What Does It Really Mean

Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available in print, at Amazon UK and Smashwords, and for SonyReader, Kobo, Diesel, ibookstore and NOOK!

As you all know, I am prone to describing myself as A Tired Older Woman.  I’ve even written a series of posts using that nomenclature, as well as a book that I titled A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off.  Recently, though, I have been forced to face head-on what that term really means, due to medical emergencies sustained by both my uncle and myself [Size Matters] and [Life Changing].

Now this is isn’t the first time that I’ve given thought to the pros and cons of a having achieved a certain number of years.  For instance, in my late thirties and forties, I performed most of the marketing for a tri-state medical outsourcing company that I owned.  Inevitably, I found myself waiting in line to discuss my marketing proposal with a hospital CFO or COO surrounded by a gaggle of long-legged, bleached blondes in their early twenties, all of whom were bent on similar missions.  It didn’t take me too long to devise a counter offensive.

Graciously, I would allow each of them to go first.  By the time I entered their office, my target was usually looking quite dazed, and I would offer my condolences re their long and difficult day.  I would then lean back, relaxed and conversational in my chair and tell them that to save them time and trouble I would cut to the chase.

As the owner of my company, I was in a position to answer any of their questions and resolve any issues right then and there.  I was also, I would then point out, in my late forties, which meant three things:

  1. I no longer had to worry about finding a babysitter every Saturday night
  2. I was no longer expected to cram myself into a bikini by each year’s Memorial Day and
  3. I brought twenty years of experience to our conversation.

Needless to say, I never left one of these offices without a signed contract.

Those of you who tweet with me on a regular basis know that I have a wonderful neighbor, who regularly brings me homemade, gourmet quality food because she has happened to “cook too much.”  (Is there really such a thing as too much homemade gourmet food?  One has to wonder.)

If this weren’t enough, she then fills double duty as my exercise partner, keeping me on the straight and narrow when it comes to my showing up at the gym.  She is a naturally bright and cheery individual, and I look forward to our chats as we sit side by side on our exercise bicycles, expending much energy going basically nowhere.

The other evening, though, she produced an out of the ordinary long sigh.  “Whoever said that these were the golden years, certainly lied,” she stated with a firmness that concerned me, because this wonderful woman is both caregiver to her husband and her ninety-year-old mother.

As we continued to pedal, she shared an awful thing she and her husband had experienced while trying to keep a doctor’s appointment that had virtually wasted their day.  In the end, though, her good humor won out, and I believe it helped that we were able to laugh about parts of her story together as we exercised.

If this weren’t enough to keep my eye on the aging ball, one of my VERY favorite authors, Peggy Teel posted a piece on her blog, peggyteel.com, this week that she titled, Growing Older Does Have Its Merits.

Niki Knows the Dirt (Niki Edgar Mysteries) by denise hays

Also available in print and for NOOK!

Peggy begins her post by saying, “Now that I’ve gotten over the shock of having turned sixty, I’ve begun to realize there are advantages to being ‘over a certain age.’”

Apparently, she and I both have issues with bikinis because she then goes on to say, “If I’m not in the best shape of my life, no one looks at me critically, because they expect nothing more of a sixty year old woman. I can eat all the popcorn I want and not have to worry about the bikini I definitely won’t be donning in the morning.”

I wish I could believe that if I ate all the popcorn I wanted I would look like Peggy, who is as thin as my pencil, but unfortunately, I can’t quite accept it.

Wardrobe placing high on Ms. Teel’s priority list as you would know if you kept pace with her wonderful blog, she adds, “Then there’s the constant worry over what others may think of my wardrobe. If I don’t want to wear heels with my pencil skirt, I can sport a nifty ballet flat and everyone will assume I’m babying a varicose vein or two. Since I don’t have any of those yet, the laugh is on them, because I’m just plain comfortable.”

While both Peggy and I are into laughing at ourselves, we do agree on one thing – sad, but true.  When you reach a “certain age,” folks no longer expect very much of you.

The good news is that this provides you with a certain freedom, now that you are no longer required to meet certain of society’s criteria.  For instance, I am a professional when it comes to flipping my days and nights.

The bad news is that you can find yourself somewhat ignored.  I look around at our elderly, and I see so many of them who are isolated and neglected.  On the other hand, my older friends are quite active.  Faced with the realities of our troubled economy, many of them have become self-employed in “retirement.”  Most of them exercise daily, and all of them are engaged in the communities around them.

So what does getting older really mean?  I believe that, at the end of the day, your life is what you make of it.  Personally, I like being “older.”  I just have no intention of filling the role that others so often define as “old,” even when my chronological age finally defines that I have arrived there.

NOTICE:  In case you haven’t already heard, Peggy Teel has come out of the closet! No, not THAT closet, the other one.

Deciding that she no longer wanted to devote so much time to maintaining two blogs, this week Peggy announced to the world that she has also been writing as denise hays.  You may find her reason amusing at the soon to be defunct denisehays.com, and I know you would enjoy her humorous mystery, Niki Knows the Dirt.

Who knew that the slim and trim Peggy Teel was not one, but two people?!?  Well, of course, I did since I am her publisher!

Annie Acorn

Murder With My Darling (Bonnie Lou Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available in print and for NOOK!

A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn

Also available in print and for NOOK!

Annie Acorn’s 2012 Christmas Treasury (Annie Acorn’s Christmas Anthologies) edited by and stories by Annie Acorn

Also available in print and for NOOK!

The Young Executive (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available for NOOK!

A Stranger Comes to Town (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available for NOOK!

When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available for NOOK!

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