My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

As I’ve mentioned in a few previous essays, I turned fifty-five this past August. I know that isn’t a major milestone birthday for most people, but for some reason, it hit me harder than expected. I realize that my age is just a number and doesn’t really mean much beyond quantifying the time I’ve spent on earth. However, since I’m a deep thinker who’s prone toward pondering all sorts of things, I’ve been reflecting upon the various facets of reaching this particular stage in life.

reflections at fifty-five

After turning 55 in August, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the current stage of my life. 

In late August, I published an essay on my feelings about the physical manifestations of aging. In that post, I wrote about the ways in which I’m feeling challenged about looking older. The two main drivers of my discontent are overidentifying with my appearance and buying into societal attitudes and pressures regarding getting older.

In short, I place too much importance and value on the way I look, and Western societal attitudes and norms only make it harder for me and other women in my cohort to age. I didn’t reach any major epiphanies with my August post, but I did gain a better understanding of the issues I need to work on in order to better accept the way I look now. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about the topic of aging in 2022 and beyond, so stay tuned.

But looking older is only part of the equation around aging, so I’m going to delve into some of the mental and emotional issues in today’s post. I intended to publish this second part of my “reflections at fifty-five” series a while back, but I got derailed by my explorations of wardrobe do’s / don’ts and “third piece” challenges. So, before I move on to the 2021 wrap-up posts that I have planned, I decided to complete and publish this essay that I started several months ago. It’s actually not a bad thing that I waited to get this one out, as I have a few new ideas to write about now.

Reaching “Senior” Status

When does a person become a “senior”? As with most things in life, opinions vary. It’s kind of like asking when a person becomes an adult. Is it when he or she is able to vote? When they graduate from college? Get their first full-time job? Become fully self-supporting? Just as there’s no one right answer about the onset of adulthood, there’s no definitive benchmark of senior status, either. In many respects, it’s more like a continuum that we advance along as the years progress.

Although I was eligible for AARP membership upon my fiftieth birthday, when I turned fifty-five, I felt a lot more firmly entrenched in senior territory. I’m now eligible to reside in fifty-five-plus communities and receive discounts on cellular service and at certain restaurants. I was even able to take the senior shuttle from the airport to my mom’s house during my recent trip to Lake Tahoe. I was worried about my mom having to drive to the airport to pick me up from my late evening flight (flights between San Diego and Reno/Tahoe are scarcer these days), but she mentioned the local shuttle service as an alternative. My quick retort was, “Isn’t that for seniors?” I was then surprised when she came back with, “I think it starts at age fifty-five.”

That “senior shuttle” was my first real foray into senior status, but I was grateful to be able to use it and save my mom a late-night drive on a winding mountain highway (ride sharing services don’t even venture up to the Tahoe area). I joked with my family all week about how I’m now a senior. It stings a bit, but there can actually be good perks involved with getting older. I’ll have to wait until age sixty-five for most senior discounts and Medicare, but the senior designation is gradually being extended to me as I approach my late fifties. Yes, it’s nice to receive certain discounts and privileges, but I think I’d prefer to hang on to being “young” (or at least “younger”) for a bit longer.

One thing that’s weird about getting older is the large number of people I now encounter who are younger than me. What’s especially strange is that most of the doctors and other healthcare providers I visit are now mostly younger than I am. It used to be that I viewed doctors as being middle-aged, but now I’m the one who’s middle-aged (and getting to the upper end of that category), and many of my doctors are younger than me. Before too long, I suspect that they all will be!

I Am Older, But Do I Feel and Think Older?

When I was much younger, I used to think that older people were a lot different than I was. I believed that they thought differently and felt differently. I felt that we were worlds apart. Sure, there are always generational differences, but now that I’m inching rapidly toward “senior-hood,” I’ve come to some realizations.

Others in my age group may disagree with me, but I have to say that I don’t think or feel much different from my younger self in a lot of respects. I may look older now, but I still think much the same as I did back in my thirties. I don’t even particularly feel middle-aged. I haven’t automatically become “an older person” in terms of my thinking just because the calendar has progressed significantly.

I’m still interested in many of the same things that I liked back in my thirties, and my attitudes and viewpoints are also quite similar. When I talk to younger people, I sometimes forget how much older I am than they are. Sometimes younger people look at me differently, but in my heart, I’m still around the same age as them! My mindset is still much the same as it was twenty years ago in most respects. I’ll address a few key exceptions shortly, but first I want to recount a short story and introduce an important concept related to the mental and emotional aspects of aging.

Letting the Old Person In

My husband goes on long bike rides twice a week with a group of men, most of whom are older than him by ten years or more (he’s sixty-two). Not long ago, one of those men suddenly stopped doing the rides. When my husband asked another member of the group what had happened to the missing rider, the answer he received was,

“He let the old man in.”

It wasn’t that he was physically incapable of continuing to do the rides, but he believed that he was getting too old for it simply because of his chronological age. He bought into the rhetoric that is bandied about in the media and social circles about what people “of a certain age” can and can’t do. His limiting beliefs and his fear were what led him to stop riding, not any major physical limitations. After all, this man is about the same age as our current president and probably in at least as good physical condition.

The above story gives me pause and makes me think about my own situation. Have I let the old woman in? Has my chronic pain and the associated fear led me to become old before my time? There are definitely some physical activities I used to do that I no longer engage in. In my heart, I’d still love to do these things, but it’s my brain that holds me back as much or even more so than my body. Yes, I have stiff joints, migraines, and other challenges that limit what I can do, but those issues don’t have to derail me completely, just as my husband’s biking buddy didn’t have to cut off the rides cold turkey. He could have made some modifications that would have allowed him to continue, such as doing shorter rides or purchasing an electric bike. I can do the same thing with hiking and other types of physical activity.

Many of us take an “all or nothing” approach with the things we do in life. If we can’t perform at the same level as our younger selves, we may think we shouldn’t even bother engaging in activities we’ve loved for years. I’ve seen this with my parents, who both have some physical limitations in their late seventies. My mom used to love going on walks, but she doesn’t do it anymore because she can’t walk nearly as fast or far as she used to. The same is true for my dad with skiing, and he hasn’t skied for years now that he’s unable to soar down the slopes as swiftly as he once did. But isn’t it possible to still enjoy activities at a slower pace? The mind is more of an impediment than the body in many respects.

Is It Too Late to Do Certain Things?

A related issue we can have with getting older is feeling like it’s too late to do certain things. This is definitely an issue for me when I consider pursuing additional education or a new vocational pursuit. I sometimes feel like I’m just too old to embark upon such paths. But we all read or hear about people in their seventies or even eighties who graduate from college or take on new professional endeavors, so why can’t I – or any of us – do that, too?

But age is just one part of it… We often get set in our ways and become “comfortable” with the status quo. It can feel like it might take too much energy to make a change. Additionally, if we’ve experienced a lot of false starts, dead ends, or disappointments (as I certainly have), it may feel like too big of a risk to dive into something new. We don’t want to get our hopes up too much, and we may worry that we don’t have the energy or the drive to do what it takes. But what if we were to take things just one day at a time and do things simply for the joy of doing them?

A close friend started to do art at around the same age as I am now. She also struggles with chronic pain and symptoms, and the art was recommended to her by a health coach she was working with. While she doesn’t make a living as an artist, the art has brought a great deal of enjoyment to her life for over ten years now. If she had balked at taking it on because of her age, she would have missed out on all of the joy that it has added to her life. I’ve heard many other such stories of people who’ve taken on new hobbies, passions, educational paths, and even new careers and businesses in their later years. Again, what holds us back the most are our attitudes and beliefs, often so much more than anything that actually has to do with our age.

Fewer Dreams and a Shorter “Bucket List”

Speaking of detrimental beliefs related to aging, I no longer feel like “the world is my oyster.” I no longer believe that I can do anything I put my mind to, and I no longer feel like I have plenty of time to do everything that’s important to me. In fact, I’m not even exactly sure what’s important to me in many respects. I’ve let go of a lot of the dreams that I had when I was younger, and I haven’t really let myself dream new ones. Many people have a “bucket list,” a series of places to visit and accomplishments to fulfill before they breathe their last breath. I can think of some items to include on my list, but I now view them more as things I could do rather than what I absolutely must do.

Is that entirely a bad thing, though? I used to look down upon those who embraced a simple, contented existence, but I now believe there’s a peace in such a life that can’t be found in continual striving. Have too many of us bought into the societal precept that our worth lies in our accomplishments and accolades? I know I have… but I’m starting to think that a change in perspective might result in less anxiety and self-deprecation – and more happiness.

The almost two-year-long pandemic has certainly made me better appreciate the simple pleasures in life that so many of us take for granted. Maybe the main focus for the rest of my life should be to simply appreciate and enjoy each day to the best of my ability, cherish my loved ones, and engage in activities that make me happy. Maybe I don’t need to have lists of “to-dos” to check off to ensure that my life has been worthwhile. Those lists have never made me happy anyway, as I always seem to feel like I’m falling short and not getting enough done.


So, I’m ending this second “reflections at fifty-five” post with some powerful conclusions, as well as ongoing questions that I’ll continue to ponder as I weave along my path in life. It’s interesting getting older because I’ve noticed shifts in recent years in how I look at my journey, how I want it to feel, and what I want it to mean. Yes, I still feel like I’m in my thirties much of the time, but I know that I’m not, and I understand that there’s less time ahead of me than in the rear-view mirror. That is a fact, but it’s not something I wish to dwell on. It’s much better to focus on the now, as that is all we truly have and it’s where our lives reside.

My priorities have changed as I’ve moved through middle age, and I now more fully value being rather than doing and having. This is an evolving situation, though, and I still struggle with the tyranny of the “shoulds” and believing that the “perfect” pair of pants will suddenly make the world feel less crazy.  Although cultivating a workable wardrobe won’t solve all of our problems or somehow make us immortal, it can make a difference in our happiness and peace.

Because I believe that clothes matter and are an important means of expressing ourselves to the world, I’ll continue to center the majority of my posts in this space around wardrobe-related topics. However, I also like to take a time-out from my main topic from time to time to write about “meatier” fare. I hope you enjoy both types of essays, and I hope this one was insightful and beneficial to you in some way. I welcome any feedback you’d like to share, especially if it’s about how you’re navigating your own mental and emotional issues related to aging.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I look forward to reading your comments on this post. In case I don’t come back with another essay before Christmas (we all tend to have more going on this time of year), I want to extend warm wishes to all of my readers who celebrate that holiday. I know we all hoped the state of the world would be more favorable by now than it is and that the global pandemic would be better controlled. It’s not the holiday season that many of us envisioned, but I hope you’ll still be able to enjoy a more scaled down version of your celebrations. And even if you’re not able to share the day with all of your loved ones, may they feel your caring spirit from afar.

I wish all of you the best always, and I’ll be back soon with some 2021 wrap-up posts, including my best and worst purchases of the year. Merry Christmas to you!

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38 thoughts on “Reflections at Fifty-Five: The Mental and Emotional

  1. Claudette says:

    Beautifully written Debbie!! May your Christmas be merry and bright.!!! I am looking forward to read more of your posts next year💕

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you, Claudette! I will still have probably two more posts before this year is over, but many more to come in 2022. Sending warm holiday wishes you way, too!

  2. Em says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this essay- I’ve just turned 48 and am thinking through lots of the same questions. “Am I too old to learn to surf” is a big one for me!! I’m going to spend some time pushing back on “letting the old woman in”.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this essay, Em. No, you’re not too old to learn to surf, and I hope you give it a try in 2022. I think lots of us have to push back on letting the old woman in. I think I’ll have to re-read my own words from time to time…

  3. Krissie says:

    Wishing you a wonderful festive season, and looking forward to your wrap up and more posts in the new year. I also enjoyed this post heaps too.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you, Krissie, and I send warm holiday wishes right back to you! I’ll have three or more wrap-up posts, beginning with next week 🙂

  4. Andrea says:

    Debbie this is an insightful and resonating essay. I am 62, soon to be 63 in January. At precisely the age of 55 my thoughts turned to the area of feeling “too old” to continue in my career, surrounded by young go-getters younger than my own children. I comforted myself by looking at people in the public eye at the pinnacle of their career, leaders and policy makers around my age. At the age of 60 I found myself out of work following a very intense and illustrious career. A change of school leadership meant that the “oldies” were swept out by a cavalier and insecure Head teacher mindful of those who knew more than he. A year of self-healing around the time of lockdown was helpful and I found a job at the age of 61 in an advisory role, using all my knowledge and experience that I love and am thankful for every moment of each day. My drive was monetary – years of spending meant that I still had some debt inspite of downsizing – but also not wishing to end my career on such a sour note and the feeling that I still had so much to contribute. I am now the happiest I have ever been with my wardrobe, life and mental wellbeing. Not been easy, every day is a new journey but your writing has been inspirational and transformative and I thank you for that. Blessings.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you so much for sharing about your work situation, Andrea, and congrats on finding a new job that’s a great fit for you! Even though your drive to get the new job was financially motivated, I agree that it’s good that you won’t be ending your career on a sour note. How wonderful and inspiring to read that you’re the happiest you’ve ever been in multiple areas of your life. I’m happy that my writing has played a positive role over the years. Reading comments like yours helps me to feel that I also still have a lot to contribute in my middle-aged years – and beyond. Blessings to you, too, and I appreciate your support.

  5. Gina Hession says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It arrived at a time in my life that I am feeling so very much like you have written. It is very hard to embrace getting physically older when you still have a younger “mind set”. “Letting the Old Person In” especially resonated with me because I feel like I’m unconsciously doing that even though I don’t feel old, physically or mentally. I think I will be revisiting my bucket list again! Happy Holidays to you!!

    1. NATALIE K says:

      Debbie, Thank you for putting into words how I feel so much these days!! I wasn’t certain if this is because of dealing with illness or just aging!! My best friend seems to want to be old now!! She is 10 years older than I but it seems strange to me!! She had to go grey and is wearing older lady outfits!! I just don’t get that!! I love that I’m older and I think wiser!! But, I’m also so happy I have gone through a horrible five years of coming to terms with my new body!! I’m comfortable with myself and accepted my figure changes!! I feel much more confident and only work to please myself!! I love my wardrobe!! That’s a good thing for me to be able to feel…a big accomplishment for me after these five years!!

      1. Debbie Roes says:

        It’s hard when our friends are approaching aging differently than we are, Natalie. But if I think about how I felt about aging ten years ago vs. today, there are some big differences, so maybe that’s part of the discrepancy you’re noticing between you and your best friend. I’m glad you have come out on the other side regarding the changes you’ve experienced with your body. I’m still working on that one, so you’re ahead of me there! Congrats on your wonderful positive attitude. I’m sure it’s serving you very well in life!

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m so happy that this post resonated with you, Gina. I knew that I couldn’t be alone in so much of what I’ve been feeling, and I’m glad that my sharing has benefitted you and others. “Letting the old person in” is an important concept for all of us to consider, as I see it happening so much in myself and others. There is a lot of truth to the old saying that age is just a number, and I’m going to try to remember that there is still so very much that I can do and enjoy in my remaining time on earth. Happy Holidays to you, too!

  6. Katrina B says:

    Hi Debbie!
    Interesting post, as usual! These are things I enjoy thinking about too. I seem to be insulated from many of the dramatic feelings that come with age, and I suppose there are many reasons for that.

    I am 62 and I let my old woman in around age 30, when I started feeling physical limitations due to illness. While those physical problems did not limit activities like travel and work until much later, I was able to adjust to the idea of lower expectations slowly and calmly instead of slamming up against it at 60 and ranting over the unfairness of it all (I’m thinking of a certain ex-husband here, definitely an “all or nothing” type).

    When I let the old woman in, I never let any of the young women out. I still have the 17-year-old girl in me, full of idealism and recklessness. I have the 28-year-old shy beauty and the 40-year-old career woman. I can relate to my niece because I feel like I’m still 18 and struggling to detach from my parents. I engage easily with coworkers half my age because I still feel that scary-exciting tipping point between the 20s and 30s. I recently moved into an over-55 community and the residents call me the youngster – with my long hair, rock music, and liberal views, I’m sure they think I’m much younger than I am. I totally agree with your statement about your thinking not changing over time just because the calendar advances.

    In addition, I’ve had the most amazing examples to follow. All of my elders have been stoical and practical about aging, and have adjusted to the physical changes with equanimity. Sometimes this means pushing beyond what others think you can do (my mom went on a 2-week safari in Kenya, by herself, at 72) and sometimes it’s downsizing expectations (my 84-year-old aunt now takes long walks around the lake instead of backpacking through the mountains) and sometimes rethinking priorities (traveling through Vietnam and Cambodia was high on my list when I was younger, but now I feel I can have a complete life even if I am never able to go there). We don’t need to stop everything and stagnate, just reevaluate every so often.

    I am really glad you are able to adjust your dreams and goals and find peace in what you have and can realistically attain. If only everyone could have such a healthy outlook about aging, which is something that we can’t control. Part of the path to serenity is to “accept the things we cannot change.”

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I always enjoy reading your comments, Katrina, so I thank you for sharing more of your experience around aging. I love the concept of not letting any of the young women within out even as you’ve gradually let the old woman in. It’s true that there are many facets to all of us, and they can peacefully co-exist. I think it’s great that your neighbors call you “the youngster”! That speaks to your still holding on to a lot of youthful attitudes. What an inspiration your mom is taking that Kenyan safari alone at age 72! But your aunt is also inspiring with her long walks, even if she can no longer go backpacking through the mountains. Much like your wanting to travel through Vietnam and Cambodia, I have long wanted to explore Australia. I’m still hoping that I will make it there, but my life won’t necessarily feel incomplete without it. I love what you wrote in your last sentence about accepting that which we cannot change. We can’t control the fact that we ARE aging, but we certainly can control the way we feel about it, so that’s something I will continue to work on…

  7. NATALIE K says:

    Debbie, You spoke my heart!! I turned 55 this year as well!! My age hasn’t really hit me hard but I’m so very grateful to be here!! I’ve been on dialysis now for 25+ years, had open-heart surgery to correct a birth defect ten years ago, have Parkinson’s and my Thyroid has gone crazy(I’m NOT a diabetic!!). I have a hard time dreaming of a great deal in the future BUT I have been able to enjoy my cross-stitching (I’ve enjoyed this since junior high but I stopped while raising our son!) and I’m now venturing into embroidery!! So enjoying myself!! My husband and I have a very nice time together!! My best friend and I try to get together once a week!! My husband and i aren’t well to do but comfortable!! I have terrific physicians!! My mother and father are still alive!! BUT, I’m well aware that I have a limited time on earth!! I live with extreme fatigue (even a shower is difficult!) and chronic pain!! BUT this being said I really have a terrific life!! Looking forward to 2022!! Merry Christ-mas!!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Your comments are so often very inspiring, Natalie. You have certainly been through a lot, but I can tell that you are a fighter and have a positive attitude about life. It sounds like you’ve done a lot to cultivate a full and enjoyable life despite your physical challenges, and you embrace gratitude for what is right about your life rather than focusing on limitations. I appreciate the reminder to focus on the NOW and to be grateful for our blessings. I wish you all the best during this holiday season and in 2022!

      1. NATALIE KELLOGG says:

        Thank you!!

  8. Gail says:

    I am 75 and remember my age mainly when I glance into a mirror! It is a good thing to remain thoughtful, open-minded and to retain your sense of humor and fun. It is wise, however, to take some caution when attempting physical feats you once were master of!
    It is a privilege to be alive long enough to grow old. Every single moment is precious!
    Thank you, Debbie, for adding to our lives with your writing. Happy Holidays.

    1. Andrea says:

      Gail, I love this comment about it being a privilege to grow old! I’ve been saying this a lot of late especially with the current climate and remind myself frequently.

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      Like Andrea, I love what you wrote about it being a privilege to grow old, Gail. Yes, we are all very lucky to be here, especially in light of the tremendous amount of tragedy surrounding us, with the pandemic and many other global and local issues. It seems like you have both a positive and a balanced view about aging. I agree that it’s important to maintain a sense of humor and to appreciate each moment. Thank you for sharing your insights as someone with more life experience than I have, and thank you for your continued support of me and my writing. Best holiday wishes to you and yours!

  9. Mo says:

    This year I’ve been feeling so much more my age than ever before. The grey is coming in, an extra 5 pounds has taken up residence in my midsection. The eyes are a little crinklier for makeup. Still, new younger coworkers think I’m 35 or so, but I feel that is changing – rapidly. By my birthday in May I feel I will look every bit over 50 that I am. Which is to say, I’ve looked younger than I am for a long time and now that that’s changing it’s a bit to handle. Can I still wear certain clothes? Should I give up trying to find the right eyeshadow for crepey lids? Will I let the grey grow in?
    But mentally I don’t feel too different. Yes, I didn’t snowboard much after turning 45 and not at all since turning 50. I just don’t like to be cold anymore. The last time I went rollerblading this summer I fell down, multiple times. Oh, yeah, that pesky vertigo I never had in my 40’s. So physically there are changes. But I can’t say my ideas of what I can and can’t or should do have shifted much. That said, I never was a ‘bucket list’ or any list, kind of gal. Guess I prefer the content life vs striving for, I don’t know what.
    For me, it’s aligning with the changes I see in the mirror and trying to embrace them as much as I can. Funny thing, a coworker of mine who retired when Covid hit turned 65 last week. I called to catch up and asked what she was doing with retired life. She quipped, getting old and fat, isn’t that what we do? She is not ‘fat’ by anyone’s definition, but we all have a self image we get very used to, and when it shifts, it can be hard to accept.
    At any rate, Merry Christmas from snowy Tahoe!!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      It’s always nice to see you comment here, Mo. I’m sure you look as lovely as ever, even with a bit of extra weight, gray hair, and some eye “crinkles.” You may need to make a few small changes to your wardrobe and makeup, as I have, but you can still have the fabulous edgy style that you like and pull off so well. It’s good that there aren’t as many age-related “rules” about how to dress as there used to be, but even when there are, we don’t necessarily need to follow them!

      In terms of attitude, you’ve always been a positive example for me of someone who is content to have a simpler, contented life. Good for you for not buying into the “hustle culture” that’s far too common these days. Living in Tahoe may have shielded you at least somewhat from it, but of course there are those who are all about achievement there, too. You’re right about how it can be difficult to accept a shift in appearance and self-image. I have definitely struggled to accept that I don’t look the same as I used to, but it’s getting easier with time. The more we can embrace the changes and focus on enjoying our lives as best as we can, the happier and more peaceful we will be. That’s what I wish for you and for all of us! Stay warm up there and hope to see you soon.

  10. RoseAG says:

    I get what you mean about still thinking like your 30-something self. Unfortnately my 60+ feet sometimes interject themselves and suggest that I take it a bit easier on them.
    However, I wouldn’t extent that to thinking that your 30-something or even your 55-something self thinks the same as some random 30-something you meet on the street. Times move along and so does thinking. I think we see that in connection with social issues. Language and behavior that was equal and inclusive in my youth in the 70s/80s may now be considered a statement of inequality and exclusion. There is no resting on our laurels, you may let the old person in physically, but shut the door on static thinking mentally.
    I’ve found I can do the them/they thing without too much effort, at least in writing. A recent visit with my Mother had her telling me about the Husband of a friends’ Son. There were no imaginary air quotes around husband, nor any judgemental sneers. Sons can have Husbands. We can do it!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      You raised some excellent points here, Rose! There are definitely some issues that my thinking has evolved on, including in relation to social issues. Although I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and have always been quite open-minded in many respects, I have learned a lot in recent years about inclusive language, as well as seemingly innocuous comments that might be hurtful to others. You’re right that our thinking should not be static when it comes to equality and inclusivity. Yes, sons can have husbands and daughter can have wives, and I’m glad that it’s getting easier for people to just be who they truly are in the world! I hope that as time goes on, this will all continue to evolve in a positive direction.

  11. Terra Trevor says:

    This is an outstanding post Debbie, with great universal appeal, so beautifully written and worthy with excellent essay quality writing. Thank you.

    I have many thoughts on the topic of growing older. For me however, the emotions did not surface until I was about 64. Now, at almost 69, I’m feeling quite positive with aging. Also, currently I’m having a wonderful time updating my wardrobe for my rapidly changing, aging body. Finally discovering how to truly have a very small wardrobe without any feelings of being limited.
    More thoughts on these topics later. Most of all just want to tell you this is a beautiful post.

    1. NATALIE K says:

      Terra, You said perfectly how I feel!!

    2. Debbie Roes says:

      I agree with Natalie that you seem to put many of our thoughts into words perfectly, Terra. You’re such a gifted writer, and I’m grateful to have read your essays and comments over the years. I’m glad you enjoyed this essay, and I’m glad that you’re feeling positive about aging now. You give great hope to those of us who are still struggling to accept what is. It’s good to embrace the changes rather than push back against them, as they are going to continue to happen whether we approach them with grace or disdain. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on aging and cultivating and evolving a small wardrobe.

      1. Terra Trevor says:

        Debbie, your essay is spot on.

        From what I hear, I believe the majority of women who are concerned with aging, will strongly identify with what you expressed. I also believe that a majority of women are a bit worried about growing older. I’m certain that I’m in the minority group. Possibly because I was raised in a culture that honors age, as long as we continue to grow, change and learn and become a more wise person through the aging process. However, I would still be happy to look ten years younger and be able to look like I did when I was 58. Lol. As long as I could keep the lived experience I’ve gained and lessons learned.

        My guess is those phrases like “age is just a number” “you are as young as you feel” “don’t let the old man in” are coined from fear based thinking and a result of a youth obsessed culture. For me, I’d just like to feel strong and well and be able to pretty much do as I always have, but I know that if I’m lucky enough to live another 10 or 20 years, I will need to make some physical adjustments due to some medical conditions that are already beginning to hold me back at times. My goal is to just be the best I can for as long as possible and be open to the changes that will come. Still, it would be nice to look good too!

        1. Caro says:

          I love this. Thank you.

        2. NATALIE K says:

          Debbie, I honestly dont ‘worry’ about getting older because I am too ill. To get older than they expect would be wonderful!! I’ve beat the odd’s so far from anything they ever expected!! I only am concerned with how disabled I’ll become before I die. I really think as people age and lose abilities like I have (ability to drive as a result unable to go somewhere alone, having to take an enormous amount of medication to function, living in chronic pain etc) is really the concern!! Yes ,first come looks then later we get to the real issues of aging!!

        3. Terra Trevor says:

          NATALIE K, you are the Queen of wisdom. Thank you for your deep, wise words. For sharing with us wisdom you have earned from loving life with your whole being, lessons learned from love, pain, sorrow, faith and joy. May beauty surround you, now and always.

        4. Debbie Roes says:

          I agree with Terra about your wisdom, Natalie. Actually, BOTH of you are quite wise and I appreciate your sharing here. I’m so glad you have beaten the odds, and I hope that you continue to do so. I also hope that you will continue to be able to do many of the things you love. I wish you many blessings in 2022. Thank you for your readership and for your generosity in sharing yourself and your life (and wardrobe) lessons with all of us here.

        5. Debbie Roes says:

          Thank you for coming back to add your words of wisdom, Terra. I definitely think it makes a big difference your having been raised within a culture that honors age. I wish I was also raised in such a culture, but the rest of us can learn from your perspective. You’re right that learning and growing are of primary importance as we progress throughout our lifecycle, and also that we sometimes need to make physical adjustments as a result of medical conditions (of course, this is true at any age). I love what you wrote about your goal: “to just be the best I can for as long as possible and be open to the changes that will come.” So wise, and a wonderful goal to adopt! Best wishes to you in 2022!

  12. Maggie says:

    Hi Debbie, Very interesting post. I am just looking to increase my self-care efforts to help me stay active and functioning. I started taking collagen peptides to see if I could see or feel any changes as an experiment. I noticed that my hair and nails improved. I didn’t notice improvement in my joints but I think my spouse is going to try it for his knees since he runs. (He used to take glucosamine years ago.) I also use Mederma PM if I get a cut or scrape to reduce scarring. I just kind of consider myself a guinea of sorts and continue to experiment as things come up. I have learned that taking a probiotic helps me in many ways because when I stop taking it, I notice a difference. I also use an over the counter cream with estriol and it seems to help clear the post-menopause brain fog.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing some of what you’re doing in terms of self-care as you age, Maggie. I’ve been taking collagen peptides for years, and I do think it’s made a difference in terms of my hair, nails, and skin (although I started taking it for gut health, which is something I struggle with). I appreciate your recommendations for the other things, and I’m sure others who are reading here do, too!

  13. NATALIE K says:

    Ladies, I just want to wish you all a blessed New Year!!

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I wish the same to you, Natalie, and to all of my wonderful readers!

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