The Heck With Aging Gracefully
‘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.
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I also work hard to maintain a youthful and vibrant appearance . I am fortunate to share my love of exercise, cardio and especially strength training , by teachng fitness classes. Fitness allows one to do the things they love to do ( dance, hiking, snow shoeing, cycling, swimming, tennis etc, etc) rather than let go of these actvities . So often I hear of friends who have given up an activity they enjoyed because it became ‘too hard’ or fear of getting injured. We ‘give up’ so quickly and before you know it , you have become less and less active. Physical thearpy is a instrumental tool in regaining strength, but you have to commit to doing the exercises on your own. We need to stay motivated and committed to getting better, to ‘feeling our best’. Staying motivated to ‘looking our best’ can also be a challenge. Its just easier to cut our hair short, let it go grey and wear basic glasses, Yes, its easier, but we also become somewhat invisable. and I fear we also feel that way. I make note of anyone of a mature age who looks youthful . The things I see in common are, attractive rather bold jewelry, stylish mid length hair, clothes that fit and have a shape to them, stylish glasses, moderate makeup. All this takes work and commitment , but not enjoying about how you feel and look can also work against you, psychologically and physically. How we enjoy our capabilities is empowering…empowered rather than defeated !
I very much enjoy seeing you being active and youthful on FB! You bring up some good points here; one, how important it is to stay motivated/committed to being fit, and two, how “not enjoying” how you look and feel can work against you. Once you get over the hump, once you see/feel that it is possible, then you start to ENJOY it and want to keep it going. I’m sure it is much harder to START the process and trusting that over time it is worth it. Nothing good comes easy.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thought provoking comment.
Agree wholeheartedly. As I like to say, “I’m not going down without a fight”!
Hahaha! And some days it sure does feel like a fight! Thanks for the comment!
Couldn’t agree with you more Candy!!
Thanks for the comment Gina!
Wow, I love it. Keep it up girl, you’re an inspiration, a demonstration of what’s possible. Yey to aging disgracefully!!
What’s also interesting is that this was NOT how I was raised – if my mother was alive she would be mortified at how I dress!
Thanks for commenting!
I too don’t want to age gracefully! I’m a soon to be 66 year old yoga teacher, retired dental hygienist who enjoys lifting weights regularly, eats a healthy diet ( I’ve increased my protein to build more muscle mass) plays golf, loves to garden! I never use the “old” word… I’m a chronologically enhancing queenager!!!
Hooray to being a “queenager”! It’s amazing how all these things we do really make a difference in how we look AND feel.
Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!
U look beyond fabulous. 39 for sure
HA! :-0 Doin’ my best to look my best! 😉
Age 71 I recently joined a master swim class. I’m using and exercising my body in new ways and feel reborn!
That is so great!!! If we keep challenging ourselves the benefits are multifold. Thanks for commenting Mary!