I always take in a person's looks first; I suppose we all do. My own insecurities are numerous, and it is impossible for me not to focus on other women and to compare myself to them, at least a little.
Sure it's fun when I'm mistaken for being 15 years younger, as happened last summer at a thriller writers conference I attended, but how important is that, really? Isn't what kind of person I am and what I've accomplished what matters most?
Mom and Dad have forged strong careers, have financial success and are unwilling to remain in unhappy marriages that are unfulfilled. With a good number of years of healthy active life ahead of them, they are taking a long, hard look at the person with whom they will be spending it.
While all couples contemplating divorce experience more than a measure of sadness, anger, perhaps fear and certainly disappointment, young couples, with short-term marriages, no jointly held assets and no children tend to negotiate intensely over "the stuff."
The general level of happiness in older marriages increases with the years they are together. Compared to couples who marry in their twenties, those who married significantly later report less work-related stress, less marital conflict and more couple interaction and satisfaction.
If you ever get the chance to visit New York's West Village you may have the wonderful opportunity to run into the one of the neighborhood's most enchanting women. At 90 years old, artist and performer Ilona Royce Smithkin is busier than ever.
We can easily end up spending the last half of our lives wrestling with the paradox of "How old I am isn't how old I feel!" I believe this internal conversation about "How old I am" versus "How old I feel" serves a purpose.