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Why I’m Editing Out the Expectations About Getting Older

By Carol Hedges May 01, 2023 Mindset

One of the joys of being a writer in my 70s is editing out of my life all the things I really don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, or that other people mistakenly think I ought to do.

Run for Cover

Take running, for instance. I don’t run. I won’t run. I utterly refuse to run. And, you can’t make me. Look, every time I leave the house, I am passed in the street by some middle-aged jogger in unbecoming lycra, gasping for breath and puce in the face. You think I want to subject my elderly joints to being banged about on concrete? Do you?

All that guff about endorphins – forget it! I’m not destroying my knee joints by pounding the pavement and ending up in a wheelchair. The only exercise I do, as a writer of crime fiction is jumping to conclusions – or, letting my imagination run away with me. That keeps me quite busy enough, thank you.


The other expectation is that however old I get, I must always try to keep myself looking as youthful as possible, like all those (airbrushed) older celebs in women’s magazines. Nope. Not doing that either. I don’t botox, detox or retox myself. Sometimes I intoxicate myself with the odd glass of nicely chilled prosecco, but that’s as far as my toxing goes.

I’m past 70, FGS! These lines and wrinkles have been earned over the years. They are now practically vintage. They’re a wonderful part of getting older. I’m not going to give them away. No sirree. Nor am I going to have bits of me sucked out, plumped up, pushed in or pulled back. As for face gym and facials… oh please!

Let Nature Take Its Course

WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), as we unreconstructed individuals say in response to the constant media bombardment of eye-wateringly expensive creams, pills, potions, fillers, scrubbers, buffers, and emptiers made from the placentas of rare South American armadillos, which promise to restore us to what we never were in the first place. Forget it.

Besides, if I paid out for all those cosmetics, I couldn’t afford to leave the house as I’d be flat broke. So you’d never know how wonderfully youthful I had become. When did it become de rigour to have to look 20 years younger? What happened to ageing naturally? It seems to me that all this grooming lark is just torture sold as pampering.

Be Happy

Finally, before I climb creakily off my soapbox, don’t expect me to do the “full Brazilian” thing. Down there. You know what I mean. And I absolutely refuse to vajazzle, or vadazzle. It’s too much vahassle.

This isn’t a criticism of other people, by the way. Oh no no. You go for it, all of it, if that’s your desire. Me, I’m decluttering my life of other people’s expectations. I will do exactly what I like doing – enjoying my family, friends, my food, books, flowers and my cat. May not be much of a life to some but hey, I know what makes me happy.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

So how about you? Do you resist the constant pressure to “look younger?” Are you comfortable in your skin? What do you love most about getting older? Where’s your happy place?

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i loved this! a little humor that hit me right in a chuckle a few times, and complete agreement. i think this striving for youth has been in place a looong time – look at the poisonous ingredients of times past!

yeah, by the time i think of what it would take to make me that photo shoot ready? naw. i’ve never been good at hair and make up.

what i am good at? helping you move (though i’m boxing dishes these days, not hefting the couch), setting up itinerary for a good roadtrip, enjoying art and music and science and the outdoors. i can’t do any of that if i’ve spent all my time making myself look just right. first hillhike, and i’d be a mess.

great stuff!!


I will be 81 in August. It’s odd to me, that I think about that number first thing each morning since I have NEVER EVER been bothered by my age. I am so lucky, I can still hike, bike and swim, but I choose to do very little of those activities these days. Maybe when the weather warms. I love playing with fabric. I quilt … and I have several quilts hanging in my home … love my artwork. Guess my home is my happy place. I am not comfortable looking at sagging skin. I guess I am comfortable in my skin … I will have to find out as I age … I still use a little makeup and I still want to be pretty. I feel no pressure to look younger … I do want to care enough to look good in my 80’s. I hope I answered your questions. Hugs!


Good for you Nancy you sound great!


You have got it in the bag Nancy. I’m similar in that I want to care enough to look good in my 70s and beyond , definitely not having any work done as Carol says even if I could afford it (I can’t)it’s far too painful plus I have better things to spend my money on . A great read Thank you Philomena 💚☘️


Completely agree 100%. I don’t run but I do walk daily. As for my wrinkles, I’ve earned each and every one. I have let my once dark brown hair go gray which is a beautiful white gray. Botox, fillers, plastic surgery does make you look younger but also unnatural. I don’t polish my nails-also unnatural. I do as little personal maintenance as possible. If you have wrinkles, no cream will get rid of them, just temporary improvement. Waste of time and money in my opinion.

Denise Guando

Amen to all you have said. I couldn’t be happier!

Beth E Severson

I’m right there with ya!

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The Author

Carol Hedges is the successful author of fifteen novels for teenagers and adults. She is a cancer survivor, a vintage car driver, a cat owner and a doting grandma. She blogs on her website and posts on Facebook and Twitter about her life, her writing and minding her small granddaughter.

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