Today I went to the opticians for a somewhat overdue eye test. My most pressing concern, (apart from the price), was wondering whether, at my age, 58, I should still look for the rimless frames that I prefer. This was only prompted by a comment that I happened to chance open a few days ago, suggesting that “rimless glasses make you look older.”
This is the dilemma that daily faces us (and perhaps women more than men). We are constantly under surveillance from the ‘age police’ when it comes to our choice of clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle choices and anything else that is considered ‘appropriate’ or otherwise when we hit a certain chronological age. And the ‘older’ you are perceived, there is a corresponding narrowing of expectation of what you will be and do; an Alice in Wonderland ‘Drink Me’ moment that is never reversed.
But thank goodness we can celebrate March 22nd As Young As You Feel Day!
Research shows that we can indeed feel younger than our chronological age. 1 Moreover, there are huge physical and psychological benefits from this such as experiencing fewer chronic conditions, for example, high blood pressure, diabetes.
Brain ageing is also related to subjective age than our chronological age, so this is a very important area for us all to consider.
Youthfulness is an attitude of mind and spirit that we can all embrace. There are plenty of people who refuse to be stereotyped by social expectations that they will ‘age gracefully’; Dames Helen Mirren, Zandra Rhodes and Judi Dench. And if you are a child of the seventies, Suzi Quatro is still rocking with her band! Or take a look at Sir Rod Stewart or Sir David Attenborough.
Our beliefs about ageing and what it means are influenced by many things. Amongst these, I wonder if there is an acceptance that we will age as our parents did? I remember thinking that my own mother somehow looked a lot older than her chronological age of forty at that time.
Finding your first grey hair is a sobering moment I agree. Turning fifty was worse by far. All my postal mail consisted of was brochures for funeral plans, life insurance (no medical required) and Saga holidays for ‘the over fifties’. I have made it a personal quest now to live as long as I can, wear what I like, pursuing the life and work that makes me happy. I am chronologically 58 but inside I feel 38 (except when I’m under the weather when I feel more like 78!).
So let’s make the most of As Young As You Feel Day with our customers throughout Persona by celebrating our individuality, our experiences and by helping to create opportunities that will energise and enrich us all.
By the way, I bought the rimless frames.
“Everyone is the age of their heart”2
What age is yours?
Elmhurst Short Stay
1. Yannick Stephan et al, (2018)
2. Author unknown