Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Monday, 29 December 2014

Today Is My Birthday (Again)


©Brigitta Huegel

I should come to my senses. (Comment: I learned a long time ago that I might replace the word "should" by "will" - (or more often: will not).
I am. All senses. Enjoying and revelling in them, I mean.
But being finally ready to tell anybody my age? No: I keep my mouth firmly shut.
("Why, for heaven's sake?" you might mutter, "It's not that interesting").
Why indeed?
My mother (as Shirley Conran said: "A mother's place is in the wrong") had a very problematic attitude concerning old people - coming from a family of (minor) aristocrats, marrying a man from the working class she might have had her reasons. I loved my charming, lively grandmother (the one with the red blood). So I grew up in ambiguity. The old people were "Them" - a class of their own, born that way. But my grandma was not old in my eyes. And although I knew I would grow old one day,  in my heart I didn't believe it. (Most people don't for their own person: a research statistic shows that the typical woman feels about 18 years younger than she is).
From very early years on I started to collect what I could find about getting older - especially older women as role models. With fourteen I told my astonished girlfriends  "I look forward to being thirty - then I will be able to wear big hats". It is a metaphor, of course (and I pushed the line of years a bit further) for growing up. I envy the fashion of my mother: it allowed women to grow up proudly, and the advertising motto of „Baldessarini – separates the men from the boys“
should/must be coined for women into "separates the women from the girls".
I am glad that fashion this year started to become a bit more grown-up too:

©Brigitta Huegel

But I look into the media, and what do I see? Scorn of older people, amost hate. And it seems to me that the last taboo beside death is (sex and) old age. A society that defines itself mainly through images is shocked. I really considered founding a group "Anti-Discrimination of Older People" - but I didn't because I do not want to get angry all the time - so unbecoming... So I keep the topic private. (Very :-)
From my Prussian mother I learned to love discipline and 'attitude, poise' (the German word is "Haltung", the English pendant might be "stiff upper lip"). I sincerely and deeply feel with everybody who suffers from pain, and I listen with compassion - but I get unnerved when someone is going on and on about trifles, and many women, growing older, do complain about a lot. (Interesting: those who have really reasons to complain about something as a "new" knee or gastrectomy: they do not complain, they are so brave!)
So it is not a surprise that you find me very often among young(er) people. I love laughter more than champagne. (Come to think of it: give me all three - it's my birthday!)
Though - if they are too young - sometimes I get a bit - bored is the wrong word - languid?
I enjoy the company of my contemporaries very, very much - I see beauty in silver hair and wrinkles of laughter around the eyes; I love wisdom and humour, courage and experience in every form - a life well lived. "Seperates the men from the boys"... :-)

©Brigitta Huegel

(A morsel of wisdom in between: the most important aim is that you nourish them (and of course yourself!) well: body, soul and wit).

©Brigitta Huegel

"How Not to Look Old" is the title of a book by middle-aged Charla Krupp (hahaha - I use the word "middle-aged"in the pejorative way, out of sheer spite :-), who dishes out all the old chestnuts that are not true ("Don't wear colours, don't wear too much eye-make-up, don't wear silk stockings" - and always the verdict: "...it makes you look OLD!" Message: "Buy a burka - then you are no longer a rival to us")
My dear: I do as I please.
I don't botox, I don't use fillers or plastic surgery, I don't colour my hair, and I don't diet.. All that is not a question of morale for me - everybody has to find out her own way of what works for her: to feel good in your skin (and soul) is what counts, and this is my way.
I do it without the witch doctors. I eat well and healthy, I do a lot of moving, in body AND brain. I am curious. Am really interested in people and life.
And I feel very, very fine.
But I won't tell you my age.... in the good company of Oscar Wilde:

One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.”

I won't.        As I told you:  I do as I please.             And this is one of the gifts of getting older. 









16 comments:

  1. Dear Brigitta, Happy Birthday. The world makes more sense with you in it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Geo - you make me glad.

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  2. Dear Britta - Happy Birthday to you, you share today with my eldest son, another scorpio.
    Scorpions are strong, commanding, intense, and passionate.
    You don't need Botox, hair colour, or diets, you are lovely as you are - have a great day♡

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary, for your kind words! Your characterisation of the capricorn is based on knowledge - happy birthday to your son!
      (The most surprising thing for me is that all people who dwell deep in astrology always decide that I am gemini).

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you. Louise - it is great to see you here as a blogger!

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  4. Well you will never become invisible. Happy Birthday.

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  5. Happy Birthday Dear Britta. I have missed coming by for your witty posts. Age? I really is a state of mind. I love your attitude - and share your views. I hope you have a very good day - treat yourself, accept complements and be the star of the day!

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    1. Thank you, Pondside - I am so glad to see you back - I really, really missed your wise and witty posts!

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  6. Happy, happy birthday. You have distilled happy living to a song of sunshine.

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    1. Thank you, Joanne, I love sparkle and sunshine - but take it as it comes; for colder days I am all geared up (or is it: prepared?) with a beautiful scarf!

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  7. A very happy birthday to a very timeless woman. You look wonderfully fit and attractive. I agree about the botox and plastic surgery. It seems like a lot of effort to pretend to be someone younger. I deserve every year I am. I disagree with Oscar Wilde but I will not bore you with my age today. I have more important things the tend to.

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    1. Thank you, Emma, for your kind words! To me Oscar's quote is appropriate in connection with men. And of course I have a lot of other things to do - but men are the spice in the soup of life (and some are sweet), and my many women friends are as sweet as dolce (and some are spicy) - I love them both, without thinking "better", only "different".

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  8. Silly me - my brain must have taken leave of its senses over Christmas. Of course you are both Capricorns - patient, responsible, ambitious, resourceful and loyal. Much better than a Scorpio!!!

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    1. Can you imagine, Rosemary, that I didn't notice the mixing up? I only saw "passionate" and thought: "Finally someone describes Capricorn as we are: "passionate, strong, commanding and intense" - not the always a bit tedious virtues - though good ones - that are normally recited. Hahaha - I'll look up Gemini now!

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