Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Let softness be my motto.

Britta Huegel

When I look back over the last two years, I get the impression of a constant battle. 
Nothing to do with our move to Berlin: that was my idea, my wish - (even a  prediction: as a teenager I wrote into my diary "Berlin is the town I want to grow old in.") It was the right move. 
No, I fight on another field. And though there are 'host of heaven' with me - I am part of the Baby Boomer Generation - it is a lonely fight. The inevitable fight: growing old. 
At first I did the obvious: I closed my eyes. 
"Not me!" I thought, seeing that I do very well in comparison. (Comparison is a vice in the books of the Wise!). And a lot of people, among them beautiful men, say gently: "But you don't look old!" Thank you. 
But: It's Lombard Street to a China Orange. A look on my birth certificate... 
What is worse than a number: to go through the world with closed eyes is really stressful. 
I never photoshopped or botoxed or had a nip and tug, never, and I never will. But I do quite a lot to keep my figure  health. And my stamina. My brain. My joie de vivre. And Verve. 
I will talk about that in posts following this. (Not Elvis, but half of the 'blog members' have left the building by now :-) 
But first I will do the most important thing: accept and admit it: Ageing. 
Of course I do it in the wayward Taoists way: by embracing the enemy. Trying to foresee the blows and thus avoid them as good as I can. 
All that in order to thrive, not just survive - balanced in the very midst of events. 
Let softness be my motto. 


  1. Bring it on, Britta. I am still with you.......

  2. Britta, I just sighed. It is difficult to read your words and to be far away from you. I am grateful that at least I have your words.

    I recently decided not to put a semi-permanent rinse in my hair. I was going to do something lighter for the summer but then realized that my hair is doing a perfectly good job of lightening on its own. There is so much grey underneath the brown. It is multiplying, spreading, taking over. And for some strange reason, I take great comfort in it and don't wait to put paint -- no matter how natural the ingredients -- over it.

    I look to you as a role model in embracing the changes that come to a woman's body and, through it, her identity. There is something deep and true about being admired for our beauty as women. We are creatures of beauty, admiration and appreciation. And there is something for all humans in stamina, vivacity and the heat of being fully alive.

    I look forward to reading more of your words, your wisdom, your journey, your fiercely unique perspective.

    1. Dear Suze,
      wow, that is a real letter, thank you!
      I can understand that so well: hair is lightening on its own - and dark hair in an even more stunning fashion! A few years ago I thought: part of my fringe is going more blond again, juchhu - but than I saw that it wasn't blonde :-) Undied hair sparkles so much more in the sun (or artificial light) - so I let nature put my highlights in. And I convinced my best friend too - she looks so stunning now - the skin tone seems more mellow as with harsh tinted dark brown.
      To be seen as a role model: that's an honour, thank you!
      I looked very early for some for me - might be that this will be the theme of my next post?

  3. Well ... I'll be 41 years old next August ...
    Do not tell me that I'm not old because its not true. My body is chancing, not from 1 year! I have silver in my hair, from many years, the power of fake color:)
    My mind force is changed, maybe also from all happens me in the last three years, but is different now.
    And I feel well, I love be a forty, I feel more woman now than when I was a girl. And I LOVE YOU!!!
    You are incredible, a wonderful WOMAN. I love your hair, I love everything about you.
    You are not old, you are a WOMAN.
    I totally agree with Suze ...
    I aspire to be like you in my future.
    Bisous, Babi

  4. Dear Babi,
    wow, thank you for such a long, lovely letter - Suze and you make me purr like a cat :-)
    I am glad that you love your age and are feeling so good - I do feel good too (but don't like the number of years - though, as I said: I try to accept them by now).
    First time in my life that two wonderful women addressed me as a role model! Thank you! Bisous, Britta

  5. Brigitta...your post brought giggles after I realized you were referring to aging! I was delighted to turn 50... It was a freeing age. 55 went unnoticed... Not so much with 60. A glaring realization... This Baby Boomer is OLD by most standards! As 62 approaches in October I have to confess... The softness is there... In all sorts of places that once were firm! Now my giggles accompany the newness in the body changes. Aging gracefully...with humor!

  6. Dear Susan,
    I loved your hint at humour - of cause that is one of the ideal ways to break even. As are gratitude, curiosity and being interested in others. The last point might be one reason why I am a bit at a loss at the moment: till our move to Berlin I worked as an advisor and thus had every day lots and lots of contact with young people - they are champagne to me, and we giggled together :-)
    Now I have as much to do as ever - but often at my desk. That is very rewarding too - and I choose it myself. So: I am curious about the journey to come.

    1. PS: I couldn't believe the 62 years you are speaking of!

    2. Oh yes..,, but currently just 61.5! ;-)

    3. I would have estimated so much younger!

  7. Ah, aging. I remember long ago when an older friend asked me, what do you think is the most important thing of all? Her answer was clear and short--your health. She was right, I think.If you have your health, that enables everything else.

  8. Dear Sue,
    I do think too that health is most important, together with love in all forms, and then the other things will follow.

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