When I think of the expression “aging gracefully” I imagine someone who has allowed Father Time to do its bidding with them. They do not fight it nor resist it. They accept it, just as they accept the sun coming up in the morning or the stars twinkling in the sky at night. They make no alterations to their bodies – i.e., let the grey shine through! Let the wrinkles shout out to the world I have lived a good long life! Gravity? Who cares? They simply make adjustments for the changes their bodies have undergone as a result of getting older. I say “Bravo!” to these people. I believe they truly are “aging gracefully”. More power to them. Is that me? Heck no! Vanity is my middle name!
The idea for this topic came straight out of my new book, “The story she had to tell”. The main character, Madeleine, is thinking about aging and is not very happy with what it has done to her looks. She is 85. What’s interesting is that her ghost writer, Heidi, is in her 60’s and feels exactly the same way. Aging is like a dirty trick played on us when we’re not looking.
Madeleine’s philosophy for dealing with it is to “rise above”. Go higher in your consciousness to a level where physical appearances have no importance, no real value. Who you are on the inside is what matters. We have all heard that one, right? But tell that to advertisers who have products to sell. They are telling us that our appearance is of utmost importance and we must do everything we can to stay beautiful, once we have reached that highly valued status.
What is my philosophy on aging? I don’t mind becoming wiser. I don’t mind the realizations that come with age, like discovering that the small stuff really doesn’t matter. All the changes in my mind seem to be positive. They have, after all, allowed me to write from a much better perspective than say 20 or 30 and certainly 40 years ago. Those are positives to my aging self.
Now we come to the physical. Do I dye my hair to hide the grey? Yes! Do I have minor (and I’m talking MINOR) things done to my face to impede the march of time? Of course! Do I work out and watch my diet so that my body stays slim and in good shape? Absolutely!
And then there are men, who seem to improve with age. Their faces reflect their wisdom, their trials in life. Their grey hair makes them look distinguished and sophisticated. Boo-hoo! Not fair, right? Well, it is what it is, ladies. Nothing we can do about it – except – we can use all the tricks and treatments out there that our wallets will permit to distract Father Time and send him to our neighbor’s house.
Getting older is a good thing. It beats the alternative. Realize that your real beauty is on the inside. Take a lesson from the women out there who are “aging gracefully”. “Rise above” it all. You’re better than this. And then make an appointment with your hairdresser to get your hair colored. Vanity can be a good thing, can’t it? :))