Hello everyone

I’ve been absent from the blog – I had such a busy week!  On Monday I published on My Other Blog (and don’t read it if you’re sick of Brexit, but click on the icon if you’d like, although it’s already out of date as events are moving so fast and I have another piece of writing in mind coming soon!) and then I went to my Pilates class. Tuesday I started writing for this blog, but was also doing some cooking for my lovely visitors coming on Wednesday. Then overnight with a dish left out on the cooker (a wine sauce, not food!) we had a flood in the kitchen.  Too long to tell you why but lots to resolve there, and, you know, the week just flashed by.  And we had Valentines Day, didn’t we? Personally, I think it’s over-commercialised (as in buy this and buy that for your loved one) I’d rather be romantic throughout the year, yes?

Anyway, I want to share this with you because, this morning while reading the paper in bed and having not one but two cups of tea I read about a report that analysed seven years of well-being surveys from the Office for National Statistics (so it’s pukka) which said that 17 and 70 are the best times of your life in terms of life satisfaction, self-worth, happiness and anxiety levels, with the ages in between, in that ubiquitous U-shape curve. You know what, that’s so true – for me anyway.

Think about it: the years when you’re 40 and 50, they’re challenging; you’re working, you might have teenagers, you’re going through the menopause (yes, that) and you might also have an ageing parent. That was me at that age, torn between the generations and working on a national project, I would not ever want to repeat that experience.  And today, life for our children now in their 40s is even harder, and I won’t go into the details here, but you know it is, for all sorts of reasons; short term contracts, austerity, the gig economy and so on.

But (and being careful here not to sound complacent) life now in my 70s is ace, as in, it is so much better in so many ways. Not the least is that I don’t care about my ageing looks in the way I thought I would when I was in my 40s and 50s. When you’re that age you think of yourself at 70 as probably being aged and haggard and like an old, old person and definitely unable to wear makeup. So. Not.True!  And yes, I am being frivolous to draw attention to facial features but I think there’s a lot of dread and anxiety in ones 50s about ageing, which is actually unnecessary. Just go look on Look Fabulous Forever and the tutorials using real older women (icon on the side) see also my YouTube videos (icon also on the side and still only 4 there, but more soon!)

And moving on from looks, this is the time when you can become who you really are and want to be unconstrained by work!  Seriously, this can be the most creative and active time of your life. Whatever your interests: gardening; cooking; travel; writing; theatre; you now have the time to develop and work on what you like doing.

Do any of you follow Grandma Williams blog?  She’s in her 80s – now careful about what you think as she’s a very lovely person who is, by and by, an anti-ageism writer and blogger who, amongst many other things, has written just 3 times about sex and the old and consequently occasionally has that moniker attached to her now (about being a sex-blogger!) She was recently on ITV’s This Morning (link here) and is now campaigning to reclaim the word ‘old’. In her opinion, if you say something like, ‘you do look good for your age,’ or in her eyes, even worse ‘you’re so young at heart’ that is ageism, because what is wrong with being and looking old?

Actually I totally agree with her. Why?  Because, if you think about there is an implication there, in those words, that younger is better. But what do you think? I mean I’m with Joyce Williams 100% –  as long as I can slap on the makeup!

And here for you to see is my latest charity shop coat – I have such a thing for coats!  This one was more expensive at £30, but it’s new and the label said £150!

Here’s me getting ready to go out! I’m wearing my Pilates leggings with a skirt over.

Here’s my new coat.

And then so you can see the colour, here I am in my gym changing room.

That’s all for now, but do let me know what you think about Grandma Williams’ reclaiming the word ‘old’!

With love Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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26 thoughts on “The best years of your life?

  • 16th February 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Penny, I have recently subscribed to your blog so this is the first one I have read. I am also 72 and feel as you do about life getting better as you get older. I have done so many new things since retiring. Love the colour of your coat. Now for Grandma Williams.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:17 am

      Hello Sue – it’s great to meet you! I wouldn’t trade my age now for those years in my 40s and 50s – it was such a challenging time.

      And the coat is such a good colour – thanks for commenting!

  • 16th February 2019 at 12:40 pm

    I haven’t read her blog but I will have a look now. I feel sorry for youngsters nowadays. When we who are now in our seventies were teenagers it was the thing to be, everything was young people based. I don’t care a jot what age people are but old people are not tolerant enough of young people, in my opinion. I live in France and ‘Ados’,as teenagers are called, are almost expected to be surly. Give the young a chance anyway how else would you describe an eighty year old, old?

    One thing I find a bit sad about young people is their lack of political awareness hopefully our present predicaments will change that.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:29 am

      We were so lucky to be young in the1960s when everything was changing and moving away from the austerity of the 50s and going forward to the Beatles and mini-skirts. Mind you around that timeI also had awful acne so I know it wasn’t all wonderful!

      On Friday, Brighton was one of the many places that had a march organised by schoolchildren against global warming – the pictures show very good numbers. Here’s the thing though. I’d just got on the bus to go into Brighton, but it didn’t start off, the bus driver said, I just have to check whether the road is clear because of this march by young people. Without thinking I punched the air and said, ‘Good for them! How wonderful that they’re doing this!’ I turned round to see row upon row of people with pursed lips looking rather po-faced. And then one person muttered – well I won’t repeat it – was rather shocked. I absolutely hate to say this but they were all grey/white haired and most were older than me, I think. I get what you’re saying about some older people not being tolerant of younger people. However, I do have faith in the younger generation picking up the baton and going for global responsibility!

      Thanks so much for commenting.

  • 16th February 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Love.the.coat! Such a royal color and beautiful fit on you. Agree with you that this is our time…kids are grown, careers are completed, we are settled at last and free to do all those creative things we’ve wanted to do “when we retire”.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:30 am

      Absolutely Lynn – now is our time! The coat was such a good find – thanks for commenting 🙂

  • 16th February 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I have just had a look at her blog and agree with you Penny. A great attitude. I’m 72, well will be on Thursday! I am celebrating my February birthday tonight at my house, with a joint party with 2 men friends who also have February birthdays. They will be 39 and 45.

    Age is irrelevant. Most of my friends are younger than myself and I feel privileged to be in this tribe. I love my life and value the fact that I am still able to go bowling with my grandchildren, travel and undertake the anti Brexit marches in London with my mates. Two of my closest women friends died early leaving in one case 3 children under 5; they were denied the privilege of getting older. I feel more content than happy – which always feels like ‘this could come to an end!’ It will of course all come to an end but in the meantime I am LIVING on my terms!

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:33 am

      Joyce Williams is a great role model for our 80s I think! And yes, now that we are not working it’s the time to be our true selves – as long as you have your health it’s a great time to be alive. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • 16th February 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Great finds. The pruple coat looks like a keeper. You look stun ning in that color. Thanks for sharing your finds at the Top of the World Style linkup party. I love sustainable and recycle.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:33 am

      I haven’t worn that colour before so am pleased to try it out! And thank you for hosting Nicole – much appreciated 🙂

  • 16th February 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I agree with you in that I’m sure it’s perfectly possible that our 60s, 70s and 80s are better than our 40s and 50s! I’m 57 and feel swallowed up by a full-time job, grandchildren and parents on their 80s, one of whom has severe dementia. I would LOVE to ease off and work just part-time thus giving me more time for the things that I want to do and also more time for my caring roles but unfortunately I’m single and can’t afford to.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:37 am

      My word, I do feel for you as I remember how it was for me whilst working full-time, having teenagers and parents to care for – it was so demanding, but I did have a partner. However, you will get through this. Just hang in there and see from what I and the commenters are saying that you will also so enjoy the life that’s waiting for you – very very best to you and good luck x

  • 17th February 2019 at 8:23 am

    I love the zest for life that you and Joyce Williams have. Things have moved on so much for the 50+ generation – we don’t have to slide into decline. I worry about the younger generations but trust they will wisen up as they reach their 40s and start thinking about their own mortality.

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:46 am

      Decline – never! Although I do admit that one needs to work at being healthy and ageing well. I think the really young will always push life and their bodies to the limits, but we all wise up, I think in our 40s – I can see it in my two.

      But I can see why that report said what it said as it really does get better as you age and become 70 – not working must come into it. I do feel for the generation of women though who’ve had their pension put back several times.

      As to zest for life – I do have it but not all of the time, you should see me in the morning! 😉

  • 17th February 2019 at 8:52 am

    What a awfull thing ,the floor, I hope you didn t have to much damage! I have to say that I never thought I would be so relaxed about my age as I am. Only if I dat it out loud! Haha. Enjoy your Sunday!

    • 17th February 2019 at 10:51 am

      Well, actually Nancy the water comes from the flat above and floods the walls and the cupboards and the tops of the kitchen surfaces – so our kitchen tiles are very damaged now. That’s what I meant there are things that need resolving. Because this was the FOURTH time it’s happened!!!!!! I mean we are beyond annoyed!

      So insurance will pay for it, but it’s caused us no end of bother and stress! It’s a nice sunny day, though, so I will enjoy Sunday 🙂

  • 17th February 2019 at 2:54 pm

    I found you from Jodie’s Touch of Style blog…and now I’ve found Grandma Williams’ blog from yours, isn’t it wonderful how the internet leads us down this path of new potential friends?

    Her post and yours bring up some very interesting points but, of course, everyone has a different perspective. I know I will never be able to fully retire so will never have that delightful “no work” time. Not until I physically CAN’T – and Then What? That’s such a frightening proposition I can’t even really focus on it – I just have to hope for a miracle…or early death. Ha – I’m not being morbid (I realize some might think that IS morbid) that just seems the best option.

    Oh dear, this is not going the direction I wanted, ha ha. I will say I am trying to live as much as I can NOW, in case I can’t when I’m older.

    And on a brighter note (could there BE a darker one?? ha ha) I loved your camel sweater with the blue houndstooth check skirt, I wouldn’t have thought to put those colors together and I think they look fabulous!


    • 18th February 2019 at 8:40 am

      Hi Bettye, it’s so good to meet you. Yes, all that I’ve written in the post should have been prefaced by, if you have enough money to not work. I retired when I was exactly 60 as that’s when the UK state pension kicked in – but that was then, now it’s very different and women retire much much later. Here’s the thing – we live quite a frugal life (hence the blog!) as both me and MOH have very small pensions, but my attitude is that you can live a very rich life on very little, and in the UK the free bus pass gets you everywhere to free museums and free exhibitions, and cheaper senior tickets to just about everything – there are advantages to being a bit older!! And yes, always always live in the now!

      And re: the sweater – it’s actually a very pale pink which is why I teamed it with a pink scarf and beret and that’s why it went quite well with the blue. Thanks so much for commenting and have a good week!

  • 17th February 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I love outerwear too!!! I am too large for vintage clothing (14/16 – XL), so I hoard vintage outerwear constantly!!! That coat is are gorgeous!!!

    I love you and your blog and have been reading it from inception – I love your funky, grannychic style as I fancy it to be mine as well and I, also, try to thrift at least 80% of my wardrobe at any given time. Plus, your hat love is a great inspiration to me as I also love hats madly!!! I have very short hair and need them in the cold months.

    And about ageing – if anyone had told me that I would be this happy at my age (I’m 64, still work full-time and hope to forever) I would have laughed at them. It’s the best-kept secret out there!!! Once the kids are gone – life changes dramatically and really for the best. Not that we didn’t love our kids, but we all worked like crazy people while raising them and life was exhausting all the time. Plus the money!!! Now I have money to do with what I please!!! And while I try to spoil my grandkids constantly, it still is so awesome to have a bit of extra money all the time. I made FAR more in the child-raising years that I do now (ageism in American corporate life is very real) but I feel so much richer now.

    Keep writing and inspiring us!!! You are my fave!!! Have a good week.

  • 17th February 2019 at 6:41 pm

    You are such an inspiration and it’s bloggers like you that enable to not fear my 70s. Thank you. Thanks also for joining my linkup.

  • 17th February 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I love your blog. I am one of the in the middle age group(48). I also have a very small child. I love your approach to life your a bit of an inspiration!!! We could all do with your attitude no matter how young or old. It’s all about attitude I think not age☺☺

  • 19th February 2019 at 1:11 am

    70 is definitely interesting. I now get impatient with time wasters, for obvious reasons, have zero tolerance for bad behaviour and selfishness, but, I know that I am a nice person, even though I sound crotchety with what I’ve just written! And, I do think that we have to do exercise, and look after ourselves to have an enjoyable life.

  • 19th February 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Well if the best years of my life are still to come; I can’t wait!

    I’m very happy in my 60s. I was lucky to retire at 60 and have enjoyed retirement immensely. I haven’t come across Grandma Williams but must check out her blog; she sounds wonderful.

    Sorry to hear about your flood; what a pain.

    I love your PURPLE coat; what a brilliant bargain and it looks lovely on you. It reminds me of that poem;
    “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter”.

    I expect it was written at a time when 60 was considered old! It seems to be that as society progresses the concept of ‘OLD’ is shifting. People seem to look younger (and healthier) in their sixties onwards than they did when I was a child – or is that my imagination? It’s probably that we have better medicine and treatments; less physically demanding jobs and higher/better standards of living than 50 years ago.

    Hope you have a less eventful week this week!

  • 20th February 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Hello, I am going on 77, can’t believe it, and am happier and more at peace than ever in my life. (could it be the marriage went “west” 7 years ago? should have been sooner. I just wish I had 50 years more to enjoy all this!
    There is a beret again, love it!!
    ps had a water flood 2 years ago, what a nightmare it is. I lived in my computer room on a cot for 3 months before it was totally redone.

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