Jamileh is 62

I have not blogged for a while. I will not give the excuse that have too much to do. It is the time that is shrinking and I am definitely getting much slower. The fact that the blog is not attracting any interest is also depressing. But here is the contribution of a 62 years old woman.

Jamileh’s Reflections

That’s it! There is no doubt about it, I am checking it all the time, looking at myself more and more in the mirror, continuously catching fleeting sights of myself in shops, tubes, windows, anywhere I can find a reflection, I must admit, I am now old. Like real old! This has been the shocking revelation of 2012 for me.

The only looks I get nowadays, and occasionally, are from young women giving me a warm smile, maybe I remind them of their own mother, grandmother even! Or maybe they are thinking “oh this is an interesting looking old lady, I won’t mind growing old like her” (I wish!!)

As for the old men-toads, rien du tout! They are still looking for the young beautiful princesses that will kiss them. They still think they have a grand tail to parade around.

So what happens now?

I can detect in some of my contemporary women friends a denial of old age. They pull a face when I mention joining U3A: “aren’t they all old?” This week the local gym advertised a class for the over 50s. There was only one participant: ME. The coach sighed and said: “well I told them not to advertise it like that because no one here wants to join a class that is going to tell their age”.

I could do the same, deny, deny and deny…make myself up, spend loads on anti wrinkle stuff, white teeth, hair dresser dye and carry on living in the mirage wonderland of youth or… admit, accept, mold myself into this new age with all its huge changes, and they are huge, as huge as adolescence without the pleasure of youthfulness.Big changes, physical, mental, emotional and sexual, not counting the fears and uncertainties in a society that is getting more and more ageist and individualistic. Fear of death, how and when will it happen? Of the future, how will I end up? Who will look after me?

And now to bed with my two hot water bottles. Ahhhhhh.


2 thoughts on “Jamileh is 62

  1. But is it denial, Jamileh? I have always worn make-up – though less is more as one ages! – and coloured my hair. I am interested in style, though not slavish to fashion, and enjoy popular culture – though not celebrity culture – and all kinds of music. Why should I change radically because I now have a Freedom Pass and a pension?! I think about death often, not least because of having lost 2 siblings in their 20s, and being in remission from a life-threatening illness, but it doesn’t dominate every waking hour. Life is precious and is for living however I choose, providing it doesn’t hurt others. My experience of groups for older people when I was younger, knowing people who were involved in them, was that often they had not moved with the times, were rather narrow-minded, easily shocked and not very engaged with what was going on in the world around them! I may be 63 but I still like to have fun and one of my most joyous moments this summer was dancing and singing with friends and new young friends in Hyde Park
    at Hard Rock Calling featuring Bruce Springsteen, Macca and Paul Simon – all incidentally in their mid-late 60s. Live and let live and rock on, say I!

    • I think that we carry in our minds the prejudices about old people that we formed in our youth. My experience of old women and old women groups is very different. Involved in politics (left or right), activism, work in all sorts of voluntary organisations. And fun, yes. The old have as much fun as the young and there are as many ways of having fun as there are people.
      I feel strongly a need for the young old – whether they dye their hair and wear make up or not- to show solidarity with the old old in order to undermine the all pervasive ageism. To declare oneself as ‘old’ is I think the first step.

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