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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Women of a Certain Age

Well, the secret is out, so I guess I might as well give up the idea of approaching my sixth decade with a sense of quiet humility.

Indeed, my friend Riley sent me a link to these pictures of women who are my contemporaries. And, look how amazing they are! The article was written in 2006, so they were three years younger in the photos.

In case you don't know them, they are, from left to right: Catherine Deneuve (65), Jacqueline Bisset (65), Helen Mirren (64), Diane Keaton (64) and Susan Sarandon (64).

I understand Jessica Lang - who is SUCH an amazing actor - turns 60 today.

Here's what I've discovered: Sixty is the new forty.

I'm healthier, stronger, and more secure than I was at age 40. The only thing that has really changed is that I suffer fools even less gladly than I used to.

Thanks to all of you who sent your birthday wishes on FaceBook. Each one was another petal on a glorious birthday bouquet.

I am clearly a woman who is deeply blessed with a loving family and many, many fine friends. I am so very grateful.

Now, if I can just get through the taunts from Ms. Conroy who will, as she has for over 33 years, tell me that I'm older. By 2 1/2 hours. It's her birthday tomorrow. I can't wait for her to see her present. (Tee hee).

Okay, now, back to work with the lot of you. My best birthday present will be to know that you have lived this day with joy and taken a risk for Jesus in your faith.

G'won now. Get out there and live your life, knowing that today, this day, you are creating memories, so choose to make them good ones. No matter what else you might lose or have taken from you, no one can steal your memories.

I have come to know that it is the fondness of memories which nurture and sustain the human heart.

Just my twenty-five cents worth of wisdom for the day.

G'own. Go, the whole lot of you! And, thanks.


Kirkepiscatoid said...

...and just think; you look this good and didn't spend nearly as much money as those Hollywood babes! Such a deal!

It's a lot like the thoughts I have about my continuously graying mop. I vowed to myself clear back in my late 20's, when I saw my first visible gray hairs, and realized I was going to be like my maternal great-grandmother, who was totally gray at age 50. I vowed then that these gray hairs were mine, and I would own them. They would not become a mantle of shame to cover up to play into a notion that eternal youth is what men desire in women, no matter how gray and bald and pudgy they might be.

I was looking in the mirror on my 49th birthday thinking, "Wow. At this point, I'm like 2/3 gray, and a little of that is white." But as I stood there and looked, I realized I appeared stronger, more alive, more resilient, more wise, than if I had tried to recreate the impossible reddish/brownish/gets a little strawberryish in the sun color my hair used to be.

My original hair color was really a Heinz 57 of every color of hair that was in our family, and changed from summer to winter. There was no bottle nor any beautician that could ever imitate it. To color it for the sake of "feminine beauty" would have been like trading Joseph's coat of many colors for a brown jacket.

Now, I still wear Joseph's coat of many colors on my head, but it's just more silver, gray, and white!

Erp said...

Unfortunately if you are near 60 you are approaching your seventh decade.

Have a good birthday anyway.

June Butler said...

Well, then, A Blessed and Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

I see you've pictured the lovely Catherine Deneuve, whom I have wanted to look like all my adult life. Not gonna happen.

Elizabeth, you're more beautiful than the lot of them. Just sayin'.

Pass on my wish for a Blessed and Happy Birthday to Mrs Conroy, your younger woman.

PseudoPiskie said...

Those women have nothing on you, Elizabeth. When you enter, the room lights up. You are a very special person.

Happy birthday and welcome to the 60s. You have the freedom, the courage, the experience to enjoy life while you still have health to endure it.

An early Happy birthday to Ms. C also.

Brian R said...

Many Happy Returns.
Do you share your birthday with Her Majesty? It is a bit hard to tell reading on the other side of the dateline.

Fran said...

Happy wonderful brilliant birthday to one of the most amazing people I know!

Katie Schwartz said...

TElP, I wish you thr happiest, healthiest birthday. 60 is sexy, sophisticated and savvy -- you are all of those things and more. May your 60th year bring you everything your authentic, lovely, faithful heart deserves. I am so grateful that you were born. The world is a much more interesting, loving place with you in it.

David@Montreal said...

Hapy blessed birthday, dear Elizabeth.

May the year ahead be one rich in affirmation not only of your vocations, your talents, your loves; but also of the very real and unqiue blessings of being Elizabeth.

As to our much loved Ms. C,I'd remind her of the great Gertrude Stein, who said it takes a long time to become young, so you've got a head-start of her, and on that scale I'm younger than both of you!

Elizabeth, the personal discernment process you wrote of recently has been on my heart for the last couple of days; so that's what I'm asking for this evening.

In the meantime, love to you both


it's margaret said...

Happy Birthday to you and your beloved!

Oh my. LOL --my word verification is "ogylick" --is that something women of a certain age do?

susankay said...

Happy Birthday Elizabeth (and the younger Ms. C) -- I lead the both of you by half a decade. Youngsters!!!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you all for your lovely, lovely comments. They are, each one, elegant petals on a beautiful birthday bouquet.

Thanks so much. I am clearly deeply blessed.

Paul Davison said...

Congratulations on your birthday! I think you're wrong on one count: I like to think 60 is the new 30, not 40. (And, for me, it's not so far away!)