The Elderly and Making the Next Chapter in Life Cool
My Ah ha Moment
Okay you guys. It’s time for me to share a new “ah ha” moment, courtesy of a little thing called life.
I'll be blunt, based on my current experiences and the experiences of other older women who constantly say this, getting older sucks. Things don’t work like they use to, your metabolism slows down and well, it seems like you begin to fall apart.
Then we tend to look at our grandparents and for some of us, it’s a time harsh reality that this will be us one day. We have been conditioned to believe that as we get older we need to fade into black and let the young kids have at it.
Hip surgeries, loss of hearing, loss of youthful glow, and other things that made women lie about their ages for years because it makes them realize as you become older you are closer to meeting your maker. Oh one last thing that makes me fearful about aging; Tapioca and Matlock, aka today’s Law and Order.
But folks, i’ll be the first to say I am vastly changing my position on what it means to age into your later years. I started watching this show ‘Frankie and Grace’,(Played by Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda) and I’ve started to change my expectations of getting older. I can age and still kick butt! I can age and still live my best life.
This show is about two mature women whose husband’s divorce them, and marry each other. I know, schit’s cray. ‘Grankie’(Grace + Frankie) faces the same issues as women in a younger generation but just on a new level. In fact, all stages of life share striking similarities of how life happens for to each and everyone of us. Learning to navigate new bodily issues, the desire to know what’s next, and of course, the men.
After a betrayal 20 years in the making, Grankie has to learn to navigate their new lives while doing things that most wouldn’t expect from these ladies of a certain age. Now, all jokes aside, I know that not every grandma/grandpa is just giving up on life and waiting for the end but when we watch TV you don’t see your seniors living their lives to the fullest. Nor do they often hold lead roles within movies and TV shows.
Generally you’ll see grandma and grandpa watching the news, yelling at kids to get off their lawn, telling stories around dinner about what happened back in their day. You know, the warm, always available grandparents we have grown to love and expect. This is the grandparents i’m used to, but also makes me a little paranoid that time is running so fast that I’ll be there before I know it.
However, what I love about ‘Frankie and Grace’ is that the social market is starting to take notice that the elderly is still active and not just to be passers of knowledge, which they still do, but on a different level. I’ve seen mature adults starting businesses because they missed out on the opportunity in their younger years. Some are just now living their dreams.
Actress Dorothy Steel is 92 years old and found new celebrity status as being the merchant leader in the record breaking hit movie, “Black Panther”. The awesome thing is that she started acting 4 years ago! Cicely Tyson is still strutting around in Hollywood at the age of 93 and still causing waves with her strong presence on top shows such as “How to Get Away with Murder.”
We are getting more shows and images of our senior family and friends doing the same things they were doing when they were our ages. Which shows us, if we continue to treat our bodies and minds right, we may experience a life change, but we don’t have to lay down and go into that sweet goodnight just yet.
In fact, i’ve stumbled upon this coming of life movie called “The Book Club” that stars, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton, and several other actors and actresses who are past their “prime”. Or, at least that’s would Hollywood would say, especially for women. Men are often found super attractive as they age, as women are shown as motherly matrons with a few Blanche-type women here and there. They aren’t to feel sexy, or adventurous, or talk about anything but daytime television and their grandkids. We have painted them into a box and they are no longer interested in staying there. Now senior women (and men) are redefining what "prime" truly is.
Many of the stars in this movie were top of the line actors and actresses when I was a child and seem to be riding a new wave of popularity as the need for inclusion spans out to include race, sexuality, and age. I even hate that I keep referring to someone like Jane Fonda as elderly because it feels like an insult, but that is what she is. An 80 year old elderly woman (or perennial as she would say) who isn’t ashamed of who she is or where she is in life.
In my personal goal of self improvement I will start redefining what I believe is the life of an mature adult. I have learned that fear is truly an enemy to us all. I am no longer fearful of what my future will hold for me.
I’m actually frickin’ pumped.