How Many Years Have You Lived?


I have had countless and worthy conversations about every female topic over all the years in this business I get to own called beauty.

Speedily approaching 60, the topics have shifted from mothering, the latest weight loss plan, parenting, the latest graduation party, kids getting their licenses and where they are going to college to the hot topic of aging.

Bloating, what we’re eating, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, weight gain, (seldom weight loss), empty nesting, sagging breasts, drinking too much, not drinking at all and the all important - personal relevance.

The cat is out of the bag, these discussions are the main event now. Strangely I am finding   comfort in this.

Freedom to discuss all of the ever changing landscapes of our bodies and our minds.

This shit is real. The bloat is real, the finality of empty nesting is real. It is all mother fucking real.

No matter how dressed up I get, what makeup I adorn my tanned and age spotted skin with, how much gel I twist into my white curly locks or the types of shoes and jewels I add to my outfit, the age factor has entered my orb and there is no going backwards to the days of yesteryear.

Thank Goodness. Mostly.

I am from the generation where walking down the street past a line of construction workers was a guaranteed whistle, and as insulting as this demeaning catcall is, there are times that I miss it.

“You look great for your age,” has become the one line compliment that feels a little odd.

We celebrate Helen Mirren’s incredible look because she just looks like a bad ass “at her age”

Why is this significant? Why do we focus so much on her outward appearance like it is a Tiffany box without so much as mentioning what is inside, her mind, as the main event?

This is how it has been for women. Celebrated for our outsides first, barely recognized for what goes on in our minds.

The surge in injections of Botox in younger women astounds me. Rather than finding a great skin routine, the injections are now the easy fix for a face that does not need fixing.

The joy of living though in this time is that I get to hear women’s voices loud and clear about the hot topics seldom discussed in daily conversations in generations before.

Is this progress? Yes. I will take what I can get. The conversations are finally happening.

I recently discovered one of the better podcasts I have hungrily gobbled up run by the one and only Julia Louis-Dreyfus, WISER THAN ME.

I highly recommend this podcast if you want to feel good, and to remind yourself of your own sense of being and importance as an aging woman in this country we have the privilege of living in, despite its temperament.

It is where I heard Isabelle Allende and the icon, Diane von Furstenberg use the expression HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU LIVED as an alternative to HOW OLD ARE YOU?

 It poses an interesting look at aging. How many years have you lived? What does this mean to you?

They, among others, have generously shared their wisdom from the front lines of their own years lived.

I was inspired and enlightened and I hope you will be too. Here is the link.

For some inspiration and commentary on life's moving parts, especially aging, read Life Cycling, buy one here, or buy a few for some of your favorite friends. Lots of great reviews! And it is also on Audible read by me.



“I love this book. It makes me laugh, cry, and be thankful for my family and friends. Alayne is a wonderful writer, kind hearted and all around lovely. Thank you for a great read. I wish I could buy one book for every woman I know.”


“The book was inspiring thoughtful really well written enjoyed it tremendously.”


“Alayne's Life Cycling book is truly wonderful. I laughed, I cried and felt warm inside. I couldn't put it down and read it in 2 days.”


“This book is a wonderful read. It gives insight to Alayne’s life and it is nice to see how other people deal with similar issues. I highly recommend it.”

The magic is inside you, there ain't no crystal ball. - Dolly Parton

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