A huge Life Lesson that I learned about 15 years ago: It took another few years to really “get it” and apply it to my life…”What other people think about you is none of your business.”
Ann Landers said that when we’re 60 we discover that people haven’t been thinking about us at all. Hmmmm….
Over the years…my teenage and young adult life mostly…I learned a lot from Ann Landers! She told me that no one can take advantage of me without my permission, and that I teach people how to treat me. (I’ve granted a lot of permission for people to take advantage of me and for a long time I didn’t teach loving care of myself.)
There have been lots of year when I definitely cared about what other people thought and said about me. Not so much anymore…I’m 60-something. Ann Landers was right again!
Is it realistic to believe we “Second 53 Year-ers” have matured to the point that we really, really don’t care what others think of us? I’m not so sure.
There are times I pull an outfit out of the back of the closet…one glance in the mirror and my mind says “Oh NO! Not wearing this… people will think I’m trying to look younger than I am”, or “On My! That skirt is pretty short to wear now!” OK, you may disagree, but I think those are reasonable concerns about what other people might think.
How about at the beach? I wear a sensible bathing suit because I don’t have a tight muscular body anymore and my belly isn’t flat. Inevitably there’s a woman who carries about 40 extra pounds…and she’s about my age…and she’s wearing a bikini. I admit to having some critical, judgmental thoughts about her. Yes, I do. I also sorta envy her body image. And, her apparent lack of concern for what other people think of her.
I have no doubt that people don’t spend as much time thinking about us as we think they do. (People have lives, ya know?) They probably don’t spend much time considering my faults, my extra few pounds, the wrinkles on my face and neck that I sometimes think are all that anyone notices about me. (can I get an Amen?!)
AT 60, we discover that people don’t think about us that much…and what they do think is none of our business!
Partly, that’s because we’ve lived enough to excavate our True Selves, our Authentic Selves. We’ve created a style of our own. We are comfortable in our skin. We’ve developed personalities and sense of humor that “fit” who we’ve created. Most of us have moved from Where we were to Who we are, and we have fantastic stories about our Journey.
On a grand scale, I don’t care what other people think. Mostly because I like myself and I’ve created a Life that I love. I hope you can say that, too!