This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about women who inspire me as I age. Getting older is daunting. Gravity seems less theoretical as it takes hold of various body parts and those fine lines and wrinkles that Andie MacDowell has been warning us about for years start taking residence on our faces.
On the other hand, hitting retirement seems like a pretty great gig. Maybe you get to road trip across the continental U.S. Or maybe you settle down somewhere hot, like Arizona, and live out your days by the pool. Personally, I’d even settle for endless days of bottomless teapots and engaging novels.
As an added bonus of retirement, most seniors I know have finally settled on their signature look. My husband’s grandma sports monochromatic ensembles made up of slacks and cardigans. She looks lovely. When my dad retired, he traded in his business suits for ninety-four polo shirts. This is not an exaggeration. I actually went into his closet and counted as research for this blog entry.
My all-time favorite aspect of aging occurs in the old noggin. Remember reaching that the sweet spot of your twenties when you were suddenly appalled at how little the teen version of you knew? Likewise, now that I am a thirty-something, I can’t believe how much better I know myself–and the world–than I did ten years ago.
Now imagine how wise and self-assured we’ll be by the time we reach retirement age.
I wish we could get all of the best blessings of being 65 plus now. I wish we were all lovely (and tough and kickass) princesses who were visited by gift-bestowing fairies. Only instead of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, we got Sophia, Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy. Here are the blessings I believe the Golden Girls would give us:
Sophia – She would grant us the Gift of Speaking Our Minds. Not the gift to be rude, necessarily, but of having the guts to say what we want. The courage to say, “No, I’m not going to drive you to the airport, Ex-Boyfriend, I’m busy discussing how hot the Man With the Yellow Hat is with my neighbor.” This gift also translates into the bravery to crack an inappropriate joke at an inopportune time.
Rose – This gem of a gal from St. Olaf would grant us the Gift of Joy. Not long ago I started casually noting every time I furrowed by brow due to stress or frustration. With this gift from Rose, we could trade the brow furrowing for the number of times we widen our eyes during the day in delight and confusion at how this crazy world is that we inhabit. We could embrace our blips of naiveté and laugh along when others find us amusing.
Blanche – It’s obvious what gift the southern lady would grant us: the Gift of Confidence. As the resident pleasure seeker, Blanche would nudge us into knowing that we look good naked and if someone disagrees, they’re either blind or stupid. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to glide through life knowing you are the belle of every damn ball?
Dorothy – She would grant us the Gift of Wry Wisdom. I will forever think of Dorothy as the one who saw things as they truly were. If I could get one sliver of her judgment, I would hold onto it with the strength of a hundred shuffleboarders.
Maybe we don’t need to wait for the Golden Girls to sprout wings and fly in our windows. Maybe we can take their greatest attributes now and grant them as blessings to ourselves. After all, everyone deserves to feel golden, regardless of age.