Thoughts On Sixty | Another Woman’s Reflections On Aging

Chris on a hillside 4yrs reflections on aging
Chris ~ 1960

Well, who wasn’t a cute kid, right? Plus, everyone wants to present themselves in the best light, so of course, I’ve picked kid pics that maximize the cute factor. But seriously, this is no big deal, right? Millions of Baby Boomers are turning 60 every month, most likely. My reflections on aging are pretty simple.

1. Accept that it beats the alternative

2. Get better in any way you can or want

3. Give yourself new challenges

4. Be happy in your skin.

None of these are new thoughts and many women have commented much more eloquently than I can about the process. Oprah does a beautiful interview with Gloria Steinem, who has always been a role model for me on the aging process after reading her quote about turning 40. Upon being told by a reporter that she didn’t look forty, she replied “This is what forty looks like.” I mean, who can argue with that? (She’s pretty much said the same thing every decade since. Love her for that.)

Coco Chanel: “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it’s up to you to have the face you merit at fifty.” 

I will admit it’s a bit surreal turning sixty, for one thing I don’t think I ever expected to make it this long, let alone in pretty good shape. My early years were a ping-pong between major health crises (my poor parents!). Born with a congenital heart defect, I had two surgeries before I started kindergarten at age 5.  As a result of the defect, I was not an active kid, I got tired quickly since my heart couldn’t pump enough blood. So, that was fixed, but good. Inside me someday, if I can get someone to take my body donation, surgical archaeologists will find the original silk sutures that patched me back together.  Funny to think about.

Chris Brownie uniform 1963 reflections on aging
Chris ~ 1963

At age 8, about a year after this photo, my appendix burst. Having been through the medical mill already, I had a pretty high level of pain tolerance. As a result, my parents didn’t worry too much about me until they found me doubled over in bed. Hospital – STAT! Into surgery about 15 minutes after my arrival and pumped full of penicillin. (Thank you, Alexander Fleming!)

Have led a pretty normal, active life since with just a short detour for breast cancer (apparently diseases don’t get the memo that you’ve completed your surgical requirement.)

So anyway, just my way of saying sixty is a pretty good alternative to some of my previous options. I’m glad to be here. If you want to read a few more quotes on aging here’s a good collection. I don’t agree with all of them, for one, I don’t think self-criticism benefits anyone. We are what we are at this moment in time. We can be grateful for still being above ground; work to change the things we want to improve; but let go of the things we can’t fix. We’ve earned the faces we have and I am not planning to alter mine. It’s been a pretty good life so far. How did I end up in the designer consignment field? That’s about as circuitous a route as you could imagine and probably subject for another post someday.

chris Holidays 2015 reflections on aging
Chris ~ now

I’m trying to be more fierce as I grow older, less fearful and more direct. After years of inconsistent running, this past year I became a runner. At least I feel like I can call myself a runner now, and I really hope to continue for as long as I can. (Thank you to my sister Sarah, for the challenge!) So this year I intend to do at least two more half-marathons. Anybody need an extra for their Hood to Coast team?

Embrace yourself and all your beautiful qualities and flaws. You are the whole package! Feel free to share with me your reflections on aging. How is it better as you get older? What do you most want to improve and what’s your plan for getting there? I love to hear other women’s stories!

Oh, and not to bury the lead, but you may have heard I have a unique way of celebrating my birthday-with a BIG sale at both stores. Hope you’ll stop by for champagne and savings from January 6th – 9th. Thanks for reading!

Author: Chris Gauger

Chris is a self-confessed resale fashionista. A fashion recycler from an early age, she learned the consignment business from her mother, Jan Gauger, at omt divine resale in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chris moved to Portland, Oregon in 1990 and immediately felt at home, among her people. She started Here We Go Again Deluxe Resale Boutique in 1992 and has never looked back. The second location of her store opened in 1997. Chris loves pretty much everything about clothes and fashion, but she has a serious boot and shoe addiction that is fed by the two stores. It's doubtful she will ever be recovered. In addition to clothes, Chris loves mentoring young women and teaching them about what it takes to run and manage a small business. She has employed some pretty remarkable women over the years and is grateful for all they've done to help grow Here We Go Again. She is a Hoosier by birth, but was raised in Nebraska. She has two sisters who continue to run the consignment store there, and one brother who has sense enough to stay out of the way. Her husband of twenty-seven years, is a land use planner and the fix-anything-guru that Chris relies upon more often than she'd like.

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