Yesterday, Oprah’s Lifeclass on OWN was on “aging beautifully”. It pleases me that highly visible celebrities are now letting women know that aging is a blessing. I was especially pleased to hear Oprah say that she doesn’t dread birthdays; she sees them as blessings. I, too, see birthdays as blessings especially when I consider the alternatives. I was happy to see Jamie Lee Curtis sporting her silver mane. Love the look and love the silver hair (slightly mixed with black). We both wear it well.
All of Oprah’s featured guests were celebrities (Cybil Shepherd, Ali McGraw, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Bo Derrek). As I watched the show, I thought to myself, “What about those beautiful women who are not celebrities?” There are many. So, again, I will feature ordinary (i.e., non celebrity) women; some I know personally, others I have only read about and admire from afar.
In last week’s post, I talked about one impressive woman– yours truly. I have definitely aged beautifully. As a matter of fact, I look better now than I did when I was in my 40s. Sure, my skin is not as tight, my hair is gray, and there is a bit more of me, but overall, I look and feel terrific. Today, at 63, I appreciate my looks a lot more than I did at 30, 40, or even 50. When I look at old photos, I think to myself, “I was a knock-out and didn’t even know it.” Well, now I do. Better late than never.
In this week’s post, I am introducing you to another woman who is aging gracefully as well as beautifully. I could be this woman’s PR agent because I tell everyone about her. I have even downloaded a photo of her to show my clients and workshop participants. Some people even think that I know her personally. I don’t. I have only read about her but she is my #1 role model. She is Ernestine Shepherd. Mrs. Shepherd is in better shape than most people, including those of us that are decades younger. At 74, she holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest female competitive body builder, ever. What I find so amazing about Mrs. Shepherd is that she didn’t even start exercising until she was my age, 63. I am inspired by her story because it reminds me of four things: 1) Anything is possible, 2) It’s never too late develop healthy lifestyle habits, 3) It’s never too late to change your life, and 4) Any woman, at any age, can be beautiful. To learn more about Ms. Shepherd’s story, check out her website: www.ernestineshepherd.net. I know you, too, will be inspired. If not, keep reading my blog.
"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Are you aging gracefully? Do you know of anyone? I would love to hear from you.
This post begins my introduction of women who have aged gracefully or in the process of doing so. Some I know personally. Others I have only read about or met briefly.
I can’t talk about these amazing women without first talking about myself. Yes, I am one of those amazing women. It appears that we share several characteristics and/or personality traits. We are fit, fabulous, and fearless. We are active. We are not fighting the idea of biological aging. And, we are moving forward in a manner that doesn’t deny who we are. In other words, we have embraced the aging process with gusto and we are having the time of our lives.
Let’s begin with me.
I am 63 years old. I am more active than I was in my 40s. And sometimes I actually forget my age. Then, something happens to remind me that I am no longer in my 30s, 40s, or even 50s. I am usually reminded of this when I am attempting to engage in some activity with someone 20, 30, or 40 years my junior. For example, last week, I went hiking in the Grand Canyon with my 33 year old niece. She kept remarking about how much fun she was having and I kept asking, “Are we almost done?” and mumbling to myself, “What was I thinking when I decided to do this?” While hiking in the Grand Canyon is not for the faint of heart, it was an experience that I am happy to have had. I am so pleased that I had the courage, energy, stamina and attitude to accomplish this amazing task. Next month, I will run a half marathon (that’s 13.1 miles). My goal is to finish in two and a half hours. This will be a personal best for you.
Oh! Last month, I had another new experience. I made my debut as a volunteer model. New experiences and opportunities just keep happening to me.
In the next post, I will tell you about another amazing woman. Meanwhile, if you know of women who are aging gracefully or establishing a solid foundation for aging gracefully, I would love to hear from you. These women do not have to be over 50. They can be young women who are developing healthy lifestyle habits as well as qualities and personality traits that are going to make them attractive at any age. These qualities include things such as confidence, elegance, style, warmth, humor, wisdom, and resilience.
Women Over 60
Andy Rooney, the 92 years young 60 Minutes (CBS) correspondent, is retiring. He certainly knows a lot about aging gracefully. And, apparently, he has amassed a wealth of knowledge about women over 60. In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, here are some of his thoughts about women over 60.
“As I grow in age, I value women over 60 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:
- A woman over 60 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, ‘What are you thinking?’ She doesn’t care what you think.
- If a woman over 60 doesn’t want to watch a game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She goes and does something she wants to do and it’s usually more interesting.
- Women over 60 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
- Older women are more generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it‘s like to be unappreciated.
- Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 60.
- Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 60 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
- Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one. You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.”
Isn’t Andy Rooney a really smart guy? If this resonated with you as it did with me, let me hear from you.