Navigating Getting Older

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Many words can be used to identify me. Black. Woman. Kind. Friend. Middle-age. Curious. Plus-size. Liberal. Short. Writer. Passionate. Sagittarius. Single. Tattooed. Introvert. Daughter. Procrastinator. New Yorker.

I’ve been most of these things for a significant portion of my life. Except, middle-aged. Even though I’m at the tail end of my forties, as I #JourneyToL*, figuring out how to navigate this new world is liberating, but often times feels scary. Being a Black woman already has its own challenges in a racist and patriarchal/misogynist society, but adding ageism and weight prejudice to a thin/youth obsessed culture and it gives me even more to think about.

Such as the outburst of profanity Snoop directed at then 65 year old Gayle King in 2020 and the unfortunate number of people who co-signed his disrespect. Or, when I need to open my home to a repair person, I feel a new level of vulnerability that wasn’t there before. Climate change, the pandemic, government ineffectiveness affects multiple populations but impacts the senior population even more severely.

With my birthday at the end of the year and having skipped a grade in school, I was used to being the youngest in most environments. Now, at my 9-to-5, on a team of seven, I’m tied for the oldest – including management. When I started my career, one of my colleagues was in kindergarten! I’m online constantly, not just for entertainment, but to try and stay aware of and understanding the ever-changing language and technology. It’s also helped me to find new communities – Fly, Hip & Ageless, Black Girls Guide to Menopause, AARP – Black Community.

And even with the things that concern me, I’m excited to have more wisdom, confidence and financial stability to move forward into this next decade. Count me as one who wants to see more coverage exalting “40 Over 40” versus those only focused on “40 and Under”… with members like Ava DuVernay, Mara Brock Akil, Halle Berry, Tabitha Brown, Dr. Yaba Blay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Rebecca Walker, April Ryan, Sunny Hostin and so many others… the 40 and Over Club was not too bad, so 50+ has got to be lit.

I know the day is coming when someone who is not a child of one of my friends, calls me Auntie or Ms. Kim. I think I’m ready, but much like when you discover grey hair where you least expected it, you never know how it’ll feel until it happens. And regarding those grey hairs, advice that I also got from reading Nora Ephron..invest in multiple tweezers now. Trust me on this.

I’ll have a lot more to write about aging, but with the recent passings of several of friends’ parents and celebrities, I said to a friend the other day, “our generation are now the adults in the room. Fuck.” I’m positive more than half of us don’t know what we’re doing. Fingers crossed.

*turning 50 in 2022.

How are you approaching growing older? What are your hopes and concerns? Please leave feedback in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

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Copyright (c) 2022 Kimfinite Possibilities – KMS. All Rights Reserved.

8 Comments

  1. Girl that Mrs ( enter last name) or Ms. Sharon from my daughter’s friends are so cringe every time but since she grew up in the south and went to college in the south I’ll take it over “ma’am any day! I’m right behind you in approaching 50 and my body reminds me everyday I’m not the 20 something I think I am or the age most people guess (35-37), but as long as I keep living to see the next day I’m thankful for all the growing pains that comes with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I AM 50 and feeling fabulous! I am experiencing more freedom and a fullness of self that has far exceeded my expectations of what 50 was going to be. I feel less vulnerable, actually, in terms of feeling safe in the world, both physically and emotionally. I know that the world is but a reflection of my inner state, so now that I have grown in trust of myself, now that I am secure in all the me that I am becoming, I experience less direct effect from societal projections. When I see my sisters and brothers in their 60s, 70s and beyond, I am inspired by the lives that they are living, and it motivates my #squadgoals to know that the best is truly yet to come! As to Norah’s advice about gray hair….let that wisdom and glory SHINE! Tweezing is painful and with every pluck we are telling our body that something about it is not okay. As I am maturing, I understand now why there were elder sister saints in the pews at church with full blown mustaches, sideburns and chin whiskers. I’m still keeping up with my waxing and threading appointments, but I always repair my energy afterwards to counteract any negative vibes and pain I’ve experienced from telling myself that part of me is unacceptable. I can see the day approaching when I have a full on snow white beard because part of me is saying F this – love me, love my erithang (and this includes my C-PAP).
    My main concern is joining the “my parents have passed away” club. I know it is a day that draws ever nearer, and I am certain that my parents would not want to be in the “I buried my child” club timeline. But as the saying goes, it is certainly better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. Parents are our first love (hopefully). Grief is our love expressed ex post facto. We came here to be human to experience all of it! As J. California Cooper wrote, Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime.
    PS I’ve entered the Auntie club already. Cheescake factory server dropped it on me a couple years back. It gave me a pause for sure, then I had to laugh. I’ll take it, affectionately, as it was intended. When I walk through the streets of Playa del Carmen, I get the “Abuela, Abuela”, and at first I was like I am NOT a grandmother, WTF? Then I embraced the respect that was being communicated, the grandmother wisdom and veneration of the elders, and embraced the wisdom that I have now at this stage of life!
    I am enjoying your weekly posts in my inbox! Thank you for inspiring these considerations!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, our cells are conscious. (I could compile a list of citations, but I’m keeping this brief and I’m not at work LOL). Anecdotally, Bruce Lee is said to have healed himself by entering a meditative state and then directing his cells to repair his injury. There is a also large body of work, both supporting and challenging, that 1. look at the effect of vibration on our biofield, 2. look at the effect of prayer, 3. look at the tone of spoken word vs. the actual word, and so on an so forth. My takeaways 1. vibration can heal (Tibetan singing bowls) or harm (LRADs-long range acoustic devices/sonic weapons/sound cannons) 2. Prayer works! 3. We talk to our plants, our pets, and children in specific tones without language being the conveyance.

        So in combining all of these underlying principles, I speak lovingly to my ovaries for doing their job in the way that the Creator made them. It is not a fault that they function in a way that causes me to grow hair on my face and chest. Let me say that this is now, and has not always been the case. I can’t even recall how many times I said and thought how ugly they were, and how unattractive they made me. To my ex-hubby’s credit, he never made me feel bad about my facial hair, and he would help me pluck them and kiss my splotches when we were done. Now when I look at the numerous whiskers, I just giggle and let them know I’m about to release them. We pep talk ahead of the appointment. After it is over, as I rub soothing aloe and a warm compress, I say soothing things too –there, there hush now, don’t you cry, it’s okay. I even found a baby balm from Beauty Counter that takes the red out just like it does on a baby’s bottom! Then I calmly acknowledge that they will be back again soon, without frustration, or blame, and I do not allow myself to shame myself for the fact that they are part of me. We prune plants without judging, shaming and blaming them for needing to do it, and I’m a human plant 🙂

        I am actively repairing (in myself) a lifetime of societal conditioning that is very toxic and negative to our self-perceptions. So how I feel about this has shifted internally, and therefore my intention is to reflect my body-positive beliefs. I no longer accept the external programming that tells me that I should feel bad about it. First level of repair. Then comes the actions that reflect my personal program. I hope I articulated this in an informing way.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve always been a bit of an old soul, so now in my fifties, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been married before, then divorced (it happens), then a single father literally. The joy of my life has been Fatherhood. I say to myself at times, I have many skills, not sure of talents BUT I was meant to be a Father, a nurturer… It’s the very best of ME. I am so very PROUD of my children (35,27,25) The early ’50s have already taught me that I can’t eat like I used to, I’ve never been for nightlife, nor drinking, ao on that front, I am Gucci. I’ve learned I don’t need a lot of things. I’m a closet minimalist. I enjoy watching YouTube videos about packing. My fav thing to do is watch sports in the comfort of my man cave. The simple things are what matter most to me. I truly like the man I am and look forward to my personal marathon. So far, so good. Here’s to 52 and the blessing of each day. Forever thankful.

    Liked by 3 people

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