The poet Byron, in 1817, wrote;
"She was not old, nor young, nor at the years
Which certain people call a certain age,
Which yet the most uncertain age appears."
People say age is a state of mind but if that's the case then I've been of a certain age since I was 20. When all of my friends were out partying and having fun, I was home worrying about my future. If I have a best-before date I passed it a while ago. Not that I mind. What's wrong with being 'old/older'? Other than it's no fun. But why does life have to be fun all the time?
I have decided to christen this year as ‘The Year I Become a Woman of a Certain Age’. It sounds delectably obscure – there’s no real definition of what age you have to be to be ‘a certain age’ & for most, it doesn’t matter. ‘A Certain Age’ might be 27, 43 or 96 - but for me, it’s 36.
How do you know when you’re old enough to be a woman of a certain age?
I knew when I started referring to men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five as young men. Sometimes the word ‘kid’ gets slipped in there by accident…
How do you know if you have the panache?
You don’t feel you have to wear higher necklines and longer skirts. Conversely, you have also figured out your own ‘Difference’ & your own ‘Beauty’, and know how to rock it without feeling the need for a push-up bra, a miniskirt or stilettos.
You have officially and forevermore given up the vanity goal of ‘looking as beautiful as possible’, opting instead to spend the same amount of ridiculous, dogged attention you spent all those previous years to a new & different vanity goal; 'feeling as healthy as possible’. Because you’ve finally figured out that you weren’t put on this Earth to work toward some weird goal of attaining some commercial definition of ‘pretty’; but rather, you were put here to live your life.
No, no, no!
A woman of a certain age has earned certain privileges - besides a man occasionally giving her his seat. You have earned the privilege & self-confidence to say ‘no’ when you know that saying ‘yes’ will make you feel like a tiny bit of your soul is dying. ‘No, I don’t care to do that, go there or try that’. No explanation required. No excuse given. You don’t do it because you don’t want to. You know that saying ‘no’ in these situations isn't impolite, it's honest.
When I write, I overuse hyphens; but I don’t care. I no longer feel confined by rules of capitalization or punctuation. I don’t have one particular style of clothing – I can look like a farmer covered in dirt one moment & then sexy-glam-doll the next. I don’t care what’s in style, as long as it’s clean, it fits & allows me to enjoy my time. When someone says I don’t look my age, I smile because I don’t know what my age is meant to look like.
Ready? You bet!
Besides, a woman of a certain age is ready to explore life – ready to reach out to learn & experience new things. You know how to make at least one beverage or main course or dessert or salad dressing or meat sauce without the need for a written recipe - the taste of which will make a grown adult weep in ecstasy. When called on for emergency karaoke, you know all the words to an entire throw-down song. The cheesier the better – probably something from ABBA…
Do it now!
A woman of a certain age is self-assured. You’ve been there and done that. You’re ready to take your experience of the world into the world. What you thought you’d like to do some day, you can do today. It’s your time - if you take the time to make it your time.
Choose quality over quantity every time.
Although being a woman of a certain age has to grow on you, it’s time for quality over quantity. It’s time to upgrade your life. After all, there’s still lots of time to make time payments.
You know the difference between (pick one):
A good wine & a bad one;
A good whiskey/scotch & a bad one;
A good chocolate & a bad one;
A good recipe & a bad one.
(extra points if you can tell the differences between all of the above)
Now, to be clear: I don't have all of these down yet, but I'm working on it. In fact, this will be the year that I do it.
~ This is me at 7:30 this morning, waiting for my coffee & loving the huge bouquet of flowers a dear friend had given me. A woman of 'a certain age' should most definitely wake up to flowers on her birthday! ~