March 04, 2019

Has Being An Online Creative Helped Me To Embrace My Age?

embrace my age

I TRULY THINK IT HAS…


I should start by saying I was never really negative about my age. I mean, age was and is just a number I go by and so far, all the big milestone birthdays ( I say all… I mean thirty and forty), have been heartily embraced… and celebrated within an inch of what is considered socially acceptable.

Fifty will be no different.

I rarely act my age (whatever that means), still feel like I have a ton of growing up and growing into myself to do and constantly have to remind myself that I’m a mother to a teen daughter. WTAF!

So did that all add up to make me age neutral? Maybe.

But prior to spending a gazillion hours in the online world of blogging and social media, I guess I absorbed the anti-aging mindset by osmosis. Years spent consuming messages from mainstream media will have that effect. Buy this cream to prevent wrinkles, colour your hair to cover those greys, ask yourself if you can really still wear X at age Y… and on and on it went.

Now that I find my age positive klaxon regularly triggered by things I stumble across online, I’m also seeing slow trickles of progress in a few publications too. Finding yourself awakened to something you didn’t know you needed to be (until you were), has a curious way of making you hungry for more.

Although you might be forgiven for thinking that that progress was very S L O W indeed if you stood in the supermarket queue and happened to glance over at 90% of the newspaper headlines of a weekend morning. If I had a pound for every time I’ve told H to “Ignore that shizzle!” I’d be as wealthy as some of the people that own said newspapers.


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But in a time when we regularly accuse social media of promoting only perfectionism and imprinting the “youth equals beauty” mantra deep into our core beings, I’d like to stop for a minute and examine the ways in which it has made me embrace my age so much more.

The very nature of the platforms that I choose to inhabit enables me to reach inquiring feelers out in any direction I choose. I regularly sniff out good hashtag rabbit holes down which I can drop and roll, only to emerge hours later feeling invigorated and inspired.

Instagram and blogs are the places to come to if you want to be exposed to all kinds of opinions on how we can be more age positive. And I know that some might inadvertently perpetrate the exact opposite too but that’s what the unfollow button is for.

Here is where I have access to messages that negate Age The Number and instead, embrace Age The Attitude.

It seems I’ve been slowly absorbing them all via on online drip feed, letting them bust myths, break rules and kick down barriers. And it rocks.


imac-on-minimal-white-desk

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And it goes in a reverse direction as well as forwards.

I find myself continually inspired by women of all ages, some many years younger and some older. Would I have come across them if I wasn’t doing what I do? Most likely not.

They start and run amazing businesses, both big and small and they use their influence for all kinds of good.

How old they are doesn’t ever come into it. If they inspire me, I’ll stalk them for their creativity, brilliance and innovation, not for the number on their birth certificate.


scandi-style-wood-burner-in-white-living-room


I always thought that my own blog audience was predominantly forty plus because some ten years ago, I happened to set out my virtual stall in the “older style blogger” marketplace.

Google Analytics (when I can be bothered to look at it) tells me a different story. Month on month my blog age demographics show the core audience is in the twenty five to forty four bracket with pretty much the rest falling into forty five plus.

To be honest, I’ve never been one for “dressing for your age” anyway – I prefer instead to focus on what I love, feel good in and what might bring an edge in the form of an unexpected detail. So I’m more than happy if that comes across in the content I produce, style related or otherwise.

That and the fact that I no longer want to be defined as a forty-something style blogger.

I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s just an aversion to labels and that mid-life rebellion thing again. Or the simple fact of not wanting to attach a number to style.


book-and-magazine-stack


Can we also explore the more recent phenomenon of embracing grey hair. Now this I bloody love!

Over the last ten years of people watching, I’ve observed women with stunning grey hair that seems to add a certain something extra to their overall look. Countless times I’ve nudged Mr OS and said “Ooh… I want to be her when I grow up!”

Why? Because to me, the woman who embraces that grey as part of who she is and allows it to compliment her overall look is nothing short of a style genius in my book.

The fact that she’s sticking two fingers up to what we’ve been conditioned to do over a gazillion years also appeals to my inner mid-life rebel.

I also envy her lack of days spent waking up, post hairdresser visit with an irritated, itchy scalp. During my recent root colour phase, there were times you’d find me scratching like a woman possessed. Not such a good look.

Unless head lice suddenly become the accessory du jour.


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My friend Lou wrote wisely on the subject of embracing grey here… she writes wisely on everything come to think of it. And we’ve since conversed back and forth numerous times, providing each other with hair updates (sometimes visual), agreeing that it’s a personal choice and definitely not for everyone.

If you want to carry on colouring out the greys then I salute you. We should never feel encumbered by the decisions and choices of others… even if (and especially if), they have their own Instagram hashtag.

At the same time I’m growing into the grey, I’m also considering a tattoo to mark my big birthday.

A juxtaposition of opposites when it comes to things we’re “supposed” to do at certain ages? Go figure. I’m not over-analysing it.


If I try to put a common underlying theme to all this new found gumption I’m feeling, I think it comes down to not really not giving a sh*t about what people might think. Something I spent far too many years doing.

Does that only come with age or can it blossom early on by having the foresight to focus on developing a strong sense of self?

Here’s Lou again on the millennials that possess that increased self-awareness, thereby answering that one perfectly. I told you she was wise!

So perhaps it can be both. But for me, a stronger sense of self definitely comes with age.

My slow burgeoning self-belief is all self taught. I alone have nurtured my latter years nature and I much prefer how I feel now to how I did in my late twenties/early thirties.

So has being an online creative helped me embrace my age?

Yes. Of that I’m one hundred percent sure.


A FEW WOMEN WHO INSPIRE AN “EMBRACE YOUR AGE” ATTITUDE…

Alyson Walsh – That’s Not My Age
Vicki Archer
@diane_keaton
Meryl Streep (no links needed – just watch her movies)
My friend Lou Bradford. I’m also blaming her for the tattoo idea!
Bobbi Brown (and on the subject of tattoos – read this)
@sarahharris
Accidental Icon
@marianmoneymaker
@goodbyecroptop


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Photography: Charlotte Bryer-Ash

16 comments on “Has Being An Online Creative Helped Me To Embrace My Age?”

  1. Wow.. I always read your blog posts but don’t always comment… this has blown me away .. so many titbits in there to digress .. the ‘tattoo’link was deeply moving; what a story and so much more profound than I expected.. the ‘grey hair’ link was very interesting ..I’m still mostly dark brown and don’t intend to dye my hair ..I find the grey interesting, but then if it had started coming before I was 50 I may have thought differently so I’m not judging anyone who goes down the dyeing route .. I also really identify with your ‘becoming me’ and being happy in your own skin message… I truly think I’m more comfortable and happy with myself than I’ve ever been and definitely these blogs and the Instagram community have boosted my self esteem and confidence so much… I’m not a writer (how did you guess!) so I’ll stop wittering on and just say ,” brilliant post” again !

    1. Ah thank you so much Jules… and for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment!
      I was the same with that tattoo story but then I’d expect nothing less than from someone like Bobbi Brown to publish something that good.
      Its so good to hear you feel more comfortable in your own skin – theres so much to be said for that and it is vital for our own sanity in this world we live in I think. When we can get things like self-esteem and confidence in who we are boosts from this online community, it makes it all worth while doesn’t it?
      Amanda xx

  2. Lovely post as usual, great start to the week. And I’m SO envious of your tidy desk! How do you manage with just one pen pot?? I currently have 3…….. Have a great week

    1. Thanks Amanda – so happy to make Monday a little better! I guess I’ve become a bit of a stationery minimalist… as opposed to the hoarder I used to be! But having desk drawers to hide all the cr*p helps too!
      Amanda xx

  3. My kindred spirit!!! You know I’m nodding along in agreement…and thank you for the double mention! So much food for thought, off to ruminate but you know my view is ‘just do it!’ when it comes to the tattoo!! Lou xx

    1. Soul sisters from another mother! I know… I should just get on and do it already with the tattoo… got your message this morning and am just about to reply. You may be required for hand holding! xx

  4. I’m slightly ahead of you and mostly – minor aches and pains notwithstanding- loving my fifties. Child off at uni, so more time to myself, finding I give considerably less shits what other people think and ageing into me, really. I agree that being online helps broaden perspective and opinion, I follow people of all sorts of ages and backgrounds. I hope it keeps me out of the mid life bubble a bit. Lovely post. X

    1. Hi Debra – thank you so much!
      The time factor combined with giving less shits about what people think feels like a powerful combination at this stage of life doesn’t it? One to be explored and enjoyed in full too! Here’s to living life to the full… (she says raising a large cup of coffee this morning) xx

  5. As always a thoughtful and inspiring blog! I apologise in advance for the ramble!
    I’m 47 (for some reason I nearly wrote 48, maybe because I’m in my 48th year, maybe because like you I feel that it’s just a number!). I feel that most of us past the age of 40 don’t hanker after our 20s and 30s. Most of us are settled, we’ve got our jobs sorted, our relationships sorted, ous homes sorted. And if one (or more) of those things comes unstuck we’re much more likely to stick the proverbial two fingers up at it than we would 10 or 20 years ago. We know there’s a good chance we’ll recover from those knocks life sends us, we’ve done it before!
    I love the blogging/ social media scene, mainly because of the honesty. Women talk openly about what’s bothering them, about the menopause, about going grey with grace, about covering up the grey, about their kids becoming teenagers, about wearing what makes us feel good. Yes, there is an element of showing perfection, but not with most of the people I follow – some may have perfect little squares, because they’re pretty darn good at taking inspiring pictures, but will open up in blog posts or on IG stories. This is what I’m here for, inspiration and a dose of reality!
    As for the grey, if that’s the way you want to go stick with it! I went through the transition a few years ago. Every time I had my hair coloured we would use different high light colours. I went from warm brunette with reddish high and low lights to cool brunette with natural silvery grey high lights. It took about two years (maybe more), and I did doubt it along the way – it was hard to lose my beloved warm colours and I’ve found I’ve had to rethink my wardrobe colours along the way (out with the greys and blacks, in with more blues and reds). I havent had my hair coloured for several years, and I love it – no root regrowth for one! I’m still more brown than grey, and people think my grey highlights come from the hairdressers because paradoxically they look so natural and effortless (my hairdresser says she could never colour it this well!)
    We are so lucky (as far as style goes) to live in an age when anything goes – we aren’t forced to wear crimpolene dresses or have blue rinses- well not unless we really want to! No one says you can’t wear that, you’re too old, and if they did we probably wouldn’t care anyway!

  6. My Mum said,”she would leave off the colour when the Queen did,” she was a year older then my Mum.
    Mum, bless her heart, not with us now, loved the transformation happen, when she went silver/grey.
    Being a daughter/hairdresser, gave her a few low/hi lights to enhances her progress to this. She became her own person, and loved it, when she saw her image.
    My friend, client, soul mate, Sue, sadly passed, said, you should show who you are and make a statement, “you are who you are without colour, but it you go for colour go for it and embrace”

  7. I was nodding along in agreement to this post! I’ve been rocking my greys for a while now. I’m over all the effort it takes to cover up what should be considered my natural beauty. I’m all for the no makeup makeup look and I finally feel settled with who I am. Well, for the most part. Developing an online career has been an interesting experience. Thanks for sharing Lou’s posts! I loved them. Both of you are like kindred spirits to me. I’ll be following Lou now as well as you.

    The funny thing with Lou’s take on millennials is reading their books. While I love to take inspiration from anyone as well, regardless of their age, I am finding some of the memoirs as too much. I often read them and describe them as whiny complainy. It’s like reading a book about someone playing a constant victim and oversharing their lives. But….I suppose it’s all the millennial generation has known.

    But getting back to the age thing…as much as I want to ignore it as I know I’m young at heart, the world makes it difficult. I was laid off from my job at 40 and in trying to find a new job, everyone told me I was too old, too experienced and overpriced (even though I was more than willing to take a paycut). So I say screw all of you, I’m going to start my own business. And so, here I am. Zero fucks given. LOL!

    1. Embracing the way we were meant to age is where its at for me Michelle. Theres a difference in making the best and trying to hide or fight it isn’t there? And so glad you loved Lou’s blog – she is a complete insightful genius and all round amazing woman as far as I’m concerned. It’s really interesting to read your take on the whole millennial sharing thing. I think we’ve all been though the same difficulties and challenges – its just that we never had platforms to share our issues. Nor were we encouraged. I too could write a book on my life disasters! I guess it’ll be helpful for woman like my teen daughter as she grows up.
      ps… completely saluting your zero fucks given approach – you’re giving me life this Tuesday morning with that comment!
      A xxx

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