Spring in Hudson, WI by Connie Goldman
March 15, 2017 by ElderChicks
It’s Spring but…..
Yesterday, two advertisements in a magazine for older readers crossed my path. Each was encouraging older persons to dress in a manner that welcomes Spring and the change of season. Although their hair was mostly gray, the women in the ad looked rather youthful and they were shown involved and active in outdoor activities. They wore shorts, t-shirts, and one was in a bathing suit. The advertisement went on to emphasize that their product had the power to keep you feeling youthful and active. The advertisement left me wondering what happened to the trend that started a number of months ago with a focus on accepting our personal changes and challenges as we age, as well as developing a different and more positive attitude.
Is it only me that has noticed recently that the illustrations and wording in some articles are becoming somewhat reversed? Maybe as spring arrives it has re-ignited the hope that us elders might be able to renew and retain what our younger years offered. I don’t mean to disregard the opportunities for active living, exercise, and social involvement for us elders. Yet I’m wondering if possibly some advertising agencies and product producers have totally replaced their staff with persons under the age of 30.
The other morning I walked by a coffee house table where a couple of older women in my neighborhood where chatting. I joined them and their conversation was about how they weren’t hearing much talk recently supporting a positive view of what the later years might offer. Granted, it was only a small conversation in a specific neighborhood. Yet, I’m wondering if stories of aging well, maintaining a positive attitude, and maintaining social connections that are often discussed in many recent articles are becoming diminished. Are we losing supportive stories and a hopeful and creative focus on what our elder years might offer?
As long as I can remember, our attitudes in American culture have been on the value of youth, making efforts to remain looking young, and often struggling to maintain those attitudes and behaviors into our years of later life. It seems wrong to comment on trends in a whole culture from that single conversation. What was your last coffee conversation with older women about; adjusting to some of the personal challenges and changes both actively and sensibly or feeling a pressure to “stay looking or acting young”?
These days we hear that many are living into their 80’s, 90’s and even 100’s. I often read and hear about a new focus in our country’s understanding of ways to accept the adjustments necessary as our energy and our bodies go through changes. Many now establish new exercise routines, adjust their diets, as well as make appropriate and necessary changes to some activities as we realize that what at one time was a normal part of our life just doesn’t work well anymore. So yes, it’s Spring, yet some of us in the Fall or Winter of our lives have come to understand, enjoy and accept our “new season.”