One thing is for sure - the one certainty is that once we are born we are on the road to death - albeit a long or short road.
Once you get to my age (90) you know there isn't an awful lot of road left. You can do one of two things it seems to me. This was endorsed on Breakfast this morning I thought when a well-known singer (so well inown that I had never heard of him) said that at eighty he had been diagnosed with Dementia. He had originally gone to seek medical advice when he found that he could no longer do crosswords - an activity he enjoyed several times a day. As I have explained here several times since my attack in October - some days I can rattle through the Mind Games in The Times and some days I give up - even the thinking is too much effort.
What struck me this morning as he sat on the couch with his interviewer was how smartly he was turned out (absolutely no giving in to old age with his modern haircut, his boots, his suit - all very smartly turned out). That is what I like to see and is the rule I like to follow.
Being old cannot be avoided, but keeping up appearances is something to be proud of (to me at any rate_). When I changed to a mobile hairdresser a few weeks ago and she asked me how I wanted my hair done I said, "Look - I am 90 and I can't do anything about that - but do my hair in a style which makes me look sixty!!" And she did. I can't do anything about the fact that I can't walk without aids but that dosn't mean I have to do it in slippers or in last years clothes - as long as I can afford to I shall keep up to date in what I wear - if only for myself-esteem.
I know everyone can't afford to do this.. I have a brilliant carer who scouts around to see what there is I never use (a slow cooker used once only before I broke my hip and had to have her come every day and also cook my lunch.) With my permission she sold it on our local town facebook page then ditto my soupmaker.
I have always been a sucker for clothes. Now I rarely go out obviously I don't need so many but friend S bought me the most beautiful scarf/shawl in a deep blue/green with leaves and tiny hedgehogs all over it. I wore it over my best blue flcecy dressing gown when my grandson came on Monday evening. I felt good and I am sure he would rather see me like that than in dowdy old clothes that had seen better days. Please don't tell me that everyone can't afford it - I know they can't. But they can either make an effort with what they have or they can give up on bothering. I belong to the former camp and that lovely scarf jazzed my outfit up and made all the difference.
Well there's no doubt that money-wise, you appear to be OK and are using it to make your every day as good as it can be - so bloody well done, that's how it should be. Too many people of your age live in almost poverty conditions because they worry about leaving enough money for their children, it shouldn't be like that, spend every penny if you need to - I love your outlook on life, you are an inspiration.
I agree with Derek. Keep doing what you want - as long as it makes you feel good! That is all that matters.
I agree entirely, appearance matters. Appearance gives the first impression. As you state, when well groomed and dressed, self-esteem also lifts. Your mobile stylist sounds fabulous.
Well said, Derek!
You have such a positive attitude Pat and plenty of pride in yourself. I’m sure that helps keep you going and we are so pleased it does. Keep on being who you are.
Well said, Pat and Derek!
I dress for comfort and warmth but always have earrings and cologne on.
Fine blow away hair has left me always looking untidy Pat but I do try. So find a purple hat and shawl and be yourself, and you can always wear your leather jackets in the summer when you sit out in your garden.
I think that giving up on your appearance is a sign of giving up. Literally. I have never been a person who has given a lot of thought to clothes. In the winter, I love comfortable warm clothes. I suppose that some might look at this unremarkable outfit and think that I am a dowdy woman. BUUUUT...my clothes are always clean, I am always neatly dressed, my hair is cut nicely, and I usually wear make up. I may be dowdy, but I am never unkempt. Achieving that is not about money.
An interesting observation. My husband's brother once commented that when he worked in Africa for a few years, he noticed that despite the fact that the village had no running water and that the women had to haul the water from hte well, despite the fact that they were poor, every child was clean. Every child wore clean clothes. Every little house was neat and tidy. He contrasted this to his return home to a country that had every convenience appliance in the world and couldn't manage to accomplish the same.
Nothing wrong in caring about your appearance. A beautiful scarf can work wonders!
I love vivid deep colours in clothes. I have a bit of a reputation for the clothes I wear and I embrace the comments I receive. "What have you come as?" is what my consultant said last nigh! I can live with that! I had my camouflage outfit on - LOVE IT!
Regarding crosswords, there are people who consider them a waste of mental resources. Perhaps there's some truth in it, if the singer got dementia in spite of or due to, doing them several times a day.
For those with all their marbles then I take it as read that they continue with the garb and `standards as has been their habit of a lifetime whatever it may be. For those not so mentally fortunate will depend on their mental capacity, help received and other priorities such as staying alive.
It's really important to keep on keeping on, as they say!
I now have short silver hair (COVID's only good thing), no more color but get it trimmed every 5 weeks so I feel tidy! I go for nails and pedicure monthly, and wear a light make-up if leaving the house. . . . . and always a lipstick even around the house, which is the best daily pick-me-up.
I still love fashion - not trends, but good classic pieces in lovely fabrics and well made (I don't sew any longer - close to 80 and eyesight not so great!). I also love footwear and accessories such a bags and scarves. Would never pay a ridiculous price for a 'designer' bag, and knit my own scarves/cowls etc., but do pay for good leather shoes/boots.
You are so much fun dear Pat - and your posts really interesting. Having a hairstylist come to the house is great - I recall my Mum did that for many years - and one of my life long hairdresser friends who still lives in Torquay, still has a few clients whom she visits and does their hair as they can't get out to a salon.
Have a great day Pat - thinking of you.
Thanks to you all - you have given my self confidence a boost!
You remind me of my mum. She always looked nice, right up until the end. You've inspired me. Thank you.
I remember my father not wanting to bother with new shoes...but when persuaded to, it did return a spring to his step!
Well done with the scarf...and the crosswords and puzzles. Some weeks we can't get on with them either..but then the compiler changes and we are into them again!
I love your attitude. You are one year ahead of me but I am of the same opinion that people should never give up, they should be the best they can be in any circumstance. Life is too short to miss out on all the goodness it has to offer. So, I say.. we older gals just have to lead the way for this younger set, don't you think?
I had to dress up so much over the years, working, owning our store...teaching...now I like my leggings beach shirts, pony tail in my hair...I am comfortable...I love the way you are dressing and writing and loving your life...fantastic...love love love your blog.
I dress for comfort and I cut my own hair but I do keep active and I do like crossword puzzles. Be yourself and be happy!
Once again I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with what you say. I like to look neat and tidy whatever I am doing, and have a shampoo and trim every 5 weeks. I rarely wear makeup any more as I need my specs on to see what i am doing. I have a weakness for clothes and have decided not to keep things for 'best' any more, for fear of never getting to wear them! For those on a tight budget many bargains can be found in charity shops, and I sometimes donate items I no longer wear.
That’s a lovely blog post and I completely agree with what you’ve written.
My mum ( also a teacher..we all were in my family!) lived until she was 91 and she always made the effort to keep clean and look lovely. It’s important to keep those standards but it also makes you feel so much better, I think.
You’ve certainly inspired me! With much love, Sal x
My mother and mother-in-law are your age and very different from each other. MIL has always insisted on the best shoes and quality clothing and always 'nicely turned out'. My mother has never been one for quality and tries to do everything on the cheap.
Recently I insisted that Mum and I go to a good quality shoe store for her, and we bought two pairs of expensive and beautiful shoes with a wonderful fit - a brand recommended by her podiatrist which will help with her walking. I think its important, but she definitely has to be coerced into such things and will only do things at the insistence of professionals, not family.
I admire Pat, that you have always been sensible, and yes, I think its important, particularly as a person ages, to keep looking good and accept help from others. This is a hurdle that has been hard-won with Mum and still at times, it can be hard. - Pam.
There are a few miles left along your own road my dear friend x
Agree with Barbara Anne earrings and cologne
It is interesting as humans that we will always care about how we look, especially woman I think that it is how we are programmed. My MIL in her 80's and 90s dressed so nicely it made me think, and her makeup and hair were always done well. She lived to be 104, in the end she was house bound and let her hair go gray.
Well I think that everyone is different and for some keeping up appearances, at any time of their life, is just not a concern for them. Their attitude is "This is me---take it or leave it". Some people as they age feel that their time can be better used for things that they consider to be of more importance than physical appearance and would rather give their time to those as well as to things that give them pleasure. So more power to them. It's not necessarily "giving up" it's more a setting of priorities since their time is limited. However, I do think that, in general, taking care of ones clothes and appearance gives a person more confidence to deal with whatever comes along. This also influences, whether it's right or wrong, how others respond to them which can help them in many situations.
Keeping up one's interest in anything new and current is very important.
I found Vic's comment very wise and helpful - Pam.
I have a dear friend who has had several important positions in her community, and yet dresses in t-shirts or sweatshirts and sweatpants no matter where she goes. It is hard for me to understand such a lack of...self-care? disinterest? I don't know. At home I usually wear "work clothes" because I am either painting furniture or gardening or dome other dirty work. But evenings I put on a nice dressing gown or dress. And when I go out I take care with looking nice, with a bit of makeup too. It just fits my self-image.
Hear! Hear! I love what you told the hairdresser and I am glad that she obliged. I can imagine that that shawl/scarf looked very good on you. It feels nice to make an effort, I think.
Travelling between two homes in different countries, in a car with a dog, there is very little room to take a selection of clothes. The inevitable result is that I have very little variety. We manage somehow; usually by buying more.
As Derek said above, you are an inspiration, Pat! I hope that I shall, as Rachel says, retain my marbles when (if) I reach your age, and will still care about wearing clean, nice clothes, have my daily shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair and so on.
Sadly, my Dad - who all his life was very clean and tidy about his own person - developed a beginning dementia in the last few years. Among other effects, it made him not see the point anymore in having showers, brushing his teeth and so on. Of course my Mum made sure he was still reasonably clean and always fresh clothes on, but it was a daily struggle to get him to participate - when he didn't want to, he didn't want to. It was hard to witness.
I absolutely love the positivity in this post - thank you so much.
So many comments here that I agree with whole heartedly.But it is late.- I have had a busy day and I want to watch the new Grayson Perry documentary in twenty minutes - so apologies - the replies from me will be here tomorrow.
Well done. I am a big believer in accessories like scarves and jewelry to jazz up the few clothes I own.
H.I. has always been extremely well turned-out. When others at art school were dressed in paint-stained jeans, etc. she was in designer gear. She still is and always will be.
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