Ruth Yunker is an author, humorist, storyteller, and traveler, championing the power and glory of the older woman. Her latest book is BABY, I’M THE BOSS OF ME. You can listen and laugh, and hear what she has to say on her Youtube, Website and follow Ruth on Instagram @ruth.yunker
The new hairdresser said, “Go blonde!”
I cringed. I waffled. “What will my children say…”
“What about the husband,” he roared. He was a giant of a man. I’d just moved back to Southern California from the East Coast. I was newly fifty, feeling fragile, insanely menopausal, and hopelessly trying to convince myself my brownish/grayish hair was holding up. It wasn’t.
After a moment of gazing at who used to be me in the mirror, terror hovering, I broke through. I shoved myself forward. I took a breath. I leapt.
“Do it,” I croaked.
And I’ve never looked back… From the leaping part.
I just had a freak out birthday. My 70th…
SEVENTY, for god sake. Yes. And all my mantras for grabbing hold of my personal power, humor and confidence, are needing to be put into play right now! Big time.
Turning sixty was smooth. Sexy sixty still worked, right? I was a blonde…
I had a gorgeous party for my sixtieth. Twenty-five fantabulous women. I had a jazz singer. We were on the ocean. The party was full of women power, women solidarity, women love. The gifts were heartfelt…the food organic and scrumptious…the weather held…so did my sense of humor. One of the women, well into her sixties, a tiny, sexy blonde, elegant down to her
toes, said, “Ruth, c’mon in. The water’s fine.” And it was. It has been. My sixties were wonderful.
But turning seventy skims on shakier ground. It sounds…old. So I have to ask myself if I’m really going to play into archaic and disheartening aging truisms? Do I really want to keep believing my age says something about me thatI’m finding out isn’t even remotely true?
No. Of course not. But even if I convince myself, what about in the eyes of the (younger) world? I’m a Leo. Self-conscious is my middle name.
I have learned to fight back. Against my demons. I’m sure you have learned to push back too, once at whatever age it became apparent that fighting back our own misguided demons was the most important mountain to climb.
I’m likening this birthday to that brutish saint of a hairdresser. I was shoved into changing my entire look in one fell swoop. And I loved it.
I’ve decided I’m going to love seventy too.
Change is good. Change is to be embraced. Even if we adore where we are…we are always shifting. And it is good. We can always achieve a deeper self. A new self. A sparkling toy of a new self.
I found out how quickly I adapted to the new blonde me.
So that, sitting here, seventy years and two days old, I trust I will get used to this god awful number.
So see? This lecture is aimed at me. That 70 is just a number. Why am I paying attention to a single number? I mean, hey! The mirror shows me the same person it showed me two days ago.
I stand in front of that mirror and I see a chipper chick. I see a happy human. A wonderful woman who has lived for seventy years, and knows a thing or two. An ageless woman, thriving.
‘Magnificent’ suddenly springs to mind.
I am alive and well at the magnificent age of seventy… Magnificent.
I can go there!
We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.