Saturday, August 3, 2013

The older the grape, the sweeter the wine

I've spent a few days stalking the girl in my last post. Since I posted that old picture of myself, I got a little obsessed with that 17-year-old and the man I wrote about. Because the post was fairly short, I wasn't sure if it would affect anyone else the way it did me, but based on the comments I think it did. Some people mentioned the sadness they feel looking at old pictures or listening to music from the past, a sense of loss. In this case I don't really feel that way. I won't be that girl again, but I still find that girl in me.

The sense of passing time and fading youth is a part of the blog discussion lately about being sexy as a mature woman, and I suppose this is my chance to weigh in. I'll throw in some outfit photos of a new top from Marketplace - Handwork of India.

beads by me

I was single for a long time, completely unattached and "on the market." I did want to be sexy in some situations. Now I'm married, I'm menopausal, and I don't feel like sexy is something I need to put on anymore, not outwardly. But real sexiness is an inward thing, anyway - it's in the eyes, the composure, the willingness to share...enjoyment.

in the office - pale pink jeans by Gloria Vanderbilt

Now I just aim to look like an interesting and attractive person. I didn't say pretty or beautiful, but attractive. I want to be liked, I want to be respected, and I wouldn't mind projecting a little cool. If a younger person looks at me and thinks, "I bet she has some interesting stories to tell" that's great! I could show them that old picture, smile slyly and look dreamily away. I guess I'd rather be cool than sexy. Not sure how successful I am…

same top, different day; paper beads made by me; skirt - JCP; sandals - Clarks

I'm not saying I didn't have some trouble accepting the wrinkles, the age spots, and the gray hair when I was in my 40s. It takes a while to get used to the way they just keep coming, like emails for dodgy pharmaceuticals. And to get used to the horrible music kids listen to today.

But in my 50s I think the mid-life crisis has resolved itself, at least for now. I don't feel too wistful or sad about the passing of my youth, even when I see old photos. I own those memories, and that girl is a part of the woman.

We should embrace the years and the impression they leave on us. Some women never made it this far.

Linking up with Patti and the girls/women at Visible Monday.



Connie said...

Val. I am very close to jumping on a plane and coming up to Eugene to take you out for a drink! Cheers to you, my friend. Mother Nature has tried to kill me off a few times already yet I am still here. So what's a few wrinkles and age spots? Let's go dancing!

Megan Gann said...

Well, if it's worth anything, I think you're pretty damn cool. I'm always thrilled to come and read your words and see your photos. Very glad you decided to join the blogging community. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten the chance to know you!

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

I hope as I age closer to the 50 mark that I am able to gracefully accept the inevitable changes and challenges of aging as you have.

Right now I find myself raging against it.

Sitting squarely in middle age the fat folds of dreams unfulfilled gather around my waist like the rings of an aging tree.

One can't help but mourn the brightness and optimism of youth.

How the passing time changes our priorities and dreams alike.

Thanks for this moment of reflection. You are so much cooler than you know.


Melanie said...

Embrace the years - yes! I always try to tell myself that it's better to be known for what I have contributed than for how I've looked. And I agree that it's better to be cool than sexy. But it's annoying how men's greying temples usually make them "distinguished."
I love your top and the beads you made.

Vix said...

I couldn't care less about being respected but being sexy and cool? Hell, yes!
That blouse is ace! x

sabine said...

From year to year we get more - not only wrinkles and little ailments :D - not less. More conciousness, more calmness, more faith in ourselves. We can see that when we look at the pictures of now and then. Nevertheless I want to take care that the young girl/woman I was never gets lost totally. In your pictures I still see the young woman, she is still part of you.

ann wood said...

I agree cool is the way to go. Maybe the definition of cool is bringing all your history with you into today..... all the difference women we have been rolled into our current selves. History is a powerful fact of aging. Thank you for sharing yourself with us on your blog. Beautiful blouse and beads!

blue hue wonderland

Shybiker said...

You have certainly acquired wisdom in your passage through stages of life. At this point, I also aim to be interesting 'cause that's what I value in others. Some of us keep growing and, over time, become fascinating; others get lazy and just grow old.

Paula Ruta said...

Cool is good. Thanking our lucky stars is good too. xoxo

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

It's bloggers like you that keep me on my toes. I often worry that I'm going to get boring as I grow older (like most people do) so I look to women like you to show me how not to let age get the best of me.

Patti said...

A million "likes" for this: "If a younger person looks at me and thinks, "I bet she has some interesting stories to tell" that's great!" You do have wonderful stories, I think, both behind and ahead of you, dear Val.

I have some tunics from Marketplace too and I really enjoy them - thanks for linking up your look and your wisdom with Visible Monday.

pastcaring said...

Cool and interesting - yes, I'd take that too.
Our past is who we are, we can't get here without it. I don't mind being older - to complain about an inevitability would be like moaning that water is wet.
YOU are cool and interesting, Val, keep sharing your stories and thoughts with us.
And if this isn't too bathetic - lovely blouse! xxxxx

Tamera Wolfe said...

Great post Val!! And you look fabulous in your pink top!

Like you I'd rather be thought of as intersting.
I'd love to just hang out with you"!

Ariane Lasalle said...

Val! so glad you wrote that post!
I'm exactly like you i don't want to be beautiful, i rather be cool and interesting and different -not like everybody else -
I'm not nostalgic at all, i don't listen to old music or look at myself when i was younger and cry -
What's the use anyway? you have to make due with what you have, accept, move on and enjoy life while you can cause you never know if it's last day -



Ariane Lasalle said...

I love Connie's comment- This girl is such an inspiration!

Wendy said...

I love this!

I'll be 45 this year, it's a somewhat hard pill to swallow. I'm fighting the whole sex appeal thing as I've always exuded it (not to sound full of myself - I've always been more "sexy" than "pretty" if that makes sense without coming across as obnoxious) .

I'm hoping by 55 I'll exude confidence. I don't want to look like I'm trying hard but I dont want look like I've given up either.

As for clothes, I still wear whatever I want. Someday's it might be business attire, somedays it might be a Motorhead t-shirt. I don't think that will ever change... At least I hope not. I very much admire people that subscribe to their own sense of style (like you! :) ) Btw, you definitely look like you have a lot of cool stories to tell. You also look younger and more hip than most of my friends.

Sheila said...

Cool post - I love that pink top on you. Fab colour.

Spashionista Alicia Searcy said...

Isn't it wonderful that in 2013 we 50+ woman can choose to be sexy, or interesting, or respected - or all of the above?
I love the way you look and I applaud your candor and ease. I'm not done being sexy just yet, though ;-)


The Style Crone said...

I love how you write with complete honesty and courage, without pretense. It is refreshing and cool and draws me in, always wanting more.

I love your sense of style, the pale pink jeans and the jewelry that you make. I think there is 'sexy' in all of that, but different than the 'sexy' of youth.

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Well, Our Val, you got your goals covered! Certainly attractive, always interesting in all ways.
Yes! We are that young girl, and all of our various selves in a fascinating and ongoing integration. It's a huge surprise to me that it's such a gift. Not all sweetness and light, certainly, but it's all interesting.
And you are quite right ... so many of us didn't make it this far. But more of us are making it another year, every year and getting to see and DO things our grandmothers never imagined!
And on top of all that, you manage to wear soft rose like a pro. Cool, you has it. And pretty, damn it. And sexy whenever you want.
Yep, interested and interesting.
You KNOW I love this post.

Zalina Walton said...

What a great post. I think you said it perfectly. Being pretty is not just about the clothes, hair and make-up but what you exude from your heart. You do a great job of exuding. You are really pretty. :)

Thank you.

Mrs. D said...

What a lovely post. I'm not very good with words, all I can say is that I found it very touching.

Mrs. D said...

What a lovely post. I'm not very good with words, all I can say is that I found it very touching.