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Eight reasons FOR WOMEN to absolutely love getting older

Recently I saw a newspaper article with the title Eight Reasons to Absolutely Love Getting Older. It was written by 52-year-old journalist, Phil Barker. Aging is kinder to men than women, he said, and his article was aimed at men, but I think his list of reasons applies equally to women. Here they are; see what you think. 

Experience. It’s a super-power, he says. By now life has tossed enough in our direction that there’s not much we can’t tackle if we have to. That surely applies as much to us as to men.

Confidence. He says men come to know that nervousness and worry don’t help much, and that it doesn’t matter if they make a dick of themselves. OK we might use different language, but ditto. By now we know what we’re good at and not good at, and we usually stop worrying about what others think of us around the same time that we stop running after everyone else.

Physicality. His thing is boxing and martial arts, and he didn’t give birth to children, which can seriously mess with one’s physicality. But to continue the previous point, when we stop trying to look after everyone else and make time to look after our own body, it makes a difference. What a lot of us call ageing is actually neglect, and that goes for both genders.

Sex. This cuts both ways too. We’ve had a bit of practice by now, and we have a fair idea of what works and what we like and don’t like. 

Money. Whether we have lots or none, he says, by now you get that it’s a tool for making life work rather than an end in itself. And we know that we can’t take it with us. 

Your face. It’s said that by age 50 we get the one we deserve, which I’d like to think means that if we’ve laughed a lot and had a good time, it shows. In a good way. 

Men have the same issue we do of hair turning up where we need it least and disappearing from places where we’d rather it stayed, but we women really do need to come up with a female equivalent of the male ‘silver fox’. Because there are some stunning silver-haired women out there.

Style. As he says, we need to forget ‘dressing your age’ and dress how we like. By way of example he points to a short, grey-haired American called Nick Wooster, who’s considered a global style leader. Nick is 56. But Linda Rodin (in the photo - she's a New York fashion stylist) is 68. The famous Iris Apfel is 95. Again, by now you know what you like.

Kids. Watching kids grow up is one of life’s joys, says Phil. We can all participate in that, and enjoy it so much more when we can hand them back.  

He says ageing is better for men because women are consumed with buying mad-expensive anti-ageing serums in the desperate hunt for dewy skin, and moaning about becoming invisible.

Some of us are, and that’s where we go wrong. We look in the mirror and all we see are turkey necks, baggy knees and the like. Men don’t do that, or if they do it’s nowhere near as much as we do.

While the world celebrates youth, says Phil, some things can only be appreciated with age. He’s right. 

We have the numbers — the population of older women is soaring. So it’s time we stopped losing sleep over dewy skin and visibility and got grateful for those aspects of ageing that really are gifts. 

Phil Barker’s article Eight Reasons to Absolutely Love Getting Older appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 2016.

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