Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I've just been inspired by Jeannies's post today to expand on something I was writing about earlier to my Sister, Bluebell, in Australia . . . Ageing, the "decline" in our physical appearance or "Physical Fading" as Cloudia, one of Jeannie's commenters called it.
Being relatively new to it, I had imagined hoped it would be a temporary feeling . . . that as time passed I would, along with fading some more, be more accepting of it . . . Settle into it. Now I'm wondering if that really happens.
When I say I'm new to it, I mean I'm new to getting pissed off about it. I suppose over the last five years, which is roughly how long I've been "fading" so far . . . Whenever it's started to bother me I've swept it away under that carpet, convincing myself that I could soon rewind if I was that bothered . . . I'd only have to . . . Well, lose a bit of weight . . .  get my teeth fixed . . . and tone up a bit . . . re-colour my hair . . .buy some clothes that fit me . . . and . . . "Sigh".

Obviously as the years have crept on, the idea of rewinding feels like a lot of work . . . and the chances of it happening, more remote. Now all of a sudden I wonder if it's even possible?  . . . and say, to an extent it were possible, do I really want this or is it just empty vanity . . . one day the fading will need to be accepted.
Surely it must be. Is it a process whereby acceptance grows as the fading progresses? It must be.
I realised today that it's depressing me slightly . . . As in, looking good used to make me feel good . . . Or did  it? or did I just feel good because I was younger. But say they were connected . . . is that so bad?

It came to light a bit this weekend when LQ (Hamper G's Dad)'s Brother, the one who drives me to prison, popped round with one of their other Brothers who's been in Glasgow/Pakistan for a few years. It's been six years since I saw him. He didn't look any different really but he's 39 . . . I didn't change much between 33 and 39. In fact I've never changed this much in any given 5 years (since I was 16) Sodding menopause. He looked horrified surprised, I didn't even realise why till two days later . . . I've put on two stone, gone from blonde to dark hair with grey roots . .  Have a few less teeth . .  permanently wear a hoody and tracky bottoms where I used to wear skinny jeans and more flattering jumpers . . . And I dare say I have a load "tiredness/stressness lines". . . Not to mention the whiskers!  Shit no wonder he looked "surprised" . . .  He did well to not to look fucking shocked.
So all this got me to thinking . . . to try and rewind . . . Is it chasing unattainable, long gone, youth? . . . Would I be one of those women having yearly face lifts if I could afford it in a few years? . . . Am I kidding myself I'll feel better because I felt better back then when I looked better?  Am I kidding myself that this re-wind is even a possibility? or that I'm even bothered, really, when it comes to it, most days? . . . does it really matter?
Is it just early days of mourning the twinkling . . .  and accepting the "fading".
Maybe the further we walk away from youth, the less we look back. I don't know. Maybe not everyone does look back in this way. I don't know. It's certainly not my youth that I want back . . . I'm quite happy with my age. I just want a bit of "youthfulness" I suppose . . . In my fifties ;-)  Is that too much to ask?

I just lit a ciggy and glanced over the page . . . there's a lot of "Maybes" and question marks. Maybe I'm questioning it all too much? there goes two more.
I can't remember if I've made my point . . . and unless I remember what my point was I don't suppose I will know. Maybe I'll leave it there. I think I'm tired. Shit! It's gone one! I need my beauty/youthfulness sleep ;-)

Thinking about it . . . I don't think I had a point . . . Just a load of questions. And now it's nearly two! (Yes it took over half an hour to write two lines!)

Sweet dreams and days to all.


  1. I hear you. I am now part of the invisible army of aging women. Mostly I don't mind. Sometimes I do. A lot. Do I mind enough to do something - as you say lose some weight, tone up, buy some clothes that fit? Probably not. And then I think of the super toned Madonna, admirably fit, carrying no excess weight. Do I want to look like that? Fuck no.

    1. Haha ;-) Yes I know what you mean. I think when all's said and done "I don't mind" more than "I do mind" (I think)
      I've not quite made my mind up yet . . . Maybe another 5 years of "fading" will make it up for me.

  2. Food for thought,these things cross my mind daily too.....its a challenge and a half,innit?I like the image i got when i read the lines"the further we walk from youth,the less we look back.."and i take comfort in that.My mum always said she didn't want to grow old,age,and she didn't cos she died at 50! I aspire to be one of these radiant white haired ladies you meet who are lovely.....But i definetely need to go to the dentist first.Aaaargh....

    1. Yes lovey . . . I'd settle for "radiant" . . . I know the sort you mean . . . Kind, peaceful souls with beautiful smiles . . . and they do still have a certain "twinkle" that shines through. I need those dentures though before I can smile with conviction ;-)
      Still not been to FB to reply . . . Where do the days go?
      Prison tomorrow. Will catch up soon. Love to all x x

  3. We are all beautiful in our own little ways. We just have to accept it & grow old gracefully. Or try to anyway ! x

    1. Yes . . . Well I won't start on "It's ok for men" (even though it is ;-) That's a whole post to itself.
      Gracefully? hmmmm . . . I'm not sure I've ever done "Graceful" . . . Grateful, yes. I'll have to start practising that one.
      Cheers x


    3. Ooo Dear . . . Sorry! I was kinda joking, hence the (;-)
      I don't think men have it easier . . . I'm sure your menopause is just as bad in it's own way . . . ;-) JOKE!!
      I would say I hope I've not offended you, but I think I have. Have a good day. x

    4. I'm SORRY ! as you can probably see from my recent posts I'm going through a bit of tough time at the moment,I know that's no excuse. Ive seen my mother go through the menopause & know it's very unpleasant.I just hope you accept my apology. xkarl

    5. Apology accepted ;-) of course. Those pills won't help mood swings . . . but you know that. They kind of help at the time. Hope you feel better soon. Take care x x

  4. hmm... well here is a 49 year old blokes perspective...

    I do look back on youth with a wistful gaze, but probably less so now than I used to - it is gone and never coming back. I have an image of myself in my head - is that reality? No. It is a stone (or two) lighter, there is definitely less grey in the beard and the bags under the eyes are not so noticeable.

    Is all lost? No - but I don't think surgery is the answer - well the teeth part maybe but often if you want to look more like some version of you you want if you put in the effort you can look better. The one thing I will say I'm sure as hell looking better now than I would have done if I hadn't stopped drinking... I was fat then in a year when I just drank and didn't eat went to being so thin more than one colleague thought I had cancer when I went into rehab.

    But beauty is a fickle thing - the eye of the beholder and all that etc. a tricky pursuit at the best of times

    1. Yes, For sure health, drinking, drugs etc has a lot to do with "beauty". The light in the eyes is affected by these things . . . And the hair, skin, teeth . . . Well pretty much everything. That's the answer then, get healthy! I certainly don't want to be any younger . . . just healthier (see; slimmer, toned, faster, fitter . . . ) A bit like I was when I was younger ;-)
      Am I going round in circles here?
      I think you're right about "a bit of effort going a long way" Or even a bit more than a bit. But inevitably that becomes a lot . . .
      I think I'll aim for healthy. That would be a first. Wow . . . Graceful, Healthy, Radiant. I can't imagine ever being described like that. Why does it make me think of my Mum's church friends? ;-)
      That would take more than effort . . .
      Anyway . . . Shit it's gone eleven. I'm off to see below what Jeannie has to say on the matter. She set me off on all this.
      Good health.

  5. We can always work on looking our best - but our best will always be in relation to our age. I wish I had appreciated how beautiful I was when I was young instead of agonizing over tiny flaws. That is perhaps what we mourn more as we age - not that we lost it so much as that we hadn't realized what we had to lose and so we didn't treasure it.

    That said, I would look better if I lost weight but losing weight will also drag my face down so there's a trade-off.

    While I am shocked sometimes when I look in the mirror - where did I go? - my mother does the same thing at 90. Inside I am still in my 20's - my mother says the same - but held captive in this prison. I find it pathetic that some women dress as though they are very young when they are not. It just doesn't look right even if you can fit into the clothes, they do not suit. Wrinkles and mini skirts don't go together. It's like wearing tennis shoes with a ball gown.

    There are some good things with the fading. I do feel safer - there aren't a lot of men ogling me any more. So I can have a conversation with them without feeling uncomfortable. They look at my face. I don't feel compelled to have to leave the house with all the makeup and the clothes just right. Not that I've entirely let myself go - but invisibility allows some freedoms so a trip to the grocery store for something doesn't have to be treated like an event.

    1. I replied in wrong place. Its underneath this one.

  6. Yes Jeannie you hit a nail on the head there . . . I, like you, agonized over stupid tiny things. It's the age old "not knowing what we've got till it's gone" or going fast!
    I look back in amazement at photos knowing the doubts and insecurities that filled my head at the time . . . Unbelievable. But does that mean we'll do the same thing when we're 70/80? It must do because I know my Mum does.
    I sometimes wonder if this "plumpness" (fat) is there for a reason at this age. I'm not sure either that my face would look any better for being thinner. Hence the millions of women having fat injected into their wrinkles . . . And "cheek implants" to fill the hollows.
    I must admit I don't work on looking my best and I do enjoy the "just put on a jumper and go" freedom . . . Until I catch my reflection. Who's she?
    Prison tomorrow and I've got nothing to wear ;-)
    Now there's a place for mini skirts and wrinkles. It's like queueing for a nightclub sometimes there. Those women certainly work on looking "their best" for their men. And then there's me . . . O well he's an EX.
    I best get some sleep. Its freezing here. Goodnight

  7. Hi,

    As far as healthy I've always been inclined towards that (though I did have eating disorders in my teens, periods stopped for a year, was living on 300 cals a day plus laxatives. Though it was more about control than food/diet. Diet was just a means of expression). Anyway, I grew up in the mid east where the diet is mediterranean; healthy food, grilled fish, loads of elaborate salads (I was shocked when I came to the UK and their idea of a salad was a piece of lettuce and a tomato! Not even chopped up! and no olive oil and lemon on top). Healthy food doesn't have to be boring. It should be colourful and vibrant. It should embrace the very essence and diversity of what life is all about.

    I am totally against diets (because of the eating disorders), I prefer to focus on lifestyle. That's the maIN reason people struggle with weight. If you try and walk to most places you find you lose weight without even trying. I never been a big fan of jogging. I prefer dancing and in particular Egyptian (belly) dancing. I will honsestly say, that's the best high I've ever had, better than drugs. Endorphins...mmm. Unfortunately they take more effort and time than drugs. You have to pass the pain barrier before you get that lovely high where you feel like you can keep going forever but then there's no low cos you get a good sleep after.

    So my advice is ditch the diet, listen to your body. Most people crave the food they need. I want steak when I'm on my period. More important than diet is activity. Mental health problems are on the increase because our bodies were not designed to be sedentary. It affects our mental health. The innovations that have led to our sedentary lifestyles have happened faster than evolution. Evolution takes a long time. So our bodies are still designed for a previous lifestyle. Anyway, who wants to evolve into a couch potato.Maybe we'll start looking like Jabba the Hut when evolution catches up!

    I've always hated the fact I've got a full round arse and hips (used to joke you could put a tray on my backside it stuck out so much) but now I celebrate that. I'm a woman and there's no mistaking that. Pregnancy does change your body. I've never given birth. My first pregnancy was aborted and I miscarried 3 of them last year but still my body changed. I keep putting weight on my belly now so when it's really bad I actually look pregnant still. That's the only bit I'm mainly unhappy about. But a bit of flab, who cares?

    I do know what you mean about it being different for men. When they get wrinkles they look distinguished (they can also reproduce til their 70s, that prob has something to do with it). When we get wrinkles we look tired and worn out rather than experienced. Scrap heap versus wisdom. Not fair.

    On that note, I'll bid you goodnight. Shake your money maker to feel good (not lose weight).


  8. Hi . . . I'm not sure where you got the idea I was dieting from? Never. Or eating badly . . . I get what your saying about british food in general, although I would say it has improved in the last few years, but I learnt to cook in France and only cook decent fresh food, from scratch (never processed food). Also bringing three kids up alone does not allow "sedentary".
    I can, in all honesty, say that even after my fourth child at 44 I was a size 10 and weighed 9 stone. And was quite pleased about that :-) It's this menopause, hormonal crap that has caused the recent changes (over the last 2/3 years) I run about just as much as I used to . . . I don't drive, I walk everywhere. I think, like you say, the fact that men can still reproduce has a lot to do with it. Menopause causes a lot of changes that I hadn't bargained for. I had the innocent notion that it just meant the end of periods . . . Give me back my periods any day . . . Even two per month. Really.
    Thanks for your comments. Take care x

    1. ps . . . When I said I will aim for healthy I'm referring to stopping cigarettes and drugs . . . Shit I'll probably put more weight on then!

  9. I cannot turn back the clock or calendar. I am okay with who I am today. There are times that I wish that I were in my 30's and knew as much as I now do. But life is playing out with me. I am still comparatively young in body and mind. That is good enough.

    1. That is good enough. Syd, when I wrote that last comment above about cigs and drugs I had no idea how ill I was about to be . . . Six days later I can just about breath. I have to stop this somehow. Somewhere I need to find some strength to change this habit that is killing me.
      It's kind of brought it all into perspective . . . What's a few grey hairs and missing teeth . . . I need my lungs to breath. Simple. God help me.