your job, laying on the couch and giving yourself a pity party. Being means being the teachers of wisdom, sharing our experiences and not becoming trapped in complaining, self-pity, guilt or other negative states about growing older. Being the owners of our age will empower us and teach those coming after us that being shiny silver beacons, especially in women is something to be proud of, to flaunt and to be respected.
First and foremost, we need to fess up and own being in our “Silver” years.
Yes, that’s right, ladies, 40 or 50 is the new 20. Let’s call ourselves Silver-Starlets and make it totally legit. In our society, and specifically in pop culture and fashion culture, you used to be considered washed up after 30 and by many accounts still are. But, thanks to many recent forward-thinking bloggers, writers, celebrities and fashionable ladies, a new respect has come to the “Golden Girls” those in the their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s who are out there being themselves, rocking their own style and not settling for what mainstream media and society shove down their throats. I say Bravo! But, I also say that us middle-aged, Silver-starlets have been somewhat left to the wayside or forgotten. Many of us have settled into our careers, have children who have just left the nest, or are about to leave the nest, and some of us are starting new careers, returning to school after many years or are finally finding our Mr. or Mrs. Right and settling down. But as we are settling into our lives and realizing we are no longer 20-something Party Animals, we must realize that what our present and future holds for us depends on our state of consciousness now. We cannot become successful in actuality, we can only BE successful!
Embracing your inner Silver-Starlet
Where do I start, you say? I say, do not become imprisoned in labels or thought-forms. That is to say you do not need to compare yourself with anybody else or listen to someone else’s perception or label of what is liked, disliked, or called good or bad. How many times do you look at someone or something and do that? Admit it, you add labels to everyone and everything, it is either good, bad, right, wrong. Well just STOP it! Stop judging the other flowers in garden and tend to your own. You have made it this far and should be respected, so god-damn-it if you want to wear that mini-skirt, or those stiletto heels (my highest respect if you can still wear them), DO IT! Be comfortable in your own skin. If you’ve always wanted that crazy hair color and think you’re too old, think again! Or if you want to ditch that monthly trip to the salon and let your silver sparkles shine through, because you want to, please do!
Remember, the flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms. So let yourself bloom. If you are unsure how to do that, it is totally ok to look to others for inspiration to find out how to rock your silver starlet style. Just look at Elizabeth Taylor (above left) in her late 40’s and early 50’s, rocking that streak of gray hair and wearing that mini skirt. Gray hair is not bad if you want to own it! Or take a look at Helena Bonham-Carter. That girl can make a paper bag look great, because she is that flower that is blooming; she is wise, she doesn’t label or judge that flower next to her because she is making herself bloom.
by Cheryl aka Sassy Morris
Sassy packed up and left the gray gloomy skies of the Pacific Northwest along with her ungratifying, soul-sucking corporate job and moved to the sunshine and desert breezes in beautiful Southern California. Canadian Ex-Patriate, Wife, Mother, Fur-Baby Mother and Entrepreneur, Sassy now sells Vintage for a living after a life-long love and passion for rescuing old things. Sassy, sometimes serious, always honest and usually outrageous, she is embracing the “silver” years with a sense of humor, adventure, and seeking that path to enlightenment along the way. Visit her Etsy shop!