Pride vs Vanity: Where Do You Draw the Line?

As much as I want to play the lady-like game of never revealing my true age, I must stop and wonder why would I do that? Why are we almost programmed to be ashamed of old’ish age?

«The youth will be served»

I may almost be 50 but I have the body of a 20yr oldTo be quite frank, I never understood the meaning of that saying, what does it even mean? Served what? Papers? Meals on a silver platter? Are you better because you’re younger? In my late teens and early 20s I felt like the world was mine to conquer. I had a roar in my belly and I climbed any and every mountain. I love seeing this spark in young people’s eyes today. And I remember and cherish the feeling.

When I see people that age without that desire I want to steal their youth away from them, what a waste!

This weekend, at a roller derby bout, I was asked by an announcer how old I was. When I told her, she said she wanted to incorporate my age in her trivia quiz to the audience. She remarked on how awesome it was that I was open to having her announce my age to the world.

There’s nothing awesome in that. Like I said, I don’t understand shame about old’ish age. I’m proud. Having pride in my age means being proud of my life, my accomplishments and who I’ve become as a woman.

I’m 48 years old. That’s two years shy of 50 – in case you’re not good at math. This is my new Facebook profile picture. It was taken on the night I was asked about my age.

I don’t assume my age equals higher wisdom. I do assume that who I am was built on hard work and determination. My mother taught me to stand up for myself, she taught me to be independent and autonomous. I believe my physical and psychological strengths are equal.

This image represents the essence behind my pride. Fifteen years ago I weighed 140 pounds, I gained over 25 pounds in a few months and was on a road to a 100-pound increase within a year. My dad’s tough love slapped me in the face, and I took a good hard look at myself. I joined a gym and a power swim club. I worked out 5 days a week and modified my eating habits.

I met Leo and followed him to the States where I was hired as a full time mechanic on his sprint car operation. Every night I lugged 10 5-gallon jugs of fuel hoisting them over the car. “Just do it” became my mantra as I learned a new trade in a man’s world. I did this for 5 years, when I was done my desire for something new wasn’t based on the fact it was a really hard job to do,  but because it was too hard on the planet… Racing is doing everything possible to destroy the planet as fast as possible.

I’m 48 years old and I look at my muscle definition with pride knowing the years of hard work involved in shaping/building them.  Wearing tank tops is fueled by pride.

My hands and face reveal my real age. Were I vain I’d invest in plastic surgery with a nip here and a tuck there. And I think this is where the line between pride and vanity is drawn.

What about you, do you reveal your real age? Where do you draw the line between pride and vanity?

photo credit: Grant Palmer Photographer

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7 thoughts on “Pride vs Vanity: Where Do You Draw the Line?”

  1. Due to personality quirks, I usually get pegged a couple years younger, and I don’t know if that has anything to do with not being bothered by saying I’m 37. I think I agree with you, though- I’ve earned who I am, my scars and my crow’s feet. The only nod to vanity I have is the worry of developing a waddle. The women in my family tend to develop them, and frankly, I’m a little eeked at the possibility. That picture of you is perfection, I love the dynamics of it and you look fantastic. You deserve to be damn proud, whatever your age.

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  2. I am 52 and I always tell the truth about my age… and not just because people never peg me for being that old. (Which probably has to do with my refusal to do “grownup” things…)

    I ascribe to the Popeye theory… “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”

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  3. I always love your posts and this one I really LOVE! I’m the first to admit I’m in denial about my age but not because I’m ashamed… I simply don’t feel 53. My 35 year high school reunion is about to happen and “I say I’m too young to say that!” My daughter recently said look at that old guy trying to look cool (he had his hat on backwards) and I replied “I know him and really don’t think he is trying to be cool at all”. She doubted me. The good thing was, the next morning she came and said “I feel bad saying that about your friend”. This gave me the opportunity to discuss how amazing it is to feel so young, yet look in the mirror and see the wrinkles and signs of age. We had a great discussion about it. Sadly, I do remember mocking my parents as they did ‘old people’ things. Time flies and one things for sure, I most definitely have no plans to act my age! Now, I need to take a page from your book and build muscle… not for vanity, instead to be strong to take on the next 53 years… and when i do, I will be proud indeed. YOU go girl! Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. I am 51 and proud of it, I also have never had a problem with telling people my age my grandmother would never tell anyone how old she was and I didn’t get that, my mum is 74 and not afraid to say so, so I guess I take after mum in that regard

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  5. I don’t care if people know how old I am. Maybe it’s because I still don’t feel like an adult even with a 17 year old and a 10 year old. Or maybe because at 37 I still feel young enough to not care. Who knows? All I know is life continues to get better and better with each year and I just want to keep moving forward.

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  6. OK, roller Derby, seriously you kick ass. I’m 42 and very proud of every year earned. I think we should make t-shirts. Our Age on the Front in large letters and then “And Damn Proud of it” across the back.

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