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Friday, May 6, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Good Day, Regular People

The only reason that I held off on asking this week's Blog Friend Feature to guest post over here is that I pretty much assume that you all know her.  Because she's one of the most amazing bloggers there is.  You won't find anyone more supportive.  She's witty and caring and flat out fabulous.

But, then I realized that the blogosphere is such a huge place that some of you might not have met her yet. And you are really missing out if you do not know Alexandra aka The Empress from Good Day, Regular People. 

It's Not So Bad, This Getting Old Stuff

"And look at this...my elbows. Just look at them. All droopy and stretched out and....OLD looking. It's all over. My neck? My neck is all full of lines, and I hate this getting old stuff. I just hate it. I don't want to get old." I watched my new neighbor assess her body, unhappy, on this beautiful summer day.
I sat staring at the woman across from me, the one who seemed to be falling apart, with...well, falling apart.
Sighing, I exhaled: "Hey, you're TEN years younger than me. What are you complaining about? You look good."
She looked up at me, startled, with the realization of how she may have hurt my feelings with her lamentations on the inevitable. "Oh...uh..sorry. I mean, you don't look old, I mean, you're not old, it's just...I mean..."
"It's alright," I assured her. "I'm fine with getting old. I like it."
I gave her a few minutes to consider this different point of view, on aging. I took pity on her. She was just 40. The age at where your age starts to sound old.
"I like getting older," I continued, "I like seeing who I am, and not having to pretend I'm somebody else. I like realizing  I'm not perfect, and it's Okay. It's nice to be free of all the pressure that the world puts on a woman to be beautiful and just right all the time. It's really nice."
I meant every word I was saying. There is a beauty in becoming mature, in realizing that half your life is lived, and deciding that you want to spend the second half, happy.  With getting older comes the grown up wisdom of knowing who you are.  You base your decisions on what you will be handing over to the next generation.
I am no font of wisdom, but I have been around the block not just once, but a few times. I have fumbled my way through my twenties and thirties and forties.  I feel a welcome sense of relief, knowing that so many phases of uncertainty in my life are over, behind me.
I am a semi geezer. Not full blown geezer yet, but inching toward the line. I have become blessed with a short memory, which makes it easy to forgive; a lapsing vocabulary, which makes it easy to be understood; and dimishing vision, which makes me look all the more lovely than I remember myself looking, in the mirror.  My hearing? My hearing is shot. So I don't hear any gossipy whisperings.
Like I went on to say, that morning last summer, to my poor, young neighbor, "It's nice getting old, you'll like it."

Please leave our dear Empress some comment love here and RUN over to follow her blog!

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Blogger Oka said...

I'm okay with aging gracefully, it's the not so graceful aging I don't like. The aches and pains.

May 6, 2011 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I LOVE it when people see aging in a positive light!

May 6, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I've stopped by her blog before because it's been linked somewhere ... but, I'm staying awhile now! I love this post!

May 6, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Oh, thank you SO MUCH, Shell.

I remember meeting you, and loving your blog because it is so friendly, and interactive, and engaging.

It's a pleasure to be here, and to be, a BFF feature.

Thank you!

Semi almost geezers unite!

[although i've got a HUGE headstart on you!]

Thanks for the BFF love, Shell. It was a lot of fun!

May 6, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

If growing old means getting wise like The Empress, bring it on. Thanks for having her here Shell!

May 6, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Hyacynth said...

I'm one of the few who doesn't know The Empress, but thank you for the introduction!!
I'm trying to accept growing older with grace ... some days are easier than others. :)

May 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Erica@PLRH said...

So far the only thing I'm really cursing about growing old is my failing eyesight. Other than that, the ride hasn't been so bad.

Thanks for the into to the Empress.

May 6, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

I. Love. The Empress!!! All Hail Thee!!!

May 6, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Sober Julie said...

Oh my darling Empress, thank you for guiding me to this fantastic site! I'll be returning for sure.

Aging hasn't been difficult to me, I've always been able to see my growth. That is until I saw these HUGE bloody lines around my eyes, that's not cute.

May 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I love this post! She definitely makes aging sound almost fun. But I can't guarantee I'll think this tomorrow!

May 6, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I am only 33 so I cannot say I am getting old without probably getting slapped :) I do think about it though. My hubs grandmother DID NOT age gracefully and no one likes to be around her now. I aim to be a happy, active senior with more things to talk about than my hernia! I hope that my family never tries to wait each other out to see who caves first to invite my to holiday dinners. The idea that I am just an obligation, this is what I fear about getting old.

May 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Melinda said...

I'm only a few years younger than you but in my head I never passed 30. It's all in the mind. It's too bad people don't see it that way. We are on the cooler side of 40. Wrinkles are the new black.

May 6, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love that we older ladies like the way we look.

May 6, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

Preach it, sister.

We define our age with who we are, not the other way around.

So nice to see you at Shell's!

May 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

It's no secret I ADORE The Empress...and if you are reading her here for the first time, now you know why!

May 6, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I agree--it is a welcome sense of relief sometimes to be older. Although I have my moments when I revert to acting like a 17 year old.

May 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I don't mind getting older as the further I get away from those petty high school years the better life seems to be.

May 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

It's an amazing thing when two of my favorite bloggers collaborate in this way :) Alexandra is just such a wise, kind soul... so it's lovely to celebrate a Friday with her here.

I've also learned to embrace the aging. Try as we might to diminish the wrinkles and lines, we can't help but grow old. And there is a beauty in going along with the flow and feeling comfortable with where we are in life and finding solace in our ever-changing bodies.

May 6, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger John said...

Long live the empress!

I'm coming to grips with getting older . . . I keep telling myself that there are no shortage of sex symbols who are older than me . . . George Clooney, Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart, Samuel L Jackson . . . so, being old is sexy, right?

I know I'm getting wrinkles - though I find it endearing when people mention my "smile lines," I know they're just coding for the fact that I'll have jowls some day.

May 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger LLA_Princess said...

Wait, we are getting older, shoot....

I am not a fan of the droops and sags but I am a fan of the "I don't really care what you think of me" attitude that comes with aging.

I am going to go get my AARP card now, holla!

May 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

I know I'm only just 30, but there was almost a sense of relief when the turn came. Like I don't have to try as hard. Being me is enough. Doesn't stop me from thinking about the varying skin treatments to keep the "fine lines" from multiplying.

May 6, 2011 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

"I have become blessed with a short memory, which makes it easy to forgive; a lapsing vocabulary, which makes it easy to be understood; and dimishing vision, which makes me look all the more lovely than I remember myself looking, in the mirror. My hearing? My hearing is shot. So I don't hear any gossipy whisperings."

This? Is beyond perfect. I need to print this and tape it to just about everything I see as a constant reminder. :)

May 6, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love the Empress or as the Biddness renamed her today "the Lady with Truffles."

I'm not ready for the getting older stuff since I haven't hit 30 yet. But I will be soon.

May 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Minka said...

Who has time to fear getting old when I'm too busy fearing getting fat and ugly? hahaha. Seriously, great post. We all should aspire to such wisdom. Must be the royal blood!

We waste our youth worrying about wasting our youth or losing our youth. So dumb, so trite, so sadly true. There is nothing more appealing (or sexy or charming) than someone who's comfortable in their (maybe even wrinkled or sun-damaged or jiggly) skin. We gotta get over this nonsense. Seriously. As my great-grandmother used to say (According to my grandmother): If you don't wanna die young, you gotta get old.

Might as well enjoy the ride! (Though a little moisturizer around the eyes never hurt anyone...)

May 6, 2011 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger kc said...

this post is awesome. thanks to you on telling it like it should be :)

May 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually just discovered her a few weeks ago, so you have a good point about the size of the blogosphere! I love reading the Empresses (sp?) stuff. And you're awesome for doing this. :)

May 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

Thank you so very much for the new perspective on getting older - much needed for today! I especially like the part about a short memory giving way to more forgiveness! Thanks again and Happy Mother's Day! :)

May 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

this is exactly how I feel at 41! I mean I could go on and on about the weight or the lines or whatever, but I am GOOD...I feel sexy and womanly etc. I know who I am (mostly) and I am pretty sure I am Pretty (at least Jacob tells me I am)

OH Empress, I love you so, having you here with Shell...well that's like having French Toast and Bacon...Pie and Whipped Cream. :)

What a gorgeous tribute to loving yourself. xo

May 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

Oh the Empress is my favorite geezer blogger. ;D I kid. So awesome to see her here. xo

Also, do you remember that Laverne and Shirley episode where they talk about the elbow skin becoming a coin purse? HILARIOUS! (probably just dated myself there..)

May 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Shauntelle @ A Beautiful Abode said...

I absolutely love this view of getting older! Thanks for being a wonderful role model of what I'm aiming for... :)

May 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Well Golly, I'd not heard of her... wonder how that happened???

I'm in no hurry to get older, but I would like her wisdom now, please?

May 6, 2011 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

I simply love the Empress :)

May 6, 2011 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love my current age - nearly 40 and I am glad to know there is just more to look forward too!
Thanks for the perspective.

May 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

OH my goodness gracious, I loved this post. My 88-year-old great aunt just got put in a nursing home. It is KILLING ME. Killing me. Seriously. I don't think she has dementia like the doctors say. She's quirky. They don't know what to do with quirky. I'm sure she has dementia, too, but...anyway, thinking about her has me thinking about aging a lot. Because her situation saddens me, I've been thinking "growing old SUCKS!" lately. The thing is, it doesn't have to be that way. You have children and people surrounding you that love you, both in person and via the internet. I am sure you will be reaching out to people all of your life, even when your 88. I think giving our lives away makes our lives happier. We can do that at any age, right? Thanks for this uplifting post!

And 50 is so not old. :)

May 6, 2011 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Macey said...

I super duper puffy heart Empress. :)

May 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great. But 50 isn't a geezer. It's just perfect to relax and enjoy life.

But I'd like to talk about where the lines on my face came from. It seems like they sprang up out of nowhere.

May 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great. But 50 isn't a geezer. It's just perfect to relax and enjoy life.

But I'd like to talk about where the lines on my face came from. It seems like they sprang up out of nowhere.

May 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been saying to friends younger than me, "Oh, right, you're at an age where you still care what others think of you. Just wait 'til you get to *my* age -- you'll not only not care but you'll say exactly what you would never have said before in response."

Yeah, the wrinkles and lack of service at the Home Depot suck but maturing definitely has its advantages.

May 6, 2011 at 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so enjoy The Empress! I never lie about my age - every year is sweeter I keep saying (despite my teens)- but it was a bit disconerting when a dear friend said she thought I resembled my 75+ uncle. I just wonder why I never look in the mirror how I see myself in my head! LOL

May 6, 2011 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I hope to always find myself too busy living my life to worry about the mirror, but every year the number of my age gets a little bit scarier.

May 6, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love your attitude! When I turned 34 last month, I began to think about being 40 in 6 years and I though to myself, "Wait, slow this life down, it's going too fast!". I still don't FEEL 34 years old mentally, I still feel like a kid, but my body feels differently. I have to say, one good thing about being overweight is that my age doesn't show. Everyone I meet thinks I'm around 25 when they meet me. I look at people I went to school with, who are the same age as me and are thin, that showcase every wrinkle and line on their face. I look at their pics and think, Holy Crap, they look 10 years older than I feel!!

May 6, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray for the Empress! You do get around these internetz!
You perspective is so valid. But I still can't help but freak out about turning 40 in a couple of years. There's just something about that age, that number that really bothers me.

May 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic view to have! I am going to have to remember that in another decade!

May 6, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Hey I've had some grey hairs since I was in college I think it's cool. I just wish it was one big steak instead of peppered in :P

May 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...

This is fabulous!

May 7, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Oh I love Empress.
I know that when I turned thirty I was a bit scared. But I think I'm embracing it. We can't fight time so might as well join it and enjoy it right?

May 7, 2011 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

I adore her! She's wonderful, through and through, and I really love how she's rolling with it when it comes to aging. She rocks!

May 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth R., EA said...

I love your BFF feature, I'm building my Google Reader right up. (Which is handy with midnight baby feedings).

I can't wait to read more of the Empress. One day, maybe I will decide I have enough to say to start a blog. ;)

I always want to leave comments more often but it's pretty much impossible from my phone.

May 7, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

The Empress has spoken and as I knew it would be, it was wise and intelligent, and I just love her!

May 8, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love, love, love the Empress and this post is one more reason why. So happy to see her here.

May 8, 2011 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Theta Mom said...

Two of my favorite bloggers. Shell & The Empress = perfection.

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day ladies!!


May 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Suniverse said...

Love this - really.

I'm with you on enjoying getting older.

I like to think of it as a giant middle finger to the world. I'm old and I can be who I really am.

May 8, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger AiringMyLaundry said...

Ha, love it!

Empress rocks.

May 9, 2011 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Two of my absolute favorite bloggers in one spot!

(Alexandra, I couldn't leave you a comment about your Mother's Day speech, but I can't imagine you were able to do it without crying. It was SO touching).

I'm 41 and I am feeling beautiful in terms of wrinkles and stuff, but I am trying to get back in shape after a decade of being completely out. I'm taking inspiration from Shell too! :-)

May 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I have not minded aging. Much.

I have only a small issue with seeing my mother's chin looking back at me in the mirror.

But she's got other good qualities tagging along with the drooping skin.

So I'll take it.

Thanks for the smile ~

May 9, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Gigi said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are a far better woman than I.

A great feature, and I am sorry I missed tweeting this out on Friday. I was gone all day at a blogger event :(

xoxo gals!

May 9, 2011 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Only You said...

ha ha, love it, especially the end part about your failing senses! At 42 I am like that other woman in your conversation. But when you said that you have gone through your 40s, a part of me though, Hey, I wonder how wise I will be by the time I get through my 40s? You gave me something to look forward to. Thanks always for being such a fountain of wisdom! :-)

May 10, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

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