The Art of Aging wisely and how to confront the Enemy


The motivation to write about this topic manifested when I recently looked at my mom’s photos when she was about my age. I have always looked at these pictures thinking that she looked conservative and rather old. I did not want to look like her when I grew older until one day when looking at her pictures and even looking at her in person today, I realized that I would be a very happy woman to have her looks and charisma when I am her age. The old pictures seem to have changed. She actually looks terrific, or is it my perspective that has changed?

Art of Aging

Anyhow, I am not a young chick anymore and as much as I enjoy the maturity and wisdom I have gained over the years in this world, I surely do not appreciate the wrinkles, the aches and pains, the grey hair trying to conquer my scalp (I won’t let it thanks to chemistry), not to forget menopause symptoms and the struggle to keep in good shape. Aging has a price – the price of looking older and being looked at as an older person. How do I know about that? Everyday life teaches me that I am not 20 years old anymore. Like it or not, I must face reality.

I would like to share a little anecdote with you.

The other day when I went to the car wash it happened. I looked good that day, well-groomed, happy and at ease with my life. The guy at the car wash was kind and I thought even flirtatious. Yes, it was one of those days when I felt good about myself, full of self-confidence and charm. At the end of our conversation he asked me: What fragrance? I was not sure if I was willing to answer that question. Wouldn’t that go too far? Why would I tell him the fragrance I was wearing and I hesitated? The guy was insistent and asked me again. Well, I thought who cared and I gave him the desired response. ‘I am wearing Eau de Merveilles by Hermes’ I told him honestly and proudly. The look he gave me was indescribable. He seemed totally confused and I was quite sure he thought that I was a lunatic. ‘Well’, he said, ‘we only carry vanilla, strawberry …”. What an embarrassment! He was asking about the fragrance for my car, while I was thinking…!!! This brought a sharp ending to the conversation which I thought was a flirt while he was simply selling his car wash services.

To enlighten your day and to prove that I am not the only woman running into trouble, I would love to share another anecdote with you that happened to a friend at the car repair. She is as middle aged as I, a beautiful and charming woman who had a conversation with a guy at the car repair. The guy was insistent in making an appointment with her. She felt flattered, but she did not like this blunt approach by a guy she had never met in her life. On top of that she was happily married and she had no intention to go on a date with another man. As flattering as it was to be the chosen one, she had to find a way to get out of the dilemma. She was thinking of excuses why she could not have a date with him until the guy told her that her car desperately needed a certain service. What a bummer! He was not interested in her. It was her car.

Finally, my friend and I had to realize that it was not us the guys were interested in, but it was our cars or whatever needed to be fixed or serviced.

You can get frustrated about this, but you can also take it with a sense of humor. My friend and I we tell these little stories and laugh. We still cannot believe that as educated and self-confident as we are, we were not able to discover the true meaning of the male inquiry. Our egos fell for the basic instinct that men were interested in us as women. We had to learn the hard way that this is not always the case.

Now we know that the days are over when construction workers whistle when we walk by. No turning heads, no blunt compliments by stupid men that make us feel so special. The days when all eyes focused on us are over. Instead we are more like undercover agents on a secret mission. We are important, but we don’t attract attention because that would totally spoil the mission. Our recipe for success is to be there but not to be seen, with our goal right in front of us all the time.

I love it. Finally I am playing a leading role next to James Bond. I am sexy, I am smart and I am on a secret mission for who knows what. If you look at aging that way, it actually begins to be fun. Don’t you think? We cannot stop the process, we can only delay it. If you feel like you want to do plastic surgery or have Botox treatments, why not? Whatever you do that makes you feel better is fantastic. But don’t lose your sense of humor when you realize that you are not getting the desired attention and admiration. You have no need to be upset or high strung when the young chick gets the admiration you were longing for. Do not worry about the aches and pains of daily life and simply live with them. We cannot stop aging, and we do not want it either. The alternative is the end of life and we want to live.

My recommendation is to go undercover. Be beautiful, be smart, be adventurous and become the wisest Bond girl the world has ever seen.

Check back next month for Part Two – It’s Not All About Looks

Be a woman and act like one.


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About Hertha Wolff-Arend

I am a business coach and writer located in Paso Robles, California. I am the author of the book Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in business and life’’ and I write a blog for women with the same title. I give motivational speeches and offer leadership and personality trainings to women. I also work with business owners and managers to support them in their leadership skills and personal development. As a strategic consultant, I also help companies with their communication and marketing strategy. Born and raised in Germany, I spent most of my adult life in Europe. I have a German university degree in languages and economics and I worked for many years in the advertising industry as one of the few female managing directors in Germany for major international advertising agencies such as Young&Rubicam, TBWA and Bates. My client list consisted of mainly blue chip clients, where I was responsible for their communications strategies and the development and execution of the advertising concepts. Just to name a few clients: Lufthansa, Danone, Kraft Foods, Bosch, Singapore Airlines, Ericsson, Campbells etc. In 2004 I relocated with my husband and son to California. I graduated from New Venture West in San Francisco as a Certified Integral Coach and started my own coaching practice in 2007. I am fluent in German and English and have conversational skills in Spanish. Aside from my dedication to work and family, I am a passionate dressage rider. I am devoted to supporting women in business, with a focus on women in the lower and middle management who are aiming at a career in the higher ranks or who want to develop their own business.
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4 Responses to The Art of Aging wisely and how to confront the Enemy

  1. Vicki Zekanis says:

    You always seem to write what I am in most need of hearing! Thanks for taking the time to let me know I am not the only one out there thinking I am a lunatic. Life changes can be tuff, but keeping the chin up, practicing smiling & laughter, will always keep you young at heart! Beauty always starts beneath the skin. I’ll be waiting for part two. Happy New Year!

  2. Karen Smith says:


    I love to read your blogs! I have to tell you that I spent Christmas week in Aspen. As you can imagine, it is a place filled with “beautiful people”. I myself was very harried, hair uncombed and shoved up into a clip, no makeup, old jeans, Payless fake ugg boots, you get the idea. I did not “fit in” with the “in” crowd. However, I had a great time and did not concern myself with it. All that mattered to me was enjoying my children. Go figure, I was the woman around town that repeatedly got asked for drinks, dinner and several dates. The other women didn’t like me much, as I was taking away the attention of available bachelors. Lucky for them, I am married and did not need or want them. I know that the attraction I was creating was because I was genuine and smiled and laughed and had a great time. Thanks for your blogs and keep them coming. We all love them!

  3. Patti Cuffney says:

    Thanks for the great article. On a day that I really needed a reason to smile, you made me laugh. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Isabella says:

    Cool blog,looking to communicate

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