Gero-Punk Gratitude

What do you appreciate best about the age you are right now?

jenny at low tide

I appreciate that even after many serious injuries over the past five decades, I am mostly able to do with my body what I want to do. If I must, I can lift a heavy box. I can sweep the floor and collect the stuff into the dustpan (though my poor eyes don’t always see all of the dander and dirt). Most of the time I can with some effort unscrew a stubborn lid from a jar, as long as the circumference of the lid isn’t too great (my left hand is stronger than my right hand, but both hands are scaled small). Even more important to me, I can crouch down on my creaky knees so as to be able to take a photo of exquisitely colorful sea-creatures revealed by the low tide.

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Gero-Punk Public Service Announcement!

Gero Punk Salon flyer

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Gero-Punk Public Service Announcement: THIS is NOT The Next Breakthrough in Anti-Aging!

Hello to you, MindBodyGreen,

I’ve been a daily, committed follower of MBG since its beginning. I’ve much admired the periodic pieces you’ve published that provide a balanced, even affirming approach to the aging journey. I’ve even thought of seeing if I might contribute some of my own writing to the MBG blog. But I have to say that today my heart fell — and I got rather pissed — when I received the direct marketing email titled “THIS is the Next Breakthrough in Anti-Aging!”

I’m cool with the fact that MBG has sponsored content — that seems to be the game, yes?  But I am absolutely NOT COOL with the “anti-aging” discourse.  My friends, the aging journey IS the human journey. Aging is not a failure, nor something to avoid. Aging is a force of nature, it is a gift (and it starts when we are born).

I’ll extend the benefit of the doubt — perhaps Chanel determined the copy for its brand new product, and MBG had to use it.  But the thing is,  MBG could actually change the game by changing the discourse so that it is more balanced, accurate and affirming.  I purchase and wear Chanel lipstick and nail polish not because these products help me pass for younger than I actually am, but because they are legacy products that are at once edgy, classic, timeless and cool.

I am a long-time educational gerontologist, consultant, writer, and activist. I turned 50 this past December and my daughter turned 21 yesterday (and my mother turned 71 on 2/2).  Will you join me in creating a world in which all ages are of value and we don’t spend energy, time and money in pursuit of “anti-aging” but in pursuit of being our best selves at every age and in every stage?

Thanks for listening,

Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

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