Many of the side-effects of female “maturity” are less than desirable. There’s the insomnia, the forgetful brain-freezes, and for some, the “short, private vacations in the tropics.”

As the estrogen levels decrease, the proportion of testosterone increases. Testosterone affects hair growth, specifically, facial hair growth. Being blessed with vanilla-bland skin and hair allows me to ignore the increasing levels of fur on my face for long periods of time. It’s still there, but I do not (yet) have to face the fact that at some point I will have to brush my face as well as my scalp.

On the other hand, many of the side-effects of aging are positively WUNderful! I am nowhere near as much a scaredy-cat. I feel less need to apologize or atone for things and people wholly outside my (illusory-at-best) “control.” My happy and contented moods are less fragile and last longer. Someone else can have a bad day and I can usually not make it MY bad day as well. After years and years of waiting for “my turn” I can finally act on the fact that you need to *take* a turn when you can.

When I first noticed my invisibility, I was quite distressed. What a blow to my vanity! Such bruises to the ego! Males passed me by without a flicker of recognition of my existence. No eye scan, no nod, no nothing. I was beyond the “interesting/acknowledgeable” age in their eyes. I was a human body unworthy of interaction. Now I find octogenarians flirt a great deal with me. I left one field of existence and entered another! Initially disconcerted, now I am relieved and feel a sense of freedom. Whose standards do I want to live up up? Only my own. Everything else is gravy. I knew that when I was younger, but I wasn’t able to truly live it.

The satisfaction of that is worth a little fur.