Random Thoughts on Aging. Or, Aging Ain’t For Sissies!

Before I go further, allow me to give credit where it is due. I didn’t come up with “Aging Ain’t for Sissies”.  The credit belongs to Instagram poster tine_tibby0824 and I had to steal it.

Anyway, in less than two weeks, April 16th to be exact, I’ll be sixty-six years old.  It’s a bit difficult in some ways and its other ways it’s pretty cool.  Turning 65 wasn’t a big deal but there’s something about crossing the line from 65 into the high sixties knowing that you’ll be closer to seventy.

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And chances are, I’ll be baking my own birthday cake..

Saturday Randomlings | Atypical 60

And it’ll most likely be the Milk Bar Birthday cake recipe that I love!

I’m more aware of my mortality. And without being morose or maudlin, I become scared when I think about it.  I mean, chances are I won’t be around for my grandson Owen’s thirtieth birthday. It bothers me.

Seriously. I wanna be around forever so I can enjoy this guy as he enters into his thirties!

It also grates on me that after a divorce, and being a stay-at-home mom for over twenty years, my return back to the workforce has been a steady stream of shitty jobs. Women who stay home to raise children work 24/7 as nurses, doctors, chefs, bakers, seamstresses, referees, diplomats, cleaning ladies, therapists, problem solvers, project managers, fashion consultants, personal shoppers, coaches, taxi drivers, event planners…and that’s just within the family!  Yet, these multi-tasking skills are for naught when looking for a job.  Human Resources is interested only in your up-to-the-second resume and your current job.

All this and more while raising three children. And Corporate America couldn’t give a shit about the multitasking that a SAHM does!

I shall exit this earth as we know it as a professional failure!

Yes. Aging is a harsh reality and it hit me hardest the day I had my cataract surgery.  Pre-surgery, I saw life through foggy lenses.  My face looked—well, it looked almost wrinkle free. And the uneven skin tone kind of blended into a blurry but attractive rosy color.

This is how I thought I looked before cataract surgery.  No wrinkles and a rather ethereal aura!  Little did I know…

And when I took a look in the mirror with my near-perfect and new eyesight, I was shocked, appalled and started to cry. The reflection that stared back at me didn’t look anything like the one prior to the removal of the cataracts.  I was wrinkly—as in really wrinkly.  There was no longer a distinction between freckles and age spots.  My skin was a myriad of uneven tones.  And, I could spot the chin hairs so distinctly.

That THIS was how I really looked!  OUCH!

I wanted to get into my car, head to the surgery center and have my cataracts placed back into my eyes!

It’s true. Aging Ain’t for Sissies and I’ve put some random thoughts on the subject below.  Maybe you can relate?  Maybe you cannot.  Maybe you’ll laugh at yourself along with me.  Maybe you won’t.  But here we go.

That’s right. Aging Ain’t for Sissies. We gotta be warriors!

Do you notice that you’ve been searching through the bowels of the linen closet or the cabinets in the bathroom for those maxi-pads you wore before menopause made you love every month?  Only now, the pads are used for that little drip of pee-pee that drips out when you sneeze or laugh or jump up and down.  Yeah.

I swear to you that when I found a supply of Oona’s maxi pads, I jumped up and down for joy.  Then I leaked so I had to open the pack and put one in my panties!

Not to be vulgar or crude, but do you experience the Farty Party?  You know, when you are walking fast and from out of nowhere little puffs of air in the form of flatulence randomly exit from your butt?  Ahh. I remember a time in life when all it took was a squeeze of the cheeks to hold those little passes of gas back in.

Come to my farty party. It’ll be a real gas!

It’s the same thing on the other end.  Do you ever think about a time when you thought it was disgusting to burp and belch?  These days, I let it all out. I would rather release that garlicky or onion-scented burp than hold it in!

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When you are in your Sixties, it is a surprise if you find a food that DOESN’T cause you to burp.  Ohh. I just burped!

The hair apparent.  Apparently, it’s moved.  The hair on top of your head, the tresses that used to be, at one time, your crowning glory, has fallen.

The hair on my head has fallen

Some of these hairs miraculously landed on your chin—or worse, under your lower lip. Or worse are now growing in your nose.  The brush which you faithfully gave your tresses 100 strokes a day has now been replaced with a tweezer in which you pluck 100 times a day!  Oh…and let us not forget the magnifying mirror.

To my chin.  

The tweezer is now my preferred beauty tool! Excuse while I go pluck around for a while!

Our mid-sections have expanded quite a bit but it is the expansion of the nose on the face that has us mystified.  How did my nose grow as I’ve aged?  Is it to hold my snotty attitude of my youth?  Or is it to house the new nose hair?

The reality of it is that our noses DO grow as we age!

There was a time when I could scrub floors and jump up from all fours when I was done. Now I’m lucky if I can actually get up without crawling to the nearest table leg or chair to hold on to as I slowly make my way to a standing position.

At least she had a good reason for not being able to get up. I can just about get off the sofa!

My body makes noises now. I’m not talking about the farty-party noises either.  My knees crack.  My stomach gurgles. And when I eat—I make eat noises that used to gross me out when I was younger!

My body makes more noises than a one-man band these days!

I’ve actually passed by reflective windows and mirrors and scared myself with my reflection.

This happens on a daily basis!  I’m not scared of my own shadow but I am scared of my own reflection!

I’m beginning to tolerate the scent of moth balls, old-lady perfumes and Ben-Gay! Clothing with elastized waist bands is looking rather stylish these days.

J. Crew and J. Crew Factory have perfected the elastic-waistband. It looks normal in front and from behind it’s totally elastic!  I wore these pants with a tucked-in-the-middle Tee and sandals.  I”m the cool granny!

I can’t stand the music that younger people listen to.  Give me classic rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Now that was music.

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. Then. And Now.  He’s looking pretty nice these days but I do think he should let go of the super-long hair!

I’m constantly amazed at big corporations pontificating their do-gooding Equal Opportunity bullshit.  Until they include hiring people over 50, 60 and the like with that group of Gay, Trans, Bi, Yellow, Black, Brown and disabled persons, they are not inclusive.  Think about that for a moment!

Diversity, equality and inclusion - The Science Council ~ : The Science  Council ~

Spot the old person.  That’s right. The old person isn’t represented.  There IS no inclusion until older people are treated equally.

With Cancel Culture brings a Pandora’s Box of sorts.  Do you realize that All In the Family; The Jefferson’s; Maude; Barney Miller; F-Troop; Hogan’s Hero’s and possibly MASH would not be aired on TV simply because anyone could be offended by the content.  People don’t laugh at their shortcomings anymore.

And believe me, as adorable as Patty Duke and Sally Field were, someone today would find reason to be offended by these two nuggets of cuteness and great clothes!

I continue to be perplexed when I see TV commercials showcasing bratty, entitled children who refuse to eat what their poor working mother makes for dinner and then out of nowhere packaged Macaroni and Cheese appears and the kids, although still entitled brats, are suddenly happy.  For god’s sake, make a meal and if the children don’t like it, tell them to either eat what you made or go to be hungry. Chances are hunger will take over.

Have you seen any of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercials? It is nothing more than teaching bad parents how to be worse by giving into their entitled offspring.

And speaking of children…I recently saw a House Hunters International episode where a couple was taking their four children to live in Brussels.  They went to a bakery during the show and the baker gifted the family with treats.  Not one person in this family, parents or children, said thank you.  I guess manners are a thing of the past. Oops. I’m showing my age every time I say “Thank you” or “Excuse Me”.

What are pâtisserie, boulangerie and viennoiserie?

Wouldn’t YOU be thankful for a free sweet like this?  You know you are old when you are shocked at bad manners.

On the other hand, our aging has given us wisdom.  We are more confident about ourselves. We say what we want without worrying what others will think. We wear what we want. If we want long hair—we’ll wear our hair long whether it is real or fake!

That’s right. I will wear the longer hair–even though it’s fake. And the makeup. And the old sweatshirt…

We can wear the short dress and the jeans and the hoop earrings.

…and I will always wear that short dress!

We can travel without worrying about when the children have to go back to school!

Visiting Paris Anytime Soon? Let's Talk About It! | Atypical 60

And, we’ll be returning this Fall. We had our vaccinations!

We can make every night a date night!

At our age, every night can be date night! We don’t have to get a babysitter!

But most of all, we can thank our lucky stars that we are aging! It’s something many don’t get to experience. So let’s toast to aging!

HOn the sixth day of Christmas, let's make a toast with our Champagne  glasses!!! Have you found your perfect Holiday … | Champagne, Sparkling  wine, Champagne glasses

Here’s to aging!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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41 Responses to Random Thoughts on Aging. Or, Aging Ain’t For Sissies!

  1. thelakewoman says:

    Cathe…as always you are on point!

  2. Elaine Kohan says:

    If you are lucky enough to get old, you should celebrate it!( from Iris Appel)

  3. Maryellen Reardon says:

    OMG, I laughed! WHY do I now make noises when I eat?? WHY do I need to hold on to something to get up from the floor?? WHY?? Here’s the thing tho – it is only gonna get worse so we might as well enjoy today!

  4. Liz McGarry says:

    I was laughing so hard I farted when I read. your comments about. the “farty party”…another cruel trick Mother Nature has played on us. AND…I love what you said about our aging giving us wisdom. You know what always say “We are not elderly, we are elders…we are the keepers of wisdom. keep the faith and always blame the farts on Chippy

  5. Debra says:

    Just was thinking about this today during my morning walk! Until I hit menopause I thought, “Hey, aging isn’t that bad!” Then, boom – the hormones went away and the old lady stuff started happening. Oh well – all we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, and make the best with what we’ve got (left).

    I think that you are still looking good! And I also appreciate that you show us ‘warts and all’ as it is nice to see that an attractive woman can have wrinkles, can sometimes have trouble fitting into her clothes (though it looks like you’ve solved that problem) and can even sometimes let out a toot (from either end).

    This was wonderful – thank you.

    And PS – you are going to France? I’m dying to go, and am thinking of mid-December, but not confident enough to buy a ticket (even though I am fully vaccinated). I know your husband is French – perhaps you can get in because of him?

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Debra! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. They BEST (and possibly only ) thing about menopause is not having your period. I would rather have hot flashes than cramps or blood underwear due to leaky tampons or a sliding maxipad!
      As far as France is concerned. We had to cancel our summer trip because things aren’t back to normal there. However…………….my husband just made reservations for Thanksgiving week. We both have had our two vaccinations and I’m pretty sure Paris will be in a good place in November. We’ll see. I’m itching to get back because I really miss it and he’s incredibly homesick these days! Fingers crossed! XOXOXO

  6. “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” That quote is from Bette Davis. You’re right about everyone is inclusive except when it comes to age!!!! Let’s start a rebellion.I’m right there with you!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sandy! I’m in on the age rebellion! We can be leaders! XOXOXOXO

    • TrishS says:

      What a wonderful post. Being able to read this, and laugh at what you said is another gift of old age. Any younger and I would be appalled at what was ahead of me. Truly age brings its compensations, the ability to laugh at one’s own shortcomings being one of them. I hope you get to Paris in October. It’s a fantastic city. I wish I could go and I’m only just over the Channel. All the best – and keep writing these wonderful posts. Trish S

  7. Joan Brown says:

    You had me laughing to the point of tears with this post! I can relate to every single word! My husband has given me a lifetime excuse me pass because of all the frequent “escapee toots” that I am constantly muttering “Oops, sorry, excuse me!”. He laughs and says, no worries, you’re good! You tell it like it is! As far as cataract surgery, ditto on that! I said how did this happen overnight. Then I looked at past pictures over the past couple years and could clearly see the wrinkles all along! Was I in denial! Nope, I was looking at myself through cloudy lenses…oh how I miss those kind and compassionate cloudy lenses. All my pics are unfiltered unlike those delusional over 60 influencers who think they are fooling us! Embrace it, ladies! This year I turned 69 so I am cresting on entering my seventies. I intend on celebrating that milestone full throttle and everything about it with gusto!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Joan! I tell my husband my ass is playing the trumpet! And being that he’s so refined his reaction is usually disgust-LOL! But isn’t it the truth about the cataract surgery? What a crazy reality! I love the fact you don’t filter–and when I see those over-60 influencers with their cloudy filters I just about drop from laughter–you are so correct-they arent’ fooling anyone–except maybe those who need cataract surgery! XOXOXOXO

  8. Linda Seymour says:

    💕❤️❤️

  9. Sharron says:

    All so sadly true! My kids think it’s hilarious that I am now joining my own mum in the farty party💨💨

  10. Hope says:

    Best thing I’ve read all day!

  11. That cake look yummy! I’m starting to see the slow effects of aging, and while I’m still pretty young, it’s definitely not easy seeing things change. Oh well, it’s gonna happen, I should get used to it!

  12. Momcat says:

    OMG I laughed so hard at the bearded lady! So true about the migrating hair..my husband laments that although the hair on his head is white the hair on his ears is black…yes men get hair growing in weird places too! I remember when that ‘farty lady’ had some kind of weird exercise program going on. You forgot to mention the snoring….what was once so adorable in my sleeping young lover has morphed into Mack truck decibels that often drive me into the guest room..but….apparently I am equally at fault according to my twenty four year old who has a room across from the guest room.
    Oh well…
    We both have lost brothers who won’t get to hold grandchildren or grow old with their partners and siblings. Getting older is a privilege that is not granted to every one. We need to enjoy the journey not fret about the destination. My grandma used to say every day is a gift and she was 95 when she left us. My Dad is 95.5 and has endured isolation in his retirement home this past year. Has figured out Skype and challenged himself to read three or four books a week. He’s outlived my Mom who died at 93 in 2019, two sons and five of his six siblings but he says he’s hanging in until 100. ( and has grown himself an impressive David Letterman beard as a pandemic project!! Talk about out of control chin hair!!)

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Allison. The SNORING! I forgot about that one. And you’re correct. It’s mack truck snoring. We are lucky. My brother will never get to hold Owen or any new little ones that come along. We are blessed to be here. Looks like you have some nice longevity genetics in your family! XOXOXO

  13. Lynn McClain says:

    Catherine, I’m 77, and you still have much more on at the agenda! The loss of hearing – my reply to every comment is, “What was that?” Hands with one quarter inch high veins. Knuckles swollen with arthritis which adds a degree of difficulty to applying eye and lip liner. Painful feet that cry out for comfort shoes while you just cry at their appearance. Lined earlobes – when did that happen? And, alas, falling…

    • Catherine says:

      Lynn–I swear to god, I received information in the mail (unsolicited!) regarding hearing aids! When I arrived home from the office, the mail was staring me in the face. It’s crazy! My hand veins are already rising! XOXOXOXO

  14. Mary says:

    Thank you for the laughs, Catherine 🤣👏 I love your sensible attitude and sense of humour. Don’t ever change!!

  15. patty says:

    At every physical my doctor asks “Have you fallen within the past year?” Hoo boy.

    • Catherine says:

      Patty. If my doctor asks me that, I will push him so hard that he will fall–and will need my strenght to get him back up! LOL!! XOXOXOXO

  16. Marsha L. Calhoun says:

    This post – and the wonderful comments – are a breath of fresh air in a world in which speaking truthfully about the realities of aging is somehow thought to be bad form. Yeah, so much of it sucks, and still we have so much to value and enjoy, and we have earned the right to do so simply by reaching this point and the points still further along! I used to think that respecting one’s elders simply for being elderly was both condescending (as though there was nothing else to respect them for) and dumb (since elderly people could be jackasses too). Now, I see that simply facing each of the realities of aging squarely and with good grace is an achievement in itself, and I intend to be proud of that!

    • Catherine says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post Marsha! It’s so true though–speaking about the reality of aging is something in bad form because most people can’t deal with it. LOL. I don’t think society–or at least American society will ever respect the aged simply because America is a youth-based country. Aging is much more acceptable in other countries though and it is a sad thing that ageism runs rampant here! XOXOXO

  17. Wonderful writing! You are a delight and still gorgeous.

  18. vavashagwell says:

    Great post! Funny and very true!!! I’m turning 66 on May 3, so I’m right behind you. I’ve been retired for 11 years and these are the best years of my life, truly. My husband is on unemployment at the moment, and so ageism is very obvious in the job market. All in all, I’m just grateful for each day because over the years I’ve lost many friends too young and they never got to be free and retired.
    We just got our second shots, too. Pfizer. Twenty four hours later, I had the chills and was fatigued for about a day. But YAY to getting the vaccine! Starting to think about planning some travels, and France may be high on the list next year.
    Always enjoy your posts! You look great and most importantly you have spunk!

  19. Cathe says:

    Dam if you didn’t nail it once again!

  20. Leslie says:

    OMG! I read you loud and clear! As always, thank you for sharing your spot on insight!

  21. Carole says:

    Catherine, I just love your blog! I started reading when we lived in Spain and now we are back in England…6 months already. Lockdown highlights all the negatives and aging doesn’t need any more help. You never imagine yourself in your 60’s….that happens to other people??? But you are an inspiration, you don’t look or dress your age at all, just a stylish attractive woman. But what can we do…I’m 63 and hang on to the compliments that I scrub up well….lol!!! Since arriving here , I’m looking for a part time job and even having had a successful career in senior roles, I am too old to be of any use it seems….so far!!! Have a great day and keep the blog going!!! x.

  22. misunderstoodmammy says:

    Love, love, love this! Nail on the head! And you look gorgeous! Glad I found you!

  23. davidatqcm says:

    Generally well received, though occassionally I’d have preferred less information, thank you

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