Wednesday 8th February 2023
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It’s my birthday on Saturday

I’m going to be 54, and I am cranky about it. Please, wise readers, tell me some things you’ve liked and/or appreciated about getting older.

Posted on March 1st, 2018 142 Comments

142 Responses

  1. mlinky says:

    My POV (at 62), the very best thing is that I know exactly who I am and I don’t give a F about what anyone else thinks of me.

    Also, don’t get worked up about your age. No matter how old you ARE, you will always look back and realize how young you WERE. Enjoy wherever you are.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      A million YESSES to this! I honestly think I’m better at 58 than I was at 38. I know what I think, and former people-pleaser Me has no problem telling people what’s what.

    • Anne says:

      You’ve said it perfectly!

  2. KH says:

    I can wear ponchos, stacks and stacks of jewelry, giant scarves, big hair, and loud lipstick and not look like a little girl playing dress up from her grandma’s closet. Also, I don’t feel any pressure to be anyone I’m not comfortable being.

  3. maggie says:

    I’m turning 58 in two weeks. One of the best parts about this age is that my eyes have gotten so bad that I can’t see my wrinkles. And I give zero fucks about anything now, so even if I could see them, I wouldn’t care.

    Also I wear red lipstick a lot better than I did when I was in my try-hard 20s. In fact I’ve realized I don’t “try” at all anymore, I just AM.

    Happy Birthday, dear Kim! You give us so much every day. If I could I’d give you Fornasetti clogs with Liberty lining that were war enogh to walk the dogs in, thereby merging all your favorites.

    • Lynn in Tucson says:

      Seriously. I just told someone the other night that my eyesight is getting so bad, I look in the mirror and think my skincare regime is working miracles!

  4. Sara says:

    Happy Birthday to you! I recently discovered your website and just love it…thank you so much for doing this. I’m 51 and I love feeling like a wise, nurturing and bad ass woman for younger women in my life. I’m finding that aspect of life to be so much fun!

    I also give way fewer F’s about what others think and have the general point of view that I am who I am, and you can take it or leave it. I don’t care! I’m finding more freedom in terms of my style as well. I love good classic basics, but I enjoy taking more fashion risks right now.

    I don’t love wrinkles, rosacea, post-menopausal weight issues, etc. but I work on accepting this body as it is and just getting on with it. Cheers!!

    • Dana D says:

      Oh my…I care very little about the wrinkles and the slowly-graying hair, but I have to say that I am really, really challenged by the metabolism slow down.

      Kim, I think one huge thing that may make you feel better is knowing that there are so many women who come to this space who are on the younger side (and have commented today) of the GOACA range. They admire and respect your experience, style, advice and mentoring. I think that is very cool and makes you cool at every age!

      I like that I can (at 55) be a professional mentor to younger folks coming into the work space. It’s a perk of aging. I also like that I give far less of a F about what others think.

      I think that the most beautiful women are those who don’t look like they are fighting the thing. We should all, always smile more, so I am trying…

  5. Cici says:

    When someone tells me I need to change, I can effectively evaluate whether they are right. Usually not. Also, I can wear pink now because of the changes in my complexion color!

  6. Kat says:

    (1) I’m not dead. (2) I’m less self-conscious.

    • suzanne says:

      THIS! A thousand times this!

    • Sally says:

      Yes to this – I’m younger than you, Kim, but when you have faced serious health problems that are ongoing you are just grateful to still be around. Hopefully you will never gain that kind of perspective the way I did! Be glad you are in good health and still going!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    This may sound naive, but I turned 30 in November and part of the reason I was so excited to do so was because of badass girls of a certain age like you and Andrea Linett. You’ve given me so many ideas about what my life might get to look like and it’s inspiring. I doubt that it’s easy being the trailblazer, but please know that you are making the world a better place for a whole generation of spunky females like me. Can’t wait to see what you do at 54 – and really can’t wait for the book!

  8. Sara says:

    I’m just getting back to lifting weights after an extended time away and I have to say that after a lifetime of being terribly intimidated by the weight room, I have found that I no longer really give a fuck what anyone in there thinks of me in there. This is enormously liberating, as during my 20s and early 30s, I used to go and hate myself for not being as buff as everyone else. Ironically I’m much less buff than I was then, but I feel way more at ease. And that puts me in a position to just purely enjoy ogling the fine male specimens around me. 🙂

    Happy Birthday, Kim. You’ve been inspiring me for decades!

    • EW says:

      I know what you mean…I work the weight room, in my favorite chopped off Van Halen tee shirt and ratty old sweatpants and find this one, 6 foot- 5 ripped and beautiful trainer(who is at least half my age) sooooooo inspiring(IYKWIM)..and not giving any F’s about it….

  9. vishy says:

    At 47 now, and I finally feel entitled to walk around being the sage advice giver. It feels damn good. Happy Birthday!!

  10. Laura says:

    I’m turning 49 next week. And so I appreciate the request because I’m feeling it too. Rough year.

  11. Becca G says:

    I’ll be 60 (gasp) this yr
    I do what I want, wear what I want & say what I want when ever I want, well looks like SOSDA. (Same old shit different age) can’t get pregnant! Lol

  12. Syd says:

    I’m 60+. Fewer F*s to give. No need for birth control. I can wear my silver hair long, red lipstick, and tight jeans and no one catcalls or hassles me. Fewer friends, but better friends.

  13. MarlaD says:

    I just had my 63rd birthday in January, and although it seems impossible, it is what it is. Looking back at 54, I was so young then (and so are you)!! One of the best things about getting older is I keep getting better and better at not wasting time on people who are rude, bigoted, mean spirited, etc. I used to feel as if I needed to “get along” with everyone, no matter what the cost to me and no more!

  14. nebbes says:

    Kinda tough love:

    You will never be younger than you are today


  15. Emily TL says:

    I am going to be 42 soon and feeling the daily slog of midlife beginning to take its psychic toll when I am not careful (or grateful – blah blah blah). I’ve had multiple chronic health problems that almost cost my life a few times since my late 20s. My 30s were fraught with surgeries and pain and physical therapy and scares. And now I am not afraid. I know my body, and how to be good to it. I am always working to be just one day stronger. I know how to eat (and cheat) for my body. I am not as thin as I once was, but I am stronger and healthier. I now appreciate being able to work out, something that I always loathed, because of the years I couldn’t.

    I also know my style better and it is incredible how much you had to do with that. I worked for a promotions firm in NY that did some chotzkes for the launch of Lucky (I remember custom bedazzled zippered pouches with the logo) way back when and was a devoted subscriber until you left. I was so glad to find your blog years later when I still hadn’t been able to fill the Lucky void and google-stalked you. You have had incredible experiences I envy, a career I would give almost anything for, taken risks, and created this network of women that inspires me daily–And you look good doing it! Happy Birthday. I am really glad you were born.

  16. Another Rebecca says:

    I’ve never much cared what (most) people think, but I don’t care at all now. When people interact with you thinking they can correct you or blame you or shame you or silence you and your reaction is NOPE–there’s a lot of power in that. I also love and value how much more I know/know how to do.

    From being seriously ill, I learned this: Getting older is the goal. Fuck anything that makes us feel badly about it.

    • Another Rebecca says:

      And Happy Birthday!

    • Wendela says:

      That is perfect: “getting older is the goal.” I may need to tape this to my mirror.
      Happy birthday!!

    • Stephanie says:

      “Getting older is the goal. Fuck anything that makes us feel badly about it.” That needs to be a on a tee shirt. Seriously. I too turn 54 this month, and was having a lot of BS convo w/myself about what that means when BOOM life decided to remind me (again, I’m slow learner) what’s really important. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer Feb 1. I packed up dog and laptop (am freelance writer) and have been living with her ever since. Being in the role of caregiver and seeing what disease and chemo does to a person has reframed what constitutes a “good” day. GOACA in my inbox is one of the bright spots, especially now that I’m a 7 hour drive away from my friends and “normal” life. Thank you Kim for creating this wonderful space, and happiest birthday wishes!

  17. Katherine says:

    I’m 54 and I’d echo what everyone said: I just don’t waste any energy worrying about what people think about me and it makes me so much happier. Also I realized this morning that its really great not to get a period once a month!

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      Oh, hell yes!

    • Jen says:

      Amen to that. I remember when my mom explained periods to me, I felt like, “EVERY MONTH?? That’s the worst deal ever!”

      And an IUD was the best idea ever.

    • Erika says:

      I waited 40 years to get rid of that stupid period! I was cheering. Even the hot flashes were worth it!

    • ljchicago says:

      I’m not quite there yet but I cannot wait to not have my stupid period anymore! I’m SO TIRED of it.

  18. C.Michol says:

    This is such an incredible thread. I’m about to turn 39, and it’s so inspiring to hear from everyone about what I have to look forward to. Have already gotten rid of a lot of my people-pleasing habits but will steadily work towards getting rid of the last of them.
    Kim, thank you for your honesty and generosity, and for all the hard work it took to in create this community. Have a wonderful birthday — I’m very glad you’re here!

  19. Debra says:

    Happy Birthday Kim! I’m 57 — happily so. You’ve been such a great addition to my life — I thank you for keeping me in-the-know fashion-wise since I gave up fashion magazines a few years ago. Also, the links you provide have opened me up to so many great sites, publications, music, books etc. At this point in my life, I appreciate not getting hit on by men! Really! Have a rocking birthday!

  20. Miss Conduct says:

    Will be 51 soon. The hands-down best thing about getting older is that I never get sexually harassed anymore. By that I mean that men don’t stare at me, cat-call me, creep me out, ask me out (I’m married and wear a ring), treat me like an object, or reflexively assume I’m an idiot. Not talking about legal harassment here. Of course I loved being young and getting attention from men sometimes. But mostly it was overwhelming and kind of scared me. It’s a relief to have all that over with. Lauren Hutton said something in an interview to the effect that only after menopause could you objectively understand what the male/female dance was about. I wish I could remember where I read it. I feel energized for this next stage of my life.

    • Jessie says:

      This!!! I am 37 and I remember one day in my early thirties being like, whoa no one is yelling things at me on the street anymore! It is wonderful not having strange men honk at me when I’m jogging, telling me to smile, commenting on my appearance! So liberating!

      • Miss Conduct says:

        OH GOD, the being ordered to smile! I forgot about that one. I seriously can’t remember the last time that happened but I know it was before I turned 30.

  21. mary says:

    I wouldn’t trade my age (67) for my younger self! I’m calm; I have peace; I am good at self-care. I’m a much kinder version of my old (young) self. And sex with my husband of 42 years is (seriously) better than ever! (I just had to put that out there!)

  22. Mischa says:

    I wish I could say I don’t give a F anymore. I care less but I still care that my skin has lost its glow and I’ve gained 10 pounds above my waist. What I love is that ever since menopause my moodiness has completely gone away. I wake up every morning feeling great rather being captive to my moods. That has been an unexpected benefit of being on the other side of menopause.

  23. Tammy says:

    I say this sincerely, Kim: If photos of you are any indication, you do NOT look 54. So pretty and quite youthful.

    Biggest thing for me about getting older (I hit 51 in January) is that I wouldn’t change anything about the deck that life dealt me. My good and bad experiences have made me tough and so grateful for all that I have.

    Happy birthday! Can’t wait to read your book.

  24. amywindycity says:

    49 on Monday! I’m with you. I’m pleased that I’m figuring out how to gracefully not suffer fools gladly. I have to get more sleep and push myself to do more physically, but I’m ready to take these challenges on. We can do this! (what’s the alternative, really?!) Congratulations on another year.

  25. Colleen says:

    Mine is simple. I’m just glad to be waking up every morning, seeing the sun, and breathing in oxygen. It’s a privilege denied to many. Corny, but it’s worked for me since my best buddy died age 20 in 1991.

    • DeDe says:

      I was thinking something similar – I lost a friend suddenly at the age of 14. It’ll be 30 years on the 18th. Sometimes I wonder what she’d look like now, what sort of person she would’ve been. There’s so much she never got to experience. It certainly isn’t easy, but growing older truly is a privilege.

  26. Summer says:

    Happy Birthday! How great to be the same age as Michele Obama.

  27. Brockett says:

    Happy birthday! I’ve been reading your blog for years and I just assumed you were in your 30s. 💃

  28. missannethrope says:

    57 here – and I echo what everyone else said about having far fewer Fs to give. I have more self-confidence because I know I can survive all sorts of crap. I’m at a point in my career where I can mentor and influence younger folks. Not crazy about the jowls and the spreading midsection. I’m not quite over grieving the loss of my hotness, but I’m trying to view aging into my new body as an adventure, not just as a loss.

    • Dana D says:

      Oh I like this!

      “…trying to view aging into my new body as an adventure, not just as a loss.” Beautiful. Yes to that.

    • Mrs K says:

      Oh I love this. Thank you!

    • lorrelle says:

      another 57 year old. totally agree, and also grateful to still be here. my dad died at 51 after many years of illness and it was a weird feeling when I turned 52 to know I had lived longer than he heading for 58 with bells on!

  29. Mrs K says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m turning 52 this month and I’m feeling the same way. I have to say that these posts have made me feel quite a bit better!

  30. Because there are so few models about getting older in the media, I find it really freeing in a way — I get to make up what it means to be in your 50s, and create it as I go. Unlike my 20s when I felt compelled to look as close to what I saw in the media (a trick, since I’m a black Caribbean woman, and back in the 80s, there weren’t a lot of us in the media), nowadays, I’m old enough that I can think to myself, “I’M going to show people what being in your 50s is supposed to be like, at least as I define it.”

    Happy birthday, sister. Have fun creating what 54-and-amazing looks and feels like.

  31. Elyse says:

    Don’t sweat it! I’ll be 66 this year and love not giving a shit about what my younger self cared about. I live in black skinny jeans, boots and a leather jacket and make no apologies. Know what else I love? Sex is so much better at 66 then at 46. I know what I like, know what I want and I’m not afraid to ask for it. Enjoy the adventure, Kim, it’s worth it!

  32. Gables girl says:

    Kim: HBD! You are loved by your cyber-universe family and bring joy to others. Celebrate all your accomplishments!

  33. Melissa says:

    When my husband died just last May shortly after turning 55, I learned that getting older is a privilege, not a right. Please enjoy and celebrate your birthday!

  34. Kathy says:

    Feel what you feel! I’m turning 60 this year. I. CANNOT. WAIT. I’m a badass with silver hair and the world at my feet. I will admit however, to feeling somewhat different at 50, when I felt I was on a downhill slope.
    So, feel what you feel. Process it. Own it. And move on.
    Happy Birthday!

  35. Molly says:

    I’m not one of those “I finally came into my own after 40!” people. I have a hard time with aging, and I’m mid-40s and childless and it’s – personally – hard. So when I feel…not great, let’s say, about aging, what I try to appreciate is that I have the time and distance for my past to feel really, really good and deeply nostalgic, even when it hurts. I’ve been lately really appreciating all of the bittersweet 90s memories (for me, teens and early 20s) so I’d say that something I’ve liked about aging is the POV. I also like, sincerely, that I am old enough to have had a non-internet, pre-cell phone life. I find that sweet.

  36. Louise says:

    I am 51 and I really enjoy the fact that I don’t generally get embarrassed or feel self-conscious anymore. That is so liberating. I still struggle with some insecurities but I now move in the world with a confidence that has been hard won and it feels good.

    Thank you for the gift that is GOACA and have a wonderful birthday!

  37. Liz says:

    Happy Birthday. Live fully everyday and be thankful for the many gifts you have.

  38. Jamie says:

    Gaining compassion for others while realizing I don’t need their validation. It’s been incredibly freeing.

  39. Judes says:

    Happy birthday! I turn 54 in April and I’m looking forward to no longer being the same age my mom was when she died. I’m not usually superstitious, but this past year has freaked me out. A couple cancer scares (just scares) haven’t helped. I haven’t looked forward to a birthday in a while, but this is one I plan on celebrating. (And I wish my mom was around to celebrate it with me.)

  40. DeDe says:

    I feel like aging is a long process of coming to terms with the fact that we have a lot less control over things than we think we do when we’re younger. There is so much that we don’t have the power to change, and that’s humbling and kinda scary. Having said that, I also think it clarifies what we *can* control, which means it gets easier to let other things (and people) go. I’ve personally found that tremendously empowering.

    Thank you for this place, and especially, for being who you are. I appreciate your taste and your skill at finding great things across many catagories ranging from clothes to vintage posters to snarky GenX humor, but it’s your life experience, insight, and honesty that makes this place what it is. With apologies to the commenter who said she thought you were 30, a 30-year-old couldn’t do what you do here. However you may feel when you wake up on Saturday, I hope you go to bed feeling loved, appreciated, and proud of who you’ve become and what you’ve survived over the years. Happiest of birthdays to you!

  41. Mary Alice says:

    Well, happy birthday, fellow March baby!

    I used to live my whole life in fear that I wouldn’t be liked. I ate food I didn’t want, went to movies I didn’t like, even dated a few guys because I didn’t want to hurt any feelings. I actually changed my college major to please my dad. My entire life revolved around being agreeable.Somewhere along the way I came to the very painful realization that some folks wouldn’t like me, no matter what I did. I feel so liberated now! It was worth getting older to be free of that fear.

  42. Christy says:

    Happy birthday Kim!! I love that you’re always keeping it real. I can relate, and although there are many things about getting older that I don’t like, I’m glad I never have to be thirtysomething again. It was a tough decade for me, but those struggles also helped forge my character.

  43. Tess says:

    I’m 55. As someone already stated, getting old is a privilege. Once I complained about my aging face to my friend who was dealing with with Stage 4 breast cancer – she gently replied that she wished she could get old. It stuck with me, hard, and I’ve never felt bad about aging since. I don’t like becoming invisible, but I figure it’s not my problem, and I’m beginning to care less and less.

  44. Robyn says:

    I know you are a yoga devotee. I am too. Had I discovered it when I was younger, I wouldn’t have experienced it in the same way. I would have focused on having a tight ass and projecting the right image. Now, thanks to a little life experience and consequent unwillingness to worry about bullshit, I am better able to recognize and be delighted by episodic beauty: the gorgeous moments of stillness in meditation, the magical strong & steady feeling that comes in asana, the moments of connection with other people. This has spilled into the rest of my life and made me more grateful in general. I guess that’s the best thing right there. I’m humbler, and happier to have the privilege of continuing to figure it all out.

  45. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I was thinking about some of the things I do now that I never would’ve when I was younger:
    1. Answer the door without a bra on.
    2. Sing with abandon and not worry about my voice.
    3. Dance whenever I feel like it, even if I’m alone on the dance floor.
    4. Go out in public with no makeup on.
    5. Get arrested for Civil Disobedience while forgetting to tell my husband where I was going in the first place.
    6. When you’re older-ish, the cops that arrest you bring you donuts and coffee.

    I wish you the happiest of birthdays, Kim!

  46. Kelly says:

    I always try to remember: It’s a privilege to get old. So, it’s better than the alternative.

    The good/weird thing is, I still feel 17 and I am shocked at my reflection sometimes. Lol. Cheers, Doll!

  47. karen says:

    happy birthday! sometimes, even if you are generally accepting of yourself and getting older, birthdays are just hard….sorry this one seems to be bothering you.

  48. I love my gray hair. I have a very short cut by a master stylist. I get stopped on the street by women and men who comment on my hair. People remember me easily because of my hair color and style.

    Love your blog. I’m 62 and VERY happy. Remember, exercise is not an option anymore. Gotta keep fit.

  49. Mouse says:

    57 here, last period at 47, hot flashes mostly gone, reasonably healthy, best partner/husband of my life, a beautiful place to live with friends nearby, a cat, a vegetable garden, a job I mostly like, and a library membership. Time to sit with myself, think, imagine.

    It feels like the best time of life.

  50. Erin says:

    Reflection is the best part of getting older. You seem to have lived a life of adventure, accomplishment and reflection in your 54 years. Reading your blog is a gift in my daily routine- I feel better, look better and act better because of it. So a very happy birthday to you! ❤️

  51. Happy birthday, Kim!

    I’ve mellowed out, not totally but considerably, which is a very good thing.

  52. Rae says:

    Perhaps it is worth mentioning that culturally we often romanticize youth. Childhood is magical but filled with fears and awkward developmental stages (I am witnessing these in my littles right now). Young adulthood is fun and for me was filled with adventure but I frequently felt unmoored during my twenties. My thirties brought satisfaction and contentment. We certainly lose things as we age but we can gain as well. For me it has been joy, a sense of self, greater compassion, less of a critical voice towards myself and others.

    Happy Birthday!

  53. Trina says:

    I’m sorry I’m late to this. Happy Birthday!!
    Here’a recipe for a good birthday:
    On my birthday, I think about the Indian birthday ritual of giving others presents on your birthdays. I don’t actually do it (ha!), but it makes me think of all the people/things I’m grateful for.
    Take your doggies for a long walk (longer than usual). If you’re like me, bad feelings fall away when I’m walking my dog. Sometimes it’s a long walk, but your dogs won’t mind. 🙂

    And splurge on some chairs that you feel are a little out of your price range!


  54. Linda Boardman Kerr says:

    GOOD LORD, WHAT CAN I ADD TO ALL THIS WISDOM? I am almost 65 and love the way I look (okay, the slight drooping of the jowls bothers me, but smiling a lot diminishes that.) I know who I am and wear exactly what I want.

    And honestly, I am so glad to have wonderful memories of growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. I know things weren’t perfect, but I had a darn good childhood. The clothing, the music, the absence of the internet, family dinners. The glamour of flying….

    Just have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

  55. KimFrance says:

    Thanks a million for all of this wisdom, and the love too. I adore you all.

  56. paula says:

    I am turning 48 this year and although I have mostly not cared about my age – this year deep in the peri/menopause changes am feeling like the S has hit the fan. I don’t appreciate lots of things about getting older and can get grumpy about it. Its hard not to some days. What I am grateful for in addition to the “invisibility” of being a girl of a certain age – is the sisterhood. I seek and find joy in my sisters of all kids. This site, my work sisters, my real sister, my kid’s friend’s moms, strangers who I share some comments with at a grocery store, our young sisters from Parkland, Amy and Tina – anyone anywhere brings me great joy. I would say you and all the GOCA readers are on this list. I don’t think I appreciated the sisterhood as strongly when I was younger. So thank you from a total stranger for being like a sister to many of us in the battle of life and finding joy. Happy Birthday. oh and really good Cake. I totally appreciate a really expensive cake more than I used to when I was young. Have some cake.

  57. kim says:

    Happy birthday! Am turning 42 today and loved reading everyone’s answers filled with what I have to look forward to. So far, I’m enjoying getting older – feel like I have a little more wisdom, fewer Fs to give, and am so much more settled in to myself with each year.

  58. Julie Wilson says:

    It looks like the consensus is:

  59. Meg says:

    Happy 54th Kim. At 57 I have so much to be thankful for (Loving husband-children-sisters-loyal friends) Life is throwing me curve balls this year that I probably could not have weathered in younger years. Older-stronger-grateful!

  60. Maryse says:

    I just turned 55. It’s weird in the same way turning 50 or 40 was, in that the number doesn’t correspond to how I feel in my brain which is closer to 28. I still feel like a girl sometimes. But I like the feeling of confidence that comes with years of experience. I finally do whatever makes me happy regardless of what others expect of me. The downside is watching my father deteriorate (he’s 87 and has lost his independence) and losing friends I grew up with to disease. But it’s all a part of life. Happy Birthday lady!!

  61. Netsky62 says:

    I am 55 going on 56 and it is tough being an woman over 50 in our culture. That being said, I would list the following as advantages of being my age: Knowing that all things pass; knowing what looks good on me; accepting my body; appreciating my female friends; finding joy in little things instead of waiting for something big to make me happy; more self-confidence; and many more. Happy Birthday!

  62. y.k. says:

    Happy Birthday Kimfrance! I have a 54th birthday coming up myself this year & I”m cranky & a little bewildered by it. I’m not happy w/ the physical changes, but I really like that I can pretty much zero in on what will look good on me in any store. So that’s something.
    I’ve said it before, GOCA is on my Very short list of best things on the internet- thank you.

  63. Julie says:

    I just turned 54. I am single, no kids, with a dog. I appreciate this blog. It keeps me current without the stress of trying to keep current.

    At 54 (I’m an architect), I work with a lot of young, driven, competitive, stressed professionals (in their 20’s and 30’s), who are just starting out and feel they have to prove themselves in this competitive workforce. I was one of those once. And I’m happy to no longer be one. I’m now closer to retirement than to graduation and I look at these kids and remember what it was like to feel like you have to conform and work inhumane hours, to try to get noticed, to rise above the crowd. What they don’t know, and what I wish I’d known at their age, is that you’re sized up pretty early. You’re either noticed or you’re not, and regardless, it doesn’t mean much in the long run. At 54, it’s getting more and more difficult to care what anyone thinks. And that’s a really great thing about getting older.

    Plus, if you’re 54 and in good health, you are so very lucky, lucky, lucky. Revel in it.

  64. Rachel says:

    Happy Birthday, Kim! What a beautiful community you have created here.

    I am not bothered a bit by my age (55) – what good would come of it? Life gets better with every passing year and, as some others have commented, I’m still here! I do occasionally mourn for the way cuter body of my youth, but I had my turn to be younger, now it’s my time to be a girl of a certain age 😉 Plus less fucks, more money (equaling more choices/freedom) and tons more perspective.

    Enjoy 54 – it only comes around once!

  65. Lesley says:

    Happy birthday! Celebrate your awesomeness… everything else is bullshit. (I’m 41 FWIW.)

  66. Sheila says:

    Happy Birthday, Kim! I just turned 51. While my life isn’t perfect, I’m pretty happy with how it’s all played out. Finding yoga two years ago was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I’m not as good as the younger women in my class but as my teacher says “stay on your mat”. It’s great advice, I don’t need to worry about anyone but myself.

  67. Carrie says:

    Happy Birthday Kim! Thank you so much for your fantastic blog and I truly hope you have a marvelous celebration… I agree about eating really good cake or whatever treat strikes your fancy. I am turning 49 next week (shout out to other readers born in 1969!)and am using this birthday to prep me for the big 50 by stepping up my stoic outlook and simplifying my life in terms of the GOOD LIFE and what really MATTERS. I realize I am such a lucky gal and cherish my blessings daily (especially my incredible husband). My menopause has been a huge DRAG and it totally SUCKS witnessing my beloved parents literally wither away. But I try hard to “keep it real” and enjoy every single day knowing that life is a precious gift. I find a good cry in the shower every now and then helps a lot in addition to morning yoga/meditation. ENJOY!

  68. barb says:

    oh…you guys have me weepy, I will be 57 years old in a month…you have guys have hit the nail on the head…its our time now, do what you want we want, with whom we want and when.

    A toast to all of you…we earned this….

  69. Clare says:

    Kim – I am so happy to read your blog daily, it is one I look forward to each morning before I start work! You provide such thoughtful insight on topics, and have created such a wonderful community. I too am turning 54 this year, and am so happy to know who my true friends really are (a smaller, but more valuable group!), to know what I truly value, and be able to care and show love for family/friends with no worries about what others think. I don’t enjoy the creaky body that comes with age (although yoga helps with that!), but so enjoy knowing more about who I am and what I value most – and not putting up with any of the bullshit that others try to bring!

  70. Kathy O says:

    I’ve recently moved to a college town with lots of retired professors and government workers with pensions. I’ve been hanging out with a lot of interesting, in shape over 60 women who are financially comfortable and have stylish grey hair. They are the happiest people on earth.

    Embrace being older. I love not coloring my hair anymore — $35 hair cuts that take 30 minutes instead of $200 highlights that take over 2 hours. My boyfriend still thinks I sexy and now I don’t worry about my hair when we go swimming.

  71. c.w. says:

    Happy B-Day!

    (late to the party…again) At 66 & a half I have to echo what many others have already said…don’t care what others think, wear what I want, do what I want and LOVE not getting my period or the cat calls.

    I think what I would add is my hyper awareness of my own mortality––partly because my muther is about to turn 92, partly because I am a cancer survivor and party because there has been some loss of friends in recent years. I have embraced that awareness and turned it toward getting my finances, living will, medical power of attorney in order and allowing myself to go out and “do” whatever it is I feel is important be it a resistance march or signing up for sailing lessons. I believe with age not only comes wisdom, but the understanding that you MUST reach for those goals no matter how small or large they are and no matter how you might fail because, with age, failure becomes significantly more unimportant.

  72. Wendi says:

    Happy Birthday Dear Kim!

    Yeah, growing older seems to be a shock at times (I’m 52). Catching a
    an unexpected reflection of yourself in a mirror, and feeling aghast that that person is you. Having a younger person make a condescending comment about “how cute you and your husband are”…I guess for me I’m taken aback by all of this because I don’t feel older, but I am. It’s transition. And any transition takes time. I’ve decided that I’m in no rush to accept the Senior Citizen title that is before me. I will live in the moment and will be grateful for strong, unapologetically outspoken women I’ve become. I don’t have time for bullshit anymore. No time for crappy movies and bad plays (I walk out!), no time for fear – I joined a dance class (I am horribly uncoordinated), no time for judgement.
    So, be you Kim. In all her glory. ⚡️Revel in the gift of womenhood⚡️

  73. Emma says:

    it is way better than the alternative!

  74. KIMMY says:

    Oh it’s the best! Don’t need to give a f*ck about what anyone says, does or thinks! LOVE IT!

  75. Francine says:

    Happy Birthday Kim!

    How wonderful to have all these readers write you such lovely things. That right there should give you great joy!

    Personally, I try to ignore the age thing…meaning the actual number. But I echo most everyone else’s comment about not giving a rat’s ass about most stuff. I have three kids under the age of 13, so I call it “Mommy Armor.”

    I love fashion & beauty, so that helps in terms of staying relevant – and I hope – looking good. The baristas at Starbucks think I’m cool and that pleases me enormously. (Far more than compliments from the hubs!)

  76. Heidi says:

    Happy birthday! I agree with KIMMY that it’s nice not to have to give a fu** anymore! I’m going to be 52 this year.

  77. Minnie says:

    Non surgical cosmetic procedures! Nothing over the top but enough to wake up without those dark circle/bags under my eyes.

  78. Some who is thinking of you says:

    I just turned 53 and understand the crankiness. A very wise man named Jeff Hagan once said, “50 may be the new 40, but 51 is still 51.” Still, among the many good things about getting older—and one that I thank you for every day—is this: Girls may have girl friends, but girls of a certain age have life witnesses, bearers of each other’s evolving histories. Don’t start thinking that you can count them on one hand. As one of your many astute readers pointed out: Less friends; better friends. But I think that is an understatement; the true love a girl-friend-turned-life-witness is one of the greatest gifts there is.

  79. Michelle says:

    At 55 I am so much happier than when I was younger. As a few other women noted, I don’t have mood swings anymore. I’m better at avoiding what upsets me. I’m more grateful for what I have. I really know what looks good on me, and it turns out that bright lipstick is one of those items! In the past I tended to avoid bringing attention to myself, but now I do and wear things that I like.

    Happy birthday, Kim! Thanks for blogging and sharing the GOACA life!

  80. GT says:

    My two best friends were killed by a drunk driver when they were 15 — four days before Christmas. And my beloved roommate — a brilliant woman, an equestrienne, a polyglot, and a marathon runner — died of leukemia when she was 28.

    Be happy for your years. I would give anything to have more of them with these friends.

  81. Rochelle says:

    Happy Birthday to the leader of a favorite fashion blog! You’ve helped me identify great scores in the local thrift shop.

    I’ll be 50 this year (and I’m proud) and almost every weekday I head to my Zumba class that is led and populated almost entirely by women in their late 40s and up. Way up. And they are radical ladies — my 77-year-old mom in her Women’s March/Times Up tee, the older woman in her Rock and Roll Museum tee, and the spry gray-haired woman in the tee advertising her favorite craft double IPA (nearly 10% ABV!). I know it’s a cliche but being one of the group of older women shaking booty, rolling hips, and shimmying shoulders while hooting and hollering and not GAF is the best.

  82. Sally says:

    Happy Birthday Kim~
    I am 65 and feel calmer, nicer and friendlier than I used to feel and that really makes a difference in how I treat people and how they treat me. I REALLY appreciate my family and friends now and make time to spend with them.

  83. Tamara WINAWER says:

    You made it. And you’re smart and successful and healthy and beautiful and stylish and funny and youve survived your teens 20s 30s and 40s and you’ve got friends and fans and so many wonderful times ahead of you. Love in the present and enjoy all your moments. We got here!! We are GOACA and we rock!!!

  84. Monica says:

    Happy Birthday Kim! Another birthday beats the alternative… To be healthy at our age is the best gift of all! Love the blog–I look forward to it everyday!

  85. Emily Dickinson says:

    We turn not older with the years, but newer every day.

  86. Mimi says:

    Happy birthday, Kim. You are so cherished by the community you’ve created. I turned 70 last week, and I think I remember 54. 🙂 On the plus side, I’m healthy, more fit and thinner than I’ve ever been and my wardrobe is the best ever. I had a full face lift at 58, which made me feel great for more than 10 years. Now I think I look my age, but not in a bad way, and I’m less inclined to fight it. Who would I be kidding? I love my husband, our dog and my friends and I feel I’ve become nicer, more compassionate and more in touch with my values. My creativity and analytic powers are still strong, blessings that are so important, My most important kernel of wisdom is to not compare yourself to others -that’s a sure route to poor mental health.

  87. Lesley says:

    At almost 71 I would love to have the body I had in my 50s, and the energy I had in my early 60s, but I am far more grateful for what I have than I was at either 50 or 60. Every day I am grateful for where I live, for friends that I spend time with, for the financial freedom to travel and to splurge on a frivolous pair of shoes, for the relationship I have with my husband, and for my good health. Yes, I have lost friends and family members, and I am more aware of things I will probably not get to do in my remaining years, but there is still so much to do, and to see, and to experience. And, as others have mentioned, it is so liberating to do what I want to do, rather than doing what I imagine others want me to do. Enjoy the years to come!

  88. Sharon says:

    I wish I could be enthusiastic about it but I kind of hate it. All the changes in my body make me uncomfortable. It’s not a vanity thing, though I definitely dislike jowls, grey hair, skin that doesn’t bounce back, and eyes that have hollowed. I’ve always been very strong, energetic and athletic. Losing that is really difficult. Losing it by degrees is even worse. Every year there is less I can do. As a positive happy person my whole life, adjusting to this new reality is trying. It’s a bit like an hourglass. At the beginning of life the top half is full and little by little it drains away into the bottom which is still the same stuff but arranged differently. I have to say, I don’t love it. I get that its better than the alternative. Still, it feels like being robbed a bit at a time with every morning bringing a new indignity. I think aging sucks. I’m so happily in love with my husband of 38 years, am crazy about my job, have a wonderful family I adore, friends that are my world, and a lot to be thankful for. Even though my life is full and there is a lot of joy in it, my body reminds me that there is less of it in front of me than there is behind me and I can look forward to a steady decline. I feel like I can’t talk about this, that I’m supposed to be a happy old person accepting of all the changes and simply grateful to have lived as many years as I have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll enjoy my life no matter how much of it is left, but there’s a melancholy and sadness creeping into it that was never there, a mourning for the things taken that I will never get back.

    • Amy says:

      I completely understand. I’m 53 and while I’m so very happy to be alive and healthy, I know I’ve been going through something of a grieving process the past few years about what I’ve lost in aging. I’ve always approached getting older with curiosity and an open mind but for some reason, the early 50s have me hitting a wall. I’m coming out of it now and see how great it is as mentioned by so many others here: not caring what people think, speaking my mind more, trying to embrace my personal style and enjoy my body for where it is and what I can do with it. Good luck to you!

  89. Melynda says:

    Happy birthday Kim!!!

    I agree with all that’s been said above about knowing who you are, giving fewer fucks, etc. But that being said, I’m turning 55 this year, and I’m also having a hard time reconciling myself with my age. I just can’t see myself as being this old!

    Part of the problem is my hair. I’ve dyed it all my adult life. (When I was 18, my beautiful golden blond turned into a horrible mousey blond, so coloring was a must.) I use henna now, so I’m a fabulous redhead. But when I look at my roots, there’s a lot of gray. In fact, it may even have turned white! I’d like to quit dying it for a while to get a look at it. It could be spectacular. But am I ready to have gray hair? I don’t know.

  90. Kathy says:

    I turned 54 in July. Up till about 3 years ago, I felt–and I think looked!–younger than my age. In June 2016 I was basically forced out of a job that had been my life for over 20 years. I am only now starting to break the surface of the immobilizing depression in which I’ve been drowning for 2 to 3 years. Losing my career meant our household income has been cut to about 40% what it was. My daughter started college this fall, so now I am very alone until my husband gets home each day. I need–and want!–to work, but apparently 54 year-old babes are not in demand. I have completed many online applications but have not even been able to get one interview. I guess they can’t figure out what good I’d be? I haven’t given up yet. Getting back to work will definitely help me get back to feeling like myself.

    I’m OK with getting older. No more (really awful) periods! My skin, while losing some pigment and tone, seems to be less congested. My hair is still shiny, with some new, um, highlights (!). I have strong opinions and I’m not afraid to voice them. I give exactly zero Fs what anyone thinks about me. I am now very, very politically aware; I used to have an issue or two I cared about but was oblivious otherwise. I still love fashion and nobody would ever accuse me of dressing “old!”

    I’m kind of looking forward to 55. I am hoping it will be a really good year after the rough years 53 and 54. Also, it beats the alternative!

    Kim, like so many others have said, I am grateful for your presence on this planet. When I discovered Lucky, I said, “These are my people!!” Lucky may be gone, but I’m glad I re-discovered you and your excellent blog and the fabulous community of fierce, badass women you’ve cultivated. So thank you and happy birthday. 🖤

    • Alysa says:

      I felt I had to respond to your post. Hang in there, you will find something. In August of 2016 I was let go from a job I had had for two years and it had taken me awhile to find that! I work in developmen/fundraising and it can be a very unpredictable work environment. I was beyond stunned as I felt I had been doing a great job and my co-workers agreed. I know how you feel. That was a tough period for me. I applied for about 70 jobs and had 30 interviews. I am now 57 and (still) single. Six months ago I found a new job in a new city. New apartment, new everything. I love it here, and my job feels pretty stable. I don’t feel too bad about my age as I have practiced yoga for almost 20 years, cook from scratch almost every day, and basically tried to stay positive, and do things I love often. I feel rather hopeful about the future. We do the best we can. I know you will find something. Feel positive. Don’t give up.

      • Kathy says:

        Thanks, Alysa, for the kind, encouraging words. I actually think the last 3 years in my job aged me 10+ years. My positivity is returning but by bit, so maybe I’ll age backwards, too…? 😹 I believe that the HR staff at the places I’ve applied can’t imagine how any aspect of my former career as an elementary teacher could transfer to the jobs they are recruiting for. I guess if were a friend of the cheeto in the White House, I’d be running the State Department or something by now. All applications are online now, so getting a face-to-face to explain myself will only happen when (if I ever!) get an interview. I haven’t given up, and I don’t plan to. Hearing from women my age who are making it work definitely helps. That’s why I’m hanging out here. 😉

  91. Lisa says:

    I am turning 50 on Monday (gulp) and am really in denial. Reading this post (sent to me by an awesome friend) and the comments has just provided the frame shift I needed. My mom had a great perspective on getting older: we were out for brunch several years ago, and my mom was enthusiastically chatting up our (cute, young) waiter. I asked her on the way out when she got so friendly with waiters and she said, “I’m a sweet old lady now! I can get away with anything!”

  92. Mae says:

    What do I like about getting older (I’m 58)? Nothing. What do I appreciate? The money I made myself.

    • Mae says:

      Update: Honestly, I’m scared at how quickly life is zipping by. My 87-year-old uncle recently said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” I took it to mean I’d better enjoy life while I can.

      Happy Birthday, Kim. Your blog is a welcome distraction from the harshness of aging. It’s a reminder to savor life’s pleasures. You’re making the world a better place, darlin’. Thank you.

  93. Another maggie says:

    Bit of an outlier here, but starting in my gawkward teens and 20s I longed for my 50s and beyond. I always knew I’d look better wearing the white hair, confident style, and deep wisdom I observed in post-50 women. And I do. At 56, I discover new and unexpected benefits daily: honest respect from others, life-lived empathy, easy self-discipline, genuine gratitude, and the ability to balance freedom to do as I please with the awareness of how to do so without hurting others. I couldn’t be happier.

    Happy Waypost Kim. And thank you for the gift you give us every day.

  94. Alexa says:

    Happy birthday, Kim.
    I’m a little late to the party, but I’ll chime in anyway.
    Before turning 40, I lost a dear friend, and then my husband did too. My father died suddenly, days before my birthday, and my mother died three months later. Age is a privilege. Enjoy it.
    And have some cake.

  95. Lisa says:

    I am sixty as of this year! It was a big birthday, in a way that the previous decades had not been. However: as others have said, I’m clearer about who I am, I actually like the way I look, and I have a clearer sense of what I bring to the party. It’s never all one thing, of course–this has been what I’m calling a mortality year, with family illness and the awakening sense that I don’t have endless time left in life. Even that, however, has been clarifying. Happy birthday! I hope you live it up! I really love your website, and think you are just the tops.

  96. Samantha says:

    First Happy Birthday!!
    Secondly, I want to thank you! I found your post from 5 years ago about Dr Martens and I’m exactly the age you were then, worrying that I couldn’t pull them off, that I’d look try too hard.
    I think opinions have changed even in that short period for the better.
    I think it may be that we are from a generation who saw that previous generations (our parents and grandparents) seemed to have very rigid style codes.
    Women seemed to have to have their hair cut short after a certain age and couldn’t wear many things anymore.
    I think us Gen X’ers were the first generation where the rules didn’t/ don’t apply.
    I think we were the first generation of women to wear combat boots, etc as part of a fashion statement.
    I think shows like Sex & The City really helped show that you could still have fun with fashion way past your teens and 20’s.
    Sorry to jump on this thread but I wasn’t sure if you’d see my comment if I posted it in the original post.
    Hope you had a great day yesterday!

  97. Sylvia Dickinson says:

    Happiest Birthday! 54 is nothing, I’m 75, a quarter of a century! That was a big shock!

    Still doing Pilates 2-3 x a week and cardio

  98. Isabella Archer says:

    Although the numbers continue to seem appalling, I’ve come to learn the hard way that age is spectacularly binary: you’re either alive or you’re not.

    I now think less about the numbers and more about knowing that every year is a good one. HBD!

  99. Cara says:

    Wishing you a Happy Birthday.

  100. Betsy says:

    Many of the shit things in life have already happened and you’ve lived through them. At soon to be 60, my perspective on what makes a happy life is much better informed.

  101. deenie says:

    Well, i’m trying to be a lot of you guys when i grow up. i’m turning 50 this year and never really envisioned myself after like 35, so emotionally i am woefully unprepared. my 40s have been mostly hard (or challenging as my mother would say). but everyday is a new one and the time still passes whether i make the positive changes i want to or not. so i’m taking one day at a time and cherishing the small, daily victories as i move toward conquering bigger ones. i am learning to embrace and be grateful for incremental improvements.

  102. josiebella says:

    Realising that you really don’t know anything and being totally ok with that.

    Oh and also giving less of a flying f*&k what anyone thinks about you 🙂

  103. Happy Birthday a little late. I hope you had a fantastic day, and I (like so many) want to thank you for the gift you’ve given all of us: a comments section that’s refreshingly caring, helpful, funny, and kind. I feel like I would enjoy any of you IRL (and that’s not easy to say on the internet). Kim, we are all your people. xo

  104. Jennifer says:

    Hey Kim –
    Happy bday! I’m 53 and what makes me happy about getting older is all the cool, badass women I know who are out there making change and rocking their worlds. It’s a gift to get older. I love your blog and your POV. We’re only getting better. Let’s continue to smash the patriarchy and set examples for all those around us. Blow out those 54 candles with pride! Love and solidarity from Miami! Xo

  105. Yolanda says:

    Girrrl. You are the coolest 54 y/o I know. This from a recently minted 53 y/o who started a new job doing relief work for Puerto Rico a few months back. Amazingly rewarding work. I’m a dedicated, mindful, process heavy, methodical introvert who wears my heart on my sleeve and my PRican curly hair natural. Oh and I have a kick-ass wardrobe (LOL!). I’m socially QUIET and at peace with it.
    Que tengas un Feliz cumpleaños, Kim. Abrazos. (May you have aHappy Birthday – Hugs)

  106. kirstjen says:

    Younger men!

    I know I’m a little late, but I’ve been busy… 😉

  107. RebeccaNYC says:

    My gray/silver hair and not giving a flying fuck about other people’s opinions about me. FINALLY!

    I turn 60 on Sunday. Whoopdie doo.