Waking at night (you know why) 2

Waking at night (you know why)
More people in Africa have cellphones than toilets. This statistic comes to mind when I wake up in the middle of the night. Which often happens when you get older. There’s no gender divide on this one. Both men and women tend to experience interrupted sleep as we age. You know the reason most of ...

Healthy Aging + the Future (if we’re still here) 1

Healthy Aging + the Future (if we're still here)
“Healthy aging” is a good way to describe what we all want from life as we get older. We don’t want to be old for longer. We want to be – or at least feel – young for longer. Sure, we want longevity. As long as it comes with good physical, psychological and social health. ...

Studies show… Duh! 4

Studies show... Duh!
I love it when something I’m already doing turns out to be good for me. Especially now that I’m endlessly checking out advice on how to avoid all that bad stuff that comes with aging. My eyes are riveted by headlines such as “Chocolate protects against memory loss”. I never fail to click on links ...

Gaga can go gray but grannies can’t go Gaga 2

Gaga can go gray but grannies can’t go Gaga
It was my niece’s 13th birthday party and about a dozen 12- and 13 year-olds were playing a party game. (How heartening that children still do, when so often they’re all just staring at their phones.) The game called “Who Am I?” starts with a name stuck on your forehead (or back), then you have a limited ...

Aging, Change and History 1

Aging, Change and History
South Africa is not usually an international trendsetter but in one area the country has recently been a world leader, with the United States belatedly following its example. That is in dealing with historical symbols of racism. Nearly 150 years since American slavery was abolished by the Civil War, the US is only now getting rid of ...

Much ado about manuals 1

Much ado about manuals
What is it like to get old in South Africa? It’s okay when the lights are on – but since late last year the country has been experiencing rolling blackouts known locally as “loadshedding”. Every block in the national grid has a 2-hour daily slot without power. So you listen to the radio or check your phone app to find out if loadshedding is on. If ...

Cover Girl at 65 1

Cover Girl at 65
How does a 65-year-old get on the cover of a top fashion magazine? It was Caitlyn Jenner’s Welcome to Womanhood. Do you applaud Caitlyn Jenner because she is brave or because she’s pretty? – transgender writer Meredith Talusan in the UK Guardian. The question could be rephrased: Do you applaud Caitlyn because she is brave or ...

Older women at Cannes 2

Older women at Cannes
Nowhere is the media’s double standard in aging between male and female more glaringly obvious than at that annual glamathon on the French Riviera, the Cannes Film Festival. This year the main Cannes jury was headed by writer-director-producers the Coen Brothers, the first time two people have shared this role. The most lauded film of ...

Unfollowers? Lucky I’m Too Old to have any!

Unfollowers? Lucky I'm Too Old to have any!
When I see the word “Unfollow” I immediately think: LITO! Perhaps you’ll recall the internet slang-style acronym My New Old Self coined for those situations where it’s actually better not to be young: LITO, meaning Lucky I’m Too Old. I enjoy finding opportunities to use LITO, if only to mutter it under my breath with ...

Happy 21st Birthday, South Africa! 1

Happy 21st Birthday, South Africa!
South Africa’s non-racial democracy celebrates its 21st today so My New Old Self is republishing this personal exhibit of  anti-apartheid badges (or political buttons or whatever you call them) worn by My Old Young Self 30-40 years ago. Those were the days when many of us around the world protested against apartheid in South Africa and campaigned ...