‘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. These folks ‘embrace the gray’, they accept the pounds that creep on over the years, and they dress with comfort as the top priority. If living life to the fullest is a goal, I suggest rethinking this approach and committing to the efforts of looking your best. The benefits might surprise you…
Let’s suppose you try something different – maybe you color your hair, join a gym, commit to eating a healthier diet, update your wardrobe, perhaps even get a bit of Botox. You think the only benefit will be how you look? Think again. 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 vibrant, fit, 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, is so very careful not to be discriminatory, but instead to ‘embrace’ everything when it comes to physical appearance. 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 64-year-old woman, aging gracefully is clearly not for me. Putting in the effort to be fit not only contributes to my confidence on the beach, it also allows me to carry my suitcase up three flights of stairs when the escalator at Amtrak is broken. As for hair, I will not be joining the ranks of ‘silver sisters’ – covering my gray hair every three weeks is something I plan to continue for years because gray is not a flattering color – heck, I don’t even embrace gray sweaters! And speaking of sweaters, no oversized, comfy clothes for this gal. While my business attire is always professional, after hours the high heels and leather pants come out. Aging disgracefully is way more fun! 😉
Would love to hear YOUR thoughts! Please share under COMMENTS and remember…
Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy every day.