Guest Elderblogger: Mick Brady
Elderblogger Deejay, Small Beer, Chinese Film and Great Conversation Away From Home

Guest ElderBlogger: Joycelyn Ward

[EDITOR'S NOTE: While I am away for a few days, five fantastic elders agreed to guest blog here at Time Goes By. Joycelyn Ward blogs at Maya’s Granny and is one of the best storytellers in blogdom. She titles this one, Waking Up Sixty and you’re going to love it. Please welcome Joycelyn with plenty of kudos and comments.]

Most of you have noticed that as we grow older we tend to become more comfortable in our own skin. When I was in my twenties, I worried about what strangers walking down the street thought of me. By the time I was in my mid-thirties, it didn’t worry me unless I was doing something I would rather not be seen doing: I worried about being seen carrying a Lane Bryant bag (someone might guess I was overweight if I were seen carrying a bag from a fat-girls shop, and of course if I weren’t seen doing that, no one would ever find out) or my skirt flying up when I fell down.

By the time I was into my fifties, my attitude had pretty much changed to, “if they don’t want to hear me sing, they can walk down some other block.”

I did fall one day when the sidewalks were so icy that I had to scoot on my butt to the curb and put my feet in the gutter to find a place where I could get the leverage to stand up. A young man carefully worked his way up the hill and asked me if I was alright. And I found myself answering, “Oh, yes. Nothing hurt but my dignity. Oh. Not even my dignity.”

That was me at 59 years, 364 days. Pretty comfortable with myself, unconcerned about my size or what other people thought - pretty certain that most people had enough things in their own lives to think about that they didn’t bother to think about me. Content with how I was living my life.

And then, on April 22nd I went to bed in that condition, woke up 60 and discovered a level of self-acceptance that somehow, in those few hours of sleep, had increased by a magnitude of hundreds. I went from accepting myself to celebrating myself. It was just the most amazing thing, to be me!

I found the level of increase astounding. There was a recognition of how important to my survival and sanity the most negative of my dark side attributes were. Of how natural were facets that had caused me embarrassment in earlier years.

And somehow, I wanted everyone to celebrate their natural selves. I began to praise my inner-bitch and invent new holidays. We could, for instance, have a day to commemorate the fact that your body can eliminate toxins - people would wear only brown and yellow. Or to honor our fertility by wearing faux maternity clothes with pristine tampon jewelry. Or folk skirts made with Georgia O’Keefe flower prints.


It's all right to celebrate our inner bitch, but I've found that it doesn't pay to let her out.

Thank you! Now I can look forward to 60...

I would love skirts with O'Keefe prints! What a nice visual, Joycelyn. I am finding a higherlevel of acceptance of who I am these days (by me, I mean). I accept who I am, with all the warts and freckles, more-than-an-inch-to-pinch fat and the inevitable slowdown. And if you (or my family) have a bitch about it - I say pfffffft!

Dang, I'm going to have to take my birthday off from work! Folks there already remark on my apparent lack of self-restraint.
Who said you can only wear a Hawaiian shirt to work in Hawaii anyway?

How great. You really expressed that well for how it should be at any age but often it takes us a long time to get there :) Some of us never do

My inner bitch is becoming very well developed. I speak about it to younger women all the time. Get in touch with her. She energizes and protects!

As a long time runner, I look forward to a new year and a new birthday. It provides an opportunity to set new records. I did not have this body before, it had not aged just this way, it didn't hurt so much after the run in the "old" days. But now the hurt is molified by the satisfaction in a new record.

I like a verse that Greg Greenway sings:
Every little day the world's brand new,
the sun comes up and the clouds roll through.
Everything else is just up to you.
Every little day the world's brand new.

Thznks for the reinforcement Joycelyn!

Great post.

I don't have to shop anymore because anything that is comfortable is completely flattering. Vaguely I remember a time when everything had to be miserably uncomfortable for me to think it was flattering.

Hi! Ronni

If you have a minute, could you come over and check my latest post on my blog?

As a newbie I don't know how to send you the whole article on Elder Abuse.

I copied and pasted this article from the Ottawa Sun that was written by Michael Harris,,who is an investigative reporter,Ottawa Sun columnist and award winning journalist. He also has an open talk show on CFRA 580 radio.

I'm sure your audience will find it very interesting and thought provoking. The subject of 'Elder Abuse' affects all of us.

You have a much larger following than I do, and I think its very important that this article reaches as many people as possible.

Thanks for your time.

Couldn't agree more, that the older I get, the more accepting and contented I feel with myself just as I am.

Been enjoying your writings at "Maya's Granny" for some time -- this is another good one.

One of the joys of being an elder is that we no longer force ourselves into tight girdles, spike heels, or other articles of torture designed by the fashion industry. All done in the hope that we were more beautiful by doing so. What a joy to finally discover that inner beauty is what counts. Of course there is a war going on at times with our innner bitch, but Ronni is right -- that's okay if we don't let her out. What a delightful idea; Georgia O'keefe print skirts. I would wear them for the pleasure I would get by looking at my lap.

You made my day - and maybe my summer- this one, the one in which I turn 60.

I believe your words in my head; it's harder to keep believing them in my spirit. I can see a similar progression of thoughts fom my past, though, so maybe I'll get that overnight revelation on June 29 as well.

Thanks TONS

I never thought of myself having an inner bitch. I always wanted to be an eccentric, (Read as doing whatever I wanted to and nevermind what others thought about it.)like those endearing British types that appear in literature. It's much easier to be one as one gets older and vanity drops by the wayside. I just bought myself a mug that says, I'm not crazy, I'm eccentric. It starts my day off in the right spirit.

Amen! Amen! When I turned forty I began a tradition that when a milestone birthday approached, (i.e., one that ends in a zero), I would drop some baggage-- attitudes, etc. --that were cluttering my life and go forward.
I'm turning 60 in a few months and I've started my list and I think it might be a long one. :-) Thanks for a great post as always!

Great post. If I can accept my 40th birthday with the same celebration, calmness and acceptance that you accepted your 60th, then I will be one happy woman!

I came here to read your blog after I read about your death on TIME GOES BY. It's sad to see you go!

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