Monday, November 19, 2012

Considering the Alternatives

If you think aging is bad, consider the alternative. - Every older volunteer with whom I ever worked

I turned forty-seven in October.

I'm still in that phase where I have to stop and think before I can say my age with confidence.

What surprises me is that I can say my age with confidence. Forty-seven. Forty-seven. Four decades plus seven years. Staring down fifty and not freaking out. I'm looking at the future as an opportunity, not a slow-fade.

When I was offered the opportunity to write this post in conjunction with Olay's 60th anniversary, they asked "Are you daring enough to shout your age to the world?"

Not one to exactly shout, unless I'm trying to get my children's attention, I'm more inclined to stage whisper "How did we reach the age of forty-seven already?" to my husband. He, by the way, is as fit as he's been in most of our years together and I like to think we're both aging gracefully - him because of all the running he's doing, me because I'm smart enough to use Olay as part of my skin care routine.

The point is we've spent the last twenty-five years busy with the busyness of life - working, raising kids, getting by.

Now we can look ahead. I'm sure our best years lie ahead of us.

Our bucket list keeps growing. We've got traveling to do. Races to run. Books to write and art to make. I look ahead and see less time with the vacuum cleaner and more time with a book in my hand. Less time worrying, more time to challenge what's possible.

Based on heredity, I've reached my mid-point. The last forty-seven years are a mixture of pleasure and sorrow, pride and regret, frustration and wonder. The things I've achieved weren't necessarily planned and the things I didn't achieve haunt me in the wee small hours when I can't sleep. Okay, that's a lie. I'm always asleep in the wee hours. The haunting happens when I'm behind the wheel of the car, but that doesn't sound nearly as romantic or safe, does it?

I mean, they don't make those little signs you can suction to your car window that read "Caution: Ruminating driver on board."


I look ahead and think I have two choices: I can continue to bump along on the currents and let life happen or I can set some goals and go after them like I didn't when I was busy doing the opposite of what I'd planned to do with my life.

In my planning, I sometimes skip ahead to the part where I'm in my seventies, my eighties. Contrary to what they may think, my daughters and I will dress in velour tracksuits of complimentary colors. Our hands manicured, our jewelry understated so that it doesn't clash with our reading glasses we wear on chains around our necks. We'll go places together and they'll roll their eyes at me as I try to decide whether to have the Matzo ball soup or the martini.

And after I've ordered both, we'll laugh, the lines around our eyes creasing with the sheer pleasure of being alive and together.

Olay is encouraging and rewarding women for checking items off their bucket list. What's on yours?

How do you celebrate your age? Let me know in a comment below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of Olay.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: ""#SweepstakesEntry""; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post"

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/12 to 12/12

Be sure to visit the Olay 60th Anniversary brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

80 comments:

  1. "Our bucket list keeps growing. We've got traveling to do. Races to run. Books to write and art to make. I look ahead and see less time with the vacuum cleaner and more time with a book in my hand. Less time worrying, more time to challenge what's possible."

    Well that's just FABULOUS, Lisa. And also, you look BEAUTIFUL.

    The only things on my bucket list right now are:
    1. Finish my darn novel.
    2. Find and hire an amazing agent.
    3. Travel to Italy.

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  2. I turn 47 this coming Friday, and in many ways this odd number is making me realize, "Holy shit! I'm getting older!" While not exactly down in the dumps, I did spend a bit of time Friday and Sunday evenings moping, watching music videos from the 1980's and realizing that time is receding ever more quickly. I had an attack of what I'm calling The John McCain's, carrying on a silent rant in my head about how much more beautiful we all were then compared to young people now; how much more inventive, talented. Pretty soon, I was going to start telling my girls things that began, "When I was your age . . ."

    Which is when I realized I had to shut my inner voice the hell up. Do things suck more now than they did then? Not really. Actually, in many ways - Barack Obama versus Ronald Reagan? No contest, folks - things are so much better now than they were when you are I were flaming youth, Lisa.

    So, it isn't just that we're alive, as opposed to the alternative. In many ways the world really is a far better place in which to live. So I celebrate being ONLY 47 and still being able to keep the volume on high when I listen to music. Even if I can't get back up without help once I get down.

    Happy birthday, belated.

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  3. i dunno where i am on the continuum...i celebrate y age by letting my beard grey...no color here...i figure it makes me distinguished...sadly my students say it makes me look old....ha....arent they joys...smiles.

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  4. I once said "Olay," but it involved a bull. I think. Funny thing about aging .... mmmm, what was I going to say. Oh yes, "Olay!"

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  5. I celebrate my age by spending time with my family and trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.
    kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

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  6. tweet
    https://twitter.com/kellysaver/status/270666630986600449

    kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

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  7. I eat a big bowl of Olay every morning

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  8. You're looking very lovely, my friend, and I hope you had a wonderful birthday. From my perspective as someone 20 years older than you I can agree there will be many wonderful years ahead for all of you. Come to think of it, I was 47 when we moved to Portland and started over. Then 2 years ago we did it again. I wonder where we'll go next?

    ps; Not for contest purposes but I do use Olay.

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  9. I will be celebrating my 48th birthday this year at work with our nations veterans. My husband and I will celebrate a few days later with a nice dinner out and a glass of wine for me. We have booked a Hawaiian cruise for Next October as one of our bucket list items. As we can find both time and money we take the plunge and go for it. It seems to be that the older I get the busier I seem to be.

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  10. I hit 54 this year on the age-o-meter. I won;t bullshit... I feel the years in my bones. Too many knee surgeries & lots of mileage. I'm glad that back in the day, I was able to ski & hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon & up to the top of different Mountain ranges. When raising my 2 boys, all the focus & energy was on them. Now we have the empty nest (and hope the kids don;t boomerang back) I love them, but I love loving them from a distance now! In fact I'm kind of a post parenting snob now-- I liked kids when we raised them, but now that we're done, can we ditch hanging out around kids? Of course grandbabies are another thing. You can't have enough of their sweet goodness, but when you tire out, you can give them back. Now it's kind of a post parenting recovery. Hmmm maybe we really should replace that falling apart grunt of a garage door. That buckling crack in the kitchen ceiling is not getting better with time. In fact with a friends prompting, I am finally getting my *emergency preparedness* trip together. We all know the Red Cross has lists of stuff we should have together.
    But mine was all scattered about. A flashlight here, first aid there...etc.
    Maybe watching the East Coast double punch disaster play out made me finally get it together.
    Winter storms happen & I live in the "ring of fire"... experts say the big one (earthquake) will hit.... sometime..... & it won't be the side by side action California has but the vertical drop action.
    So this is my year for that. So it took me more than a 1/2 century to formally be disaster prepared, but I have arrived. I quit my lousy corporate job & now work in the realms of social services.
    Funny, after all the years of wanting to quit, to actually do so ( got a new job to go to first), it was a scary step. But oh how liberating to walk away from that. It feels like we have more choices, and less stuck in required elements, while feeling more tired from it all. We are older & wiser.... and for years, we have been able to finish each others sentences, sometimes say the same thing @ the same time, and yet also have "senior moments", forgetting what it is we were going to say or do. It would be nice to combine the youthful body, with the wisdom of years, but not an option. A sign of the times-- a commercial where someone leaves Santa some Aleve anti inflammatories, rather than cookies.
    The times they are a changin'

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  11. what a great pic of you.

    i'm skipping toward 40 and trying to define what i want my life to be by the time it gets here (i'm about 8 months and a week out). i've been using oil of olay original formula since the pink plastic bottle was a glass bottle that went from pink to translucent as the lotion got used. Which for me was every morning after my shower starting in jr. high. now i feel like i'm not all the way showered if i don't have it and like i'm cheating if i try to use something else.

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  12. I celebrate my age by honking at aggressive drivers and talking to as many persons as possible in the grocery checkout.

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  13. I snuggle my baby and dream of the other babies that are still to come :)

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  14. 47? You're a mere infant.

    I don't use Olay's crevice fillers, but do like their soap. Does that count?

    For some reason, the idea of a bucket list bothers me. What happens if you're lucky enough to check off every thing on it? Does a person drop dead, or merely feel disappointed that he or she wasn't imaginative enough to dream up a few unattainable fantasy items?

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  15. I'm 26 and so proud of my age! I have accomplished so much - 2 beautiful kids, an amazing husband and a great career!

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  16. I am 54 and celebrate with laughing each day.

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  17. I haven't really celebrated my age, looking back now I'm grateful of the help I've received, people I've met and things I've accomplished. This sounds so true to me "The things I've achieved weren't necessarily planned and the things I didn't achieve haunt me in the wee small hours when I can't sleep" or behind the wheel. Thanks for sharing and the giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

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  18. tweet: https://twitter.com/syytta/status/271534998283239424
    songyueyu at gmail

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  19. I LOVE the colour of your hair! And I am older than you - I'm forty-nine in December. I'm not sure about shouting it to the world. I should be because I don't look my age, but then there's fifty to think about, and that make me think I'm a mess! Xxcat

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  20. I celebrate my age by living life like I should have done all along and by laughing more.


    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

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  21. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/271722500650586113
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

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  22. I am thankful to still be in my 20s!

    chambanachik at gmail dot com

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  23. I would celebrate my age by going on a shopping trip.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  24. I celebrate my age by taking care of my body and enjoying life!
    family74014 at gmail dot com

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  25. To turn my hobby into something more!
    I love being in my mid-thirties and think this is the happiest I have been in a long time, I have a great family and amazing friends who help me celebrate each and everyday(;
    Thank you for the opportunity!

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  26. I don't celebrate my birthday.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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  27. spending time with my family and friends
    merleandtina@Yahoo.com

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  28. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/272752296016875520
    merleandtina@Yahoo.com

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  29. By appreciating my past and working to keep myself healthy/happy for a bright future.

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  30. tweet https://twitter.com/BBirdie2/status/273039363502387201

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  31. I celebrate my age by having fun everyday and be grateful to what I have. The wisdom and experience from life are just so valuable. I'm proud of my age and what I have achieved!

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

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  32. tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/273912425139556352

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

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  33. I celebrate my age by nt acting it!
    Kelsey Kim
    micahandkelsey1(at)cox(dot)net

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  34. I try to embrace and celebrate my age every day. I try to stay the same size as my teen daughter and celebrate that my mind is much older and "enriched". I love the wisdom and confidence that comes with age.

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  35. All I do make sure I get lots of sleep and breath deep. Does a body good.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  36. Tweeted

    https://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/274298159474294785

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  37. I celebrate by really Living!

    shannoncarman at yahoo dot com

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  38. https://twitter.com/channynn/status/274516121451900928

    tweet!

    shannoncarman at yahoo dot com

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  39. I celebrate my age by being happy with smiles everyday and be thankful to God for having good health and for all I have with a good husband and children.

    ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

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  40. Tweeted about this promotion: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/275532188848640000

    ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

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  41. I am 36 and I would love to go on a Caribbean Cruise!!

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  42. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/bdiane35/status/275787731320311809

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  43. tweeted https://twitter.com/kj20082006/status/275842399199191040

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  44. I like to celebrate my age by having fun with my family and sharing stories of the past!

    wildorchid985@gmail.com

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  45. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/276001969078951937

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

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  46. I don't know if I necessarily celebrate my age, but I definitely don't apologize for it. I definitely KNEW more (or thought I did) ten years ago! As I get older, I feel that I gain more wisdom from simply being alive but also more humility from understanding that there is still much to learn.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

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  47. I celebrate my age by not hiding it. And I would dearly love to live overseas with the kids for a few years!

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  48. At 38 I feel better about myself than I did at 20. Self esteem and happiness has gotten better the older I get.
    huntandride@hotmail.com

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  49. https://twitter.com/jen_r_horn/status/277125656972767232
    huntandride@hotmail.com

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  50. I don't celebrate it really, just take one day at a time.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

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  51. https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/277537855658684416
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

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  52. i celebrate it by just enjoying life
    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  53. https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/277559476113006592

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  54. I celebrate my age by exercising and eating healthy!

    hlee99 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  55. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/leedhowell/status/277604478448979968

    hlee99 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  56. I am 66 and love the freedom age brings

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  57. Blogged http://sodahoney.blogspot.com/2012/12/blogger-stories-and-100-visa-gift-card.html

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  58. I just try to stay positive all the time. I really love life.

    marybug2@yahoo.com

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  59. I also tweeted here:

    https://twitter.com/marybug2/status/278291930335563777

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  60. I celebrate my age by enjoying being an older parent - my daughter keeps me young

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  61. I celebrate my age by waking up everyday (I know, not very exciting but at 57, it's an accomplishment.) Additionally, if you knew the history of me and automobile wrecks, you would wonder why I am still here.

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  62. I let everyone know I'm 64 and I swim 3 times a week.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  63. blogged:
    http://slehan.blogspot.com/2012/12/win-100-visa-from-olay-blogher.html

    slehan at juno dot com

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  64. Once upon a time I took my children to Yosemite and we hiked to the top of EVERY waterfall. It's now 40+ years later and I am sure (absolutely positive) it would take me a week to get to the top of one waterfall.
    Now I celebrate my age by letting everyone know that I'm 72 and proud of it.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

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  65. I celebrate being 35 by not stressing over every new line I see in the mirror but instead focusing and the amazing children and family I have.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

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  66. I Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lisalmg/status/279052195612213248
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

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  67. Entry 1/2 https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/279074891347681281

    kytah00 ATyahooDOT com

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  68. Entry 2/2 I celebrate my age by laying in the sun (in the summer, of course) on a floaty at a beach in my tankini ... while I still can lol

    kytah00 ATyahooDOT com

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  69. I celebrate my age by not dwelling on the number, but by all of the accomplishments or milestones that each year brings!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  70. Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/279083286628802562

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  71. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/279151348954574849

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

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  72. I celebrate my age by living my life to the fullest possible. Every day is a true gift and not using the present would insult the giver! Don't take anything for granted as you never know when your gift could expire!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  73. I celebrate my age by living my life to the fullest possible. Every day is a true gift and not using the present would insult the giver! Don't take anything for granted as you never know when your gift could expire!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  74. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/279248906481717251
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

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  75. I acknowledge that it is my birthday and instead of looking at my age, I look at the influence I have had in other peoples' lives

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  76. https://twitter.com/OliviaAbby/status/279355679171559426

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  77. Nice profile picture Lisa. You are photogenic. And Happy Birthday, belatedly. xoxo

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