Mar 27, 2013

Aging Gracefully: Happy Inside My Own Skin....really!

Generation FabulousI have been thinking about the phrase "aging gracefully" lately.  The GenFab Facebook page is using it as the jumping off point for their bloghop this month. This group of women always have something interesting to say so I am joining the conversation.

Aging gracefully...what does that mean away?

The Skin I Live In:
Reading glasses, no make-up and lot of wrinkles!

This has been a hard one for me. Grace and manners seem to go hand in hand for me but I don't think that is what we are after here. Gracefully...like a ballerina or a tango dance. Gracefully as the palms in a gentle breeze. No, I don't think that is it either. Could it be that the noun we attach to the word...aging...changes gracefully into something that is negative?

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around that concept until it occurred to me that aging is all about change. Whether we like it or not somethings just are. Throughout our lives we have been changing, growing and learning. It really doesn't matter if we are 17 or 71 this process can and should be a positive one. We get to decide. Or that is what I believe.

But as we age gracefully, the world is telling us that how we look is more important that what goes on inside our heads. The message is that we are not worthy unless we look like someone we are not, someone that is younger and more beautiful. We are told that aging gracefully means we need to somehow find a way to make our outer self look less used.

However, we all know that our skin...that shell we live in...ages no matter what. It too learns and grows and changes as we grow up and older. It tells a story of hard life lessons, sunshine on the beach, children that were difficult to raise. The very part of our body that we need to treasure has been negated in our eyes.

So, if you are not happy inside your skin, what part of your life would you give up so you would not have as many wrinkles or even age spots? Would you sacrifice the days on the beach, sunning with your spouse or watching your children play? Would you by-pass all those lessons in life that made you the person you are today? Would you have spared yourself the worry and sacrifice that rearing and nurturing children brought?

As for me, I am what I am. I take care of myself, wear nice clothes, keep my hair well coiffed, apply sunscreen, lotion, and make-up. It doesn't change much but I like it so I do it. When I look in the mirror, I have come to love who I am again. I think I am aging gracefully. The fact is I would not skip any of those days on the beach or late nights waiting for children to come home. No amount of money worry, time spent with aging parents
or even illness can ruin one day in my life because it adds more character to my face.  I love the skin I am living in...for that I am grateful. How about you?

Definition (mine)-
Aging gracefully: living, growing and learning while an attitude of gratitude.

b+

Synonyms for aging (see what I mean?):

Synonyms:
crumbling, declining, developing, fading,fermenting, getting along, getting on, maturing,mellowing, senescent, slumping, stalewaning,wearing out
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13 comments:

  1. I was just noticing some changes in my face. Some lines.

    Then I went off to my water aerobics class and forgot about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those synonyms you found were very instructive. I'm looking for the Boomers to redefine aging. To paraphrase the movie Network, They're mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore. Hooray for claiming yourself and celebrating yourself. Hooray, Hooray!

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  3. Linda, you made me smile. I have often asked what our lives would be like without mirrors. Good question I think.

    b+

    ReplyDelete
  4. Karen, I am holding out hope that the problems people suffer because of their self image of "getting old" can be turned around somehow. Depression is one of the real stumbling blocks to successful aging and the media makes me very depressed sometimes. How about you?

    b+

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  5. I love your definition. I would trade those childhood sunburns, but, otherwise, no, I wouldn't trade away this skin.

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  6. I don't know to me aging gracefully means that you accept that there are things you could do thirty years ago that you can't do now. It means that you continue to love and enjoy life with different restrictions. In earlier years money might have been tight, now it is maybe stamina.
    Aging gracefully means living well with the conditions God has given you at this minute.

    I am a guy so to me it has nothing to do with looks or wrinkles.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice post. I agree with rjscorner. But I have a question. Those old bald guys with ponytails -- are they aging gracefully?

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  8. Happy in your skin sounds like an excellent definition of aging gracefully.

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  9. Barbara, You are the epitome of aging gracefully! And what a thoughtful post. I was thinking about what you said about our culture. It's interesting that many of the spots in the world where people seem to live longer are places where the elders are valued for their experience and wisdom. They are viewed with respect and gratitude. It's not just diet!

    Great post. You've really given me something to think about.

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  10. Thank you all for you insights.

    Tom, you have to know that the guy in the pony tail is living in the same skin as he did when he had hair all over his head. If he was content then he is aging gracefully now. I suppose his hair is like my wrinkled skin....not beautiful but he feels good in it.

    RJ you are so right. We are good now and were good then. Just in different ways.

    Galen, you are so right. A society that values it's elders must be a wonderful thing indeed.

    b+

    ReplyDelete
  11. I, too, love the skin I'm in.

    Yes, if I could go back in time, I probably would've used a little more sunscreen. Hit the track more and the donut shop less.

    But I'm happy I've experienced all I have, and wouldn't undo it for the world. Even the bad parts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seems like we are on the same page with this. For me, graceful aging is a state of mind. We can choose to accept with grace the inevitable transformatios, or we can lose sight of ourselves as we change.

    I look at my wrinkles and am always a little surprised to see them on my face. However, I don't let myself lose any sleep over them. And I have no idea of undergoing any surgery to rewrite my history.

    Can't say I love my thinning hair or lagging word recall, but I try to have a sense of humor about both. What're ya gonna do, right?

    ;)

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  13. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise,

    ReplyDelete

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