Okay, I’ll admit it…I turned 55 a month ago.
Although I was born in 1960 and firmly planted at the tail end of the “Baby Boomer” crowd, I’ve never felt as if I belonged in that demographic. I can recall, with great clarity, my 30th birthday. My husband threw me a surprise party, all my family and friends were there, and I was the most popular person in the room. I was trim and stylish and hip.
Surely it’s impossible that 25 years have passed since that spectacularly impressive time in my life! As I look in the mirror, those eyes that look back at me are a little less bright, the lips a little less plump and the skin texture a little less firm. But, in all honesty, I don’t feel a whole lot older.
I’m one of the lucky ones – genetics has come through in a still-smooth complexion, with only the faintest of creases at the corners of my eyes. So, with a few tricks up my sleeve and the devil-may-care attitude of that vibrant 30-year-old that still lives inside me, I also don’t act a whole lot older.
If you’re a woman and promise not to tell, I’ll share some of my secrets:
- Embrace technology. There’s nothing that sends up red flags more than if you’re still carrying around the same flip phone you’ve had for the last 10 years and are content to keep it another 10. Some basic familiarity with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest will also give you some “street cred” among Millenials and Gen Xers. While you’re at it, if you don’t use a computer for work, take a couple of continuing ed classes and get yourself a tablet, so you, too, can Google with the rest of us.
- Freshen up your look. While your hairstyle is your signature, if every trip to your hairstylist begins with, “Just a trim, please,” it’s time to shake things up. A new cut, a little color to hide the gray and some tips on styling will keep you from regressing back to your old ways. While you’re at it, get a makeover. Ladies, blue eyeshadow is out; natural tones are in. And don’t be afraid to use a little foundation to smooth out those imperfections.
- Clean out your closet. I know you know this, but just because you can still fit into that jacket with the shoulder pads and hip-hugging mini skirt, doesn’t mean you should. Classic styles are perfectly fine, but make sure you didn’t actually wear them in the 80s. Also, consider age-appropriate clothing. It’s a real giveaway when you’re in your 50s and wearing the latest Candies Collection.
- Time to ditch the mix tape. I know, I know – “They don’t make music like they used to.” I’m not suggesting you give up your oldies but goodies, but it wouldn’t hurt your reputation if you turned on a contemporary station once in awhile. Better yet, go buy yourself an iPod, put in your earbuds, and no one will know that you’re listening to the BeeGee’s Greatest Hits.
- Stop saying you want to be “hip.” Also, stop saying neat-o, groovy and all those other phrases that produce eye rolls and snickers from the age group you’re trying to fit in with. Listen carefully to conversations, watch some new shows on television or Google (see Tip #1) “trending slang” to help you learn the lingo (oops, that one slipped out).
There’s not a lot we can to do actually stop time from sneaking up on us. But with a little research, determination, and practice, we can all experience a timelessness that will keep people guessing what’s really written on our driver’s license.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear some of your ideas on this subject.