The Art of Aging Elegantly
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - Author: Tania J.
"Don't be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing", said the Butterfly." - Sabrina Newby
We live in a world where society and culture idolize youth; that is not easy to accept, but unfortunately quite true. The good news, America: We are living longer! So, how do we look ahead and thrive when those of us are growing older and feeling a bit left behind?
The experts would tell us all to learn the art of aging elegantly. There are a number of excellent ways to add to a lifestyle to maintain youthfulness inside and out, and many would agree that the most important aspect is great health.
The latest numbers show us that life expectancy is on the rise, ladies and gentlemen. Here are the stats from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics:
Life expectancy for females is 81.2 years; for males, it's 76.4 years.
The clock will tick away for each and every one of us; the best thing to do is not focus on the aging process, but to keep active. In other words, keep moving, folks. A healthy heart does a body good as any primary care physician would advise.
The knees and hips might not move as they used to, but taking walks, climbing mountains, swimming in the ocean, are all wonderful ways to enjoy the bounty nature offers and to keep the cardiovascular system in check and muscles and bones on the ready.
We know of a neighbor who turned 68 and goes surfing every weekend, trying to hang 10 with the 20-set, and having a ball riding the cold Atlantic Ocean waves.
Changes come often when we begin getting older; if we recognize and embrace our longevity, then we can plan ahead and knock out the stress that might come with aging. For instance, if you are going to be around in your 90s, you probably will not be living alone in your home, walking a mile after lunch like you used to, and driving your car to go grocery shopping. By recognizing that life indeed changes in our 70s and beyond, then it becomes simpler to plan ahead and sensibly maneuver our way through it when the time comes.
For women, it can be a lot tougher to age gracefully on the outside, because so much emphasis is placed on how a woman looks. Hollywood alone is the evil indicator, as movie roles for actresses over 40 years old start to disappear, showing us again, how society tries to dictate that youth prevails over everything else.
Baloney! The best advice is to banish the worn-out stereotypes and find purpose and meaning in our lives. Our friend Carla is in her 70s and recently went back to work part-time at a busy airport in the check-out department. Carla was bored and was tired of withdrawing from her once busy lifestyle.
"I love being back with people of all ages, and an airport is an exciting place to meet folks and be helpful at the same time. I am liking my new job."
Not every person's idea of aging elegantly is the same; we are all unique, thank goodness and that is truly alright. Take Emma for example; she turned 73 last month and began receiving Botox shots for her furrowed brow. She also revealed to us her newly plumped up cheeks, thanks to a little dermal filler from her dermatologist.
"At this age, I don't owe anyone an explanation," Emma said. "Just because I'm a senior citizen, doesn't mean I have to look like one. I like re-visiting my youth. I look pretty, and there's nothing wrong with that. A trip to the dermatologist makes me feel alive."
That's what it's all about; accepting that change happens to all of us, and that aging is inevitable. Having a healthy attitude about the beauty of living prepares all of us for intelligent thoughts about getting older.
Finding things that bring happiness and meaning to you are what matters. It might be going back to college, taking up sky-diving, traveling the world or even getting a little Botox to smooth out some fine lines and wrinkles. Don't worry, ladies and gentlemen; it's all good and it's okay to get older. Our blessings are many.
"Just because you're grown up and then some doesn't mean settling into the doldrums of predictability. Surprise people. Surprise yourself." - Victoria Moran, author