Age is just rings on a tree, baby…..

Scene 1. Luxuriating in my ridiculously small bathtub the other day, I found a rather long black hair behind my knee. I don’t mean to be gross. IT wasn’t gross like a whisker out of a witches nose or anything, but it made me ponder. It wasn’t there in my 20s or my 30s. Why now?

Scene 2. An old friend was in town last week and a bunch of us gals got together and went out on the town. And we WENT OUT. Dinner, drinks, barhopping, shooters (ever had a Dr Pepper? You drop a shot of Amaretto in a glass of beer & coke…fun but it will bite you later), and flirting with boys half our age. We ended up in a nightclub we used to go to in our early years, surrounded by 20-somethings and having a ball. On my home at 3am, the cab driver said to me, “aren’t you a little old for The Roxy?”.

I woke up the next morning to a doozy of a headache and thought about what the cabbie had said. Was I too old to be doing “young girl” things? Were we pathetic and awkwardly out of place? What are the things I should be doing in my 40s? Too young for jigsaw puzzles (which I adore) and knitting (haven’t tried yet), but too old for whooping it up once in a while?

Hell no, Mister cabbie.

You have to be careful with the “shoulds” in life. They are killers if you take them too seriously. What a “should” does is tell you what you are supposed to be doing/thinking/saying based on someone else’s opinion. I’m sure the cabbie is a nice guy, but what he was saying was that a woman of my age SHOULD be living the stereotypical life of a 40-year-old woman, and shaking a leg down Granville Street at 3am wasn’t it. So, what does the life of a 40-year-old gal look like? Who made the rules? Where is it written in stone that a not-20-anymore woman can’t drink shooters and sing The Rolling Stones at the top of her lungs? It’s not written anywhere because all age is is an stamp that says “you have been alive for……days” (for me that is over 15,000….if we’re counting). Society puts the “should”s out there…”have a family, wear a suit, don’t swear”. Advertising and the media put them out there, too….”no bikinis after 35, wear khakis, no blue eyeshadow”.

Here’s what I say: fuck em. I was 28 when I embarked on an acting career (my 3rd career change). I was bartending in a cigar lounge at 30. I was dating a man 13 years younger than me at 42. I drink beer out of a bottle, swear like a trucker, and crank Green Day in my car whenever I get the chance. So What?? What you do with your years is your business. Sure, my body is aging and I don’t want the do all the things I used to do, but no one can tell me what my life should look like based on the amount of birthdays I’ve had.

Try to live your life without all the “should”s and “supposed to”s. I know, you can’t get around all of them, and sometimes we conform, just don’t let anyone dictate where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing based on time spent on the planet.

So, cutting back to scene 1. Remember, the black hair? It’s a sign of age. My pal Robyn started getting them in her 30s. I’m ok with that. I can’t avoid them. Along with the stray grey hairs, the “smile lines” around my eyes, and the joy of getting into bed before 8pm sometimes (!). But all age is, is rings on a tree, baby…..

Be well,


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14 Responses to Age is just rings on a tree, baby…..

  1. Pam Watson says:

    I’m with you Sam. I am older than you and have come to the same conclusion. Whatever activity or lifestyle we choose to live, at whatever age, is just fine as long as we believe it to be so. Life is too short to deny ourselves. Ageism is the next prejudice that has to be beaten down. Now sexism coupled with ageism is an ugly combination that we, ladies, have got to stand up against. I’m not taking it anymore and I have a voice I’m not afraid to use. BTW, loved you in SPN.

  2. gail says:

    You say it like it is and you live like there,s no tomorrrow! Your the Greatest Sam…………

  3. Mary A says:

    Rock on Lady! You have said what I wish to say. 😉

  4. Julie says:

    This is a very timely post. I turned 50 on Tuesday….50! Can’t believe it myself….where did all those years go? Well 20 of them were spent raising kids so that explains some of it. I don’t usually think of myself as being a person who worries about what others think but it does creep in there sometimes. I need to remember your words and stop listening to the others.

  5. izstuart says:

    I love your posts! Life is too short to live by what your ‘supposed’ to do.

  6. Damn it Sam, I love ya! I was 55 last year and did a whole host of things I “shouldn’t” be doing. I went to my first convention (without hubby) met up with my spnfamily and had a weekend of fun being hugged by gorgeous men younger than me in my photo ops, did it all again this year and in the time between met up with those same gals for a concert in London where we shared an apartment for the weekend and other outings as well. Like to drink, swear and generally let my hair down, fuck growing old gracefully I want to have as much fun as l can while I can……next year Supernatural VanCon hubby isn’t interested so I’m going alone, the icing on the cake would be if you were there Sam! Here’s hoping xxx

  7. kate parrow says:

    My darling son reminded me I was now over 16,425 days old the other day and I asked him what he thought that was supposed to mean to me. He said, very wisely, “I can do math now”. “Uh Huh. I thought that’s what you meant. I’m sure you weren’t going to ask if I had a pet Pterodactyl right?”. He giggled. I said “Bud, the only ages that matter are the legal ones. Voting and Driving and whatnot. Everything else is UP TO YOU. No one ever told me I had to stop doing this”, I stuck my tongue out at him, “When I turned 45. So I won’t. And we are both going to have to deal with it.” He rolled his eyes at me. I laughed. We should define ourselves, I think.

  8. Will Walker says:

    I already loved you because of Ellen on Supernatural, but after reading this blogpost I love you with all my heart. Screw that cabbie, live it up Sam! We only get one chance at this thing, what you “should” do is whatever you feel like before we don’t have the chance anymore. It was great getting a glimpse into some of the fun you have, and may you have many more nights out til 3 AM. Still miss my hot Ellen action though.


  9. Thanks Sam, I found this uplifting and inspiring. When I finally make my overseas trip, if I see you in Canada I’ll be sure to ask you the best places to drink and have fun 🙂
    PS: It was great to meet you at the Wellington Armageddon. (It’s still cold and we’re still buying cheap booze at the Supermarket)

  10. ilse klijn says:

    I’ve been saying this for a while, thanks for pointing it out too! I’m 32 and don’t live according to societies standards. It made me feel awkward for a while but it’s my life and I do with it what I want. I’m not standard, I’m not settling down cause it’s what I’m supposed to, no I’m living my own life because its’ what I want to do and not because it’s someone else who’s saying it 😉

    So thank you for writing this down!

  11. Melvin says:

    Does this mean we’re supposed to chop you down to find out how old you are?
    I’m confused…

    1) Stress?
    2) were you in a tube top and booty shorts?

    yep, there’s no rules saying a person approaching middle age or even pass it saying they can’t have a blast once and awhile
    as long as you aren’t hurting anyone (drink / drive)

  12. Teresa says:

    Thank you.
    I’m 41 and embarking on a career change myself. (Going back to school for engineering, because the acting thing didn’t exactly work out being stuck on the wrong coast, and retail sucks for me.)
    Fortunately for me, my genetics give me an advantage, where people think I’m about 10-15 years younger than I am. The only person saying ‘aren’t you too old for that?’ is the little voice in the back of my head.

  13. grannieof2 says:

    Oh yeah! A young male acquaintance, upon discovering my age, exclaimed: You don’t look that old! (Seriously, WTF??) And I replied: Baby, this is what 60 looks like. Ha! You go, Sam!

    Write on! 😉

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