This has been a difficult year — an annus horribilis for many, to paraphrase Her Majesty the Queen.
I have been thinking about Queen Elizabeth a lot lately. She’s the one I’m told I must swear an oath to, if I flee Donald Trump and seek asylum in Canada. (I’ve already chosen a title for my memoir… “Mounties: my path to citizenship!”)
I celebrated a milestone birthday recently. The big 5-0. Up until now, I have taken birthdays in stride. Forty was no biggie for me, because I didn’t feel or look much different from when I was 30 or 35. Fifty is different.
My hair is graying all over my head – not just in a few places. My hairdresser has gone from delicately applying highlights with a little brush, to slapping color all over my head with a spatula.
My knees are shot, the cartilage long gone. And in the past few years, forgetting to put reading glasses in my purse when I go out has become more than just an inconvenience. It renders me helpless.
While I realize getting older is far better than the alternative, turning 50 within a few weeks of Donald Trump winning the presidential election was like a one-two punch to the gut. I was kind of a wreck.
But on November 9, as journalists began speculating about President-Elect Trump’s first 100 days in office, I had an epiphany. I needed my own 100 day plan. My mood wasn’t going to de-funk itself.
It kicked off December 1, and will finish on February 28. Perfectly timed and tidy!
I’m keeping some aspects of my plan to myself because THE INTERNET IS FOREVER. But it’s a combination of healthier living (teetotaling, more walking), professional soul-searching and more giving. I haven’t chosen a volunteer activity yet, but still have 93 days to figure it out.
Another goal is to be braver, so last weekend I asked my hairdresser to chop off my hair. It was something I’d wanted to do for a long time, but I hadn’t thought I had the chin or cheekbones to carry if off. Also, men supposedly prefer longer hair. You’ll recall that Faith Hill fans FREAKED OUT when she went pixie a year or so ago.
And remember Felicity, and the “haircut incident”? A shorter ‘do may have cost the Felicity the love of Ben, and Keri Russell her very first TV series. With the risk of such backlash, I’m surprised any woman ever goes shorter than a “lob”.
Younger women worry so much about whether the rest of the world likes their hair and clothes and bodies. It’s exhausting to watch. Now that I’m 50, I don’t care as much. (Luckily, I don’t have a network TV show to possibly lose.)
Long hair is lovely, and if you have it and like it…more power to you, sister! If you need me I’ll be over here, rubbing the stubble on the back of my well-coiffed head, and channeling the great Amy Poehler:
“Good for her! Not for me.”
Stay tuned. You’ll be hearing that expression a lot more from me in the next half century.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to learn French by watching videos of Justin Trudeau.
3 thoughts on “Coming Up Short”
This is excellent. Especially as I crash into 50 next week.
Early happy birthday, Virge. See you on the other side. 🙂
Do watch The Crown on Netflix, if you haven’t yet. It will make you feel good about your oath…lucky me, I can just move back to Italy if all hell breaks loose here….
Next year I will turn 55. But I do remember the strangeness of turning 50 – five years in, it still hasn’t gone away. Can’t even contemplate 60….but will keep on fighting on for the next two years, bad knees and eyesight be damned, and hope for a better outcome in congressional election…