In our society today, getting older is not generally seen as a cause for celebration. Our society values youth and beauty above age and experience. That was not always so, and is still not true of some cultures, but in ours, as you age, you are deemed to be less useful.
Mentally I do not really feel any different to how I was at 20, although experience has perhaps taught me to be a little more tolerant and patient with others. So what to do when, as I have, you reach 54, try to make ourselves look as young as we can, or accept who we are, and celebrate it?
I have recently made a decision to stop dying my hair, after many years of doing so, and let the grey come through. It feels good to have made that decision. As I speak to other women though, many feel they are not ‘ready’ to do that. If they are continuing to dye for their own preference, that is fine, but is it sometimes because of the expectations of others? If it is, that is quite sad.
As part of this idea of celebration age, myself and a couple of friends who are slightly older than me, decided to have a croning ceremony in Cumbria. We gathered with a small group of friends at Long Meg and had a wonderful ritual that was about recognising our experience and valuing us for that.
It was a wonderful, warm, loving experience, and one that I would recommend to any woman who has passed child bearing age. It is. Ot a time for mourning what has gone, but of celebrating the path that we have trod, and looking forward to what lies ahead!