‘Aging gracefully’ – what does that really mean? Generally speaking, it refers to those who accept the physical changes that come with aging without putting in much effort to reduce or overcome them. Many of these folks ‘embrace the gray’, they may accept the pounds that creep on over the years, and they likely dress with comfort as the top priority. This way of life can be fine if you are really HAPPY. If not? Perhaps it’s time to rethink your approach and consider a revived effort on your outward appearance. The benefits might surprise you…
Let’s suppose you try something different – maybe you start coloring your hair, join a gym, commit to eating a healthier diet, update your wardrobe, perhaps even get a bit of Botox. You think these actions will only change how you look? Think again. Over time, there will be a significant effect on how you feel. Not only will you feel more energetic from a healthier lifestyle, but when you look in the mirror I’m willing to bet it puts a smile on your face. Your reflection is no longer the tired woman in stretchy pants and flat shoes, it’s a more vibrant and stylish woman who is ready for adventure, whatever that may mean to you.
Looking good leads to feeling good, yet that’s not all – there is another benefit that cannot be denied. The world will treat you differently. Today’s society, more than ever before, embraces everything when it comes to physical appearance, so as not to be discriminatory. While this is an admirable philosophy, as visual beings it is unavoidable that looks do matter. Your overall appearance does affect how people perceive you, like it or not. It is one way that we judge character, our safety, and obviously, sexual chemistry. How you present yourself to the world with grooming and dressing is essentially your ’book cover’, a way that you are communicating with others, sending a message about who you are, your values, even what your intentions may be. Isn’t this worth some effort? Do you really want your ‘book cover’ to be ‘Woman Who Loves Sofa?
Let me be clear – it is not every gray-haired person, or every ‘curvy’ body that conveys ‘Woman Who Loves Sofa’. Surely you can think of that stunning gray or white-haired woman, or a full-figured gal that always looks fabulous by putting effort and attention into style, makeup, and how clothing fits. Looking one’s best encompasses all shapes and sizes, all colors, and all ages. What I find so bothersome is the ‘giving up’, the diminished interest and lack of effort that often comes with aging.
The amount and type of effort that one decides to commit to can vary tremendously, and is always a personal choice. But nothing of value in life comes without some effort. Our careers, relationships, children, our homes, athletic pursuits – any successful outcome requires ongoing effort. As we age, it definitely requires significant effort to look your best, but the rewards are ongoing, plentiful, and life-enhancing.
As a 65-year-old woman, aging gracefully is clearly not for me. Whether you are 35, 55, or over 65, what about YOU??? Age gracefully or effort all the way? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy every day.