Growing Older: From Middle Age to Vintage

When I was middle-aged, I felt, well, middle-aged. I was hormonal, my weight fluctuated daily, my temperature fluctuated by the second. I had a wad of belly fat around my middle, I felt lethargic and lacking energy. It seemed like overnight I had lost my sparkle.

My hair, once thick and bouncy, became lacklustre and thinning, my skin changed from a reasonably dewy glow to a dry, flaky, tissue-like mask. When I had hot flushes, my face turned bright red, as though I had been sunburnt. I thought, If I am like this now, I don’t ever want to be old.

Being 50

If I am honest, I found middle age a bit scary. I had lost my youth and along with that some of my confidence. I felt less and less attractive and really didn’t like the fatigue and utter exhaustion, that made me want to sleep, at a time when sleep didn’t want me. 

So, I would lay awake for hours, sweating, procrastinating, wondering what life was all about and how it was all going to be downhill from now on. My 50s seemed to drag on forever, and with my looming 60th birthday I could feel a deep sense of dread.

Hitting 60

And then a funny thing happened. I hit 60. I waited for the terrible downhill which was obviously coming my way… 

Only it didn’t. 

My weight slipped back to normal, my spare tyre seemed to just pop. My hair began to shine again and though I would never have the gorgeous complexion of my younger years, my skin did regain some of its previous soft plumpness. 

But best of all, my temperature miraculously went back to normal. No more night sweats! I can’t pretend I had the body of a 30-year-old, but I was very happy with the body I had of a 60-year-old, it was so much better than I had expected.

Making the Most of Life!

So, I bought an abandoned, unloved house in France and set about making it beautiful again. It was like therapy for me. Day after day I would take up floors, repair ceilings, load mountains of rubbish into my car, tile the bathroom/kitchen, sand the wooden beams, paint, varnish, scrub. I was so energised!

Watching this sad, old, dilapidated building come to life was like watching myself unfold. I became stronger, braver, more confident than I had been for at least a decade. I started to think about what I really wanted in life and began making plans to get it. Every time I drove up in front of my lovely house, with its china blue shutters and window boxes filled with bright red geraniums, I beamed with pride. 🙂

After it was finished, I became a full-time traveller, going all over the world on my own, having more fun than I could have imagined. When I returned, I started writing again and have written a few books. I am a Guest Blogger on Sixty and Me and have just launched my own blog Growing Old, Growing Free.

Not bad for an old lady!

Vintage Model

I guess I felt like I had gone from being a tatty runaround with a bit of rust around the edges to, maybe not quite a Ferrari, but at least a little vintage model that was starting to purr again. It felt wonderful, mostly because it was the last thing I had expected.

Life is exciting, it just keeps getting better and better and instead of dreading a change in my next decade, I will embrace it and see what challenges, and what wonderful surprises, it has in store for me!

What About You?

Are your 60s better than your 50s? Do you feel stronger than before? Were there major changes?

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