My husband said I should write about antiques. I’m not sure whether he was speaking about the sort you can buy and sell… or me. But fyi (in case he meant me) for something to be considered antique, it has to be 100 years old at least, thank you very much, and I am multiple decades short of that… so there.
But having 3 children aged twenty-five and more already, and with the others not too far behind, I do kind of feel old-ish.
There are times though that I really just feel twelve years old still, despite being on record saying that twelve is the worst age ever, and I suspect that that definitely held true for me too, but I wouldn’t want to go back to being a teenager or even a young adult, despite the many mistakes I made then, or perhaps because of them. However, I’d like to be relevant still.
So what keeps us young? It can’t be clothes – no one wants to be mutton dressed up as lamb after all, although I do believe that today’s young women dress far more sensibly than we ever did: I mean comfortable shoes, dresses with pockets at last, no more underwire digging into you like a fashionista’s stiletto, and stretch denim – God bless the person who invented that! (No more lying on the bed to zip up your jeans; then trying to stand up, stiff as a board, and walking around like an android until the denim relaxed a bit!)
In my case, it’s not exercise I am ashamed to say – I used to be super fit as a young person, between ballet, then gym and karate, but now I am so sedentary and laaaazy! Or perhaps it is the absence of exercise that keeps one youthful – no weather-beaten face for me, nor the need for post- athletics fixes – and I don’t mean of the drug kind. I see so many (mainly men) now having knee surgery and hip surgery following a lifetime of mauling their bodies in sports when they were younger. And yup even footballers actually have genuinely serious injuries that affect them in later life. So exercise is not it necessarily.
I used to remain seemingly girlish and vibrant because I had so many children so the perky young moms in my younger children’s pre-school classes often assumed I was… well less vintage than I was. (Vintage being anything between 20 and 99 years old btw.). Using my offsprings’ age doesn’t work anymore – especially when they’re all graduated, balding or shaving.
‘They’ say age is a state of mind, meaning that staying young in spirit is a cerebral construct. But what is that state?
I think it’s hope.
As long as we are hopeful and positive about a future filled with joy, we shall be youthful in our mindset, even if the body is failing, drooping, sagging, greying or ailing. It’s when we see no future, and despair of either misspent or long-past youth that we miss out on a happy life. That’s when we lose the spark of fun and turn into grumpy old women, discontent with our lot in life.
And that sort of depression can paralyse. I have felt it, but I have been gifted with an almost naive sense of optimism and have always vowed that no matter what heartbreak I face, I shall always be happy. My revenge on the stones that life throws is to seek joy and that allows for hope to sneak in and fill me. Laughter keeps you young, even if you get crinkle cuts around your eyes and mouth.
So long as the wrinkles turn upwards.
I’m claiming to be more retro than vintage or antique, but I plan to be a style trendsetter always.
Or, as Ms Ball would suggest, I can lie.