I often tell people that I’m not really “upset” with growing older. After all, that would be a waste of energy, since it happens to all of us, or at least those able to read this. As my dearly departed dad used to say, it’s better than the alternative.
But it tends to be a bit of surprise to me. Almost like it sneaks up on me. Really? I’m fifty-two? I don’t feel fifty-two. But then again, what’s that supposed to feel like?
I can tell you what it does feel like, at least to me. Surprising things are happening. Some are kinda fun, some not so much, and some just…are. But it does make for an interesting journey, and I’ll be chronicling my observations along the way in this blog.
Who am I? I began my career straight out of high school with a Fortune 100 company, working my way up the corporate ladder to training specialist and managing a department at a large customer service call center. I bought a horse farm at 25, and it was quite the adventure running it alone. The house was over 100 years old, and I really could write a book about all the minor and major catastrophes that occurred in the 11 years I was there! I’ve been in bad relationships (really bad), and good ones (like my wonderful marriage of 14 years). I have no children of my own, but enjoy seven grandchildren thanks to my husband’s family (I’m wife number three, and yes, I do try harder). My husband is very energetic and intense – we’ve really had fun, and life is never dull. He has family in Ireland, so we’ve been there four times together. Since we met, we’ve had ten different condos or houses in four states (some were second homes). We’re nomads, I guess!
I left the corporate world to run three retail stores that we owned, which we’ve since sold. I fumbled around for a few years while he was the breadwinner, and now I’m back in the business world in a high stress job, and he’s semi-retired. I sing in church on Sunday mornings. I like Broadway shows and NASCAR. Country music and Van Gogh. Budweiser and Pinot Noir. I shop at Target and Lord & Taylor (far more often at Target). I’ve been flat broke and I’ve been moderately wealthy, and now I’m comfortably somewhere in between.
We’ve boated, but now we golf – a more sedate and dignified hobby (anyone who thinks boating is dignified never watched us try to dock a 36 foot powerboat in a gusting wind). Dad passed away 4 years ago, but Mom’s doing well at 80-something. I just figured out Facebook last summer, and clearly I’m just beginning to figure out the world of blogging, a bit behind the curve. But here I am. And there you are. I hope we have fun and learn something about being a woman of a certain age in this very chaotic age we live in. I’ll be making observations on age, womanhood, work, and just random thoughts on life. I may do the occasional review of a product or service. I don’t have any corporate sponsors, so the opinions are mine alone – take them or leave them. I hope you’ll enjoy this blog, which I hope to update twice weekly. If you do enjoy it, please share it with your friends.
A few weeks ago, my loving and witty husband rather gleefully pointed out that I’ve developed a wattle. You know – that extra skin and flesh that fills in the youthful, girlish angle that used to define your chin? Instead of a defined angle from chin to neck, we now have this curving line of skin that runs directly from our chin to our chest. It basically negates the neck completely. Which is fine, because the neck is no longer our friend. Droopy and floppy, the neck in general begins to desert women in their late forties.
I first noticed it with turtlenecks, which I’ve always dearly loved to wear. I’m tall, with a relatively normal body shape and a long neck, so turtlenecks used to look pretty good on me. The basic premise of turtlenecks is that they are meant to be in a nice vertical line – kind of like a sock fits over our tubular legs. But my neck (at least in front) is now more similar to a funnel in shape – a swinging 45 degree angle.
The turtlenecks that used to be so chic and slimming now create a distressing fold of neck skin at the top of the collar. At first I blamed the turtlenecks – surely the collars were abnormally tight, and some terrible dressmaking error had been made. Maybe a size 6 collar was sewn into my size 12 turtleneck? Alas, that wasn’t the case. The shirts were fine, my neck was not. Gravity had begun its pull, and, like oversized pantyhose bagging at the ankles, my neck skin was bagging over my turtlenecks. Yuck. My beloved turtlenecks went off in boxes to the next church rummage sale.
So with turtlenecks gone, I went for v-neck sweaters, which were never really a problem for me before. But how is it that now, even my collar bone area has aged? To borrow a term from all those obnoxious cosmetic commercials, the “elasticity” of my skin is simply going away. I still have shoulder bones and chest bone in front, but, like my chin, their definition has been softened and blurred somehow. I guess my neck was just the beginning – gravity’s at work a-l-l the way down. But at least there’s no “fold-overs” in my décolletage at this point, so I’ll live with it.
I recently read that there is a surgery called a “neck lift” that could solve this problem. A little liposuction in the wattle area, and then a few incisions where skin is lifted and tucked and snipped to tighten up the neck area. While I do wonder how many inches of skin could be lifted off my neck, I think I’ll pass.
It’s okay. Really it is. This aging process takes some adjustment, but I usually manage to laugh at the little surprises I keep finding in the morning mirror. Okay – sometimes I have to count to ten first, but even so….I can usually generate at least a smile. Usually. Really. It’s all good.