Embracing the journey of life, embracing aging. I have always been one of those people whose age is a bit of a mystery, but these past few weeks I feel like I am starting to look my age. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it has been only in the past two years that I started taking self-care seriously. Had I known earlier, I would have looked much younger than what I already look.
So I am faced with a choice: age gracefully and quiet those noises in my head that feed my insecurities, or intervene in some subtle way to keep myself looking as young as possible for as long as possible.
Back then, I thought aging meant looking old. So I started a skin care routine, tried to keep myself hydrated, took working out seriously, ate healthy, quit drinking, etc. While all these did give me physical benefits, I failed to realize that aging is actually a matter of mind more than the body. There are things that come with age. But the inner peace and clarity that comes with life experience also comes with age. Wisdom and confidence also comes with age.
While I wince sometimes when I see an unflattering photo of myself or catch a glimpse of myself in direct sunlight, I try to remind myself that there’s a unique and under-appreciated beauty that comes with age.
Yes, the clock is ticking! It’s ticking for everyone. Aging is real. As real as birth and death. Aging gracefully normally refers to age or appearance – “She doesn’t look as old as she is”, “He is still active for his age”, and often comes with negative connotations. Perhaps it’s time to change our interpretation of the term.
Aging is about finding who your true friends really are. It’s about finding the difference between shiny and worth. It’s about the confidence to be yourself in any room. The time to dedicate to things that bring you joy. The wisdom to say no to the things that don’t. The freedom to choose your own path in life. The courage to be happy in your own skin. The knowledge that very little truly matters in the end. Not being scared of making mistakes, but the attitude to accept and rectify it.
Aging gracefully refers to whatever actions you may need to take to confidently thrive in your older years, and have a positive outlook towards the changes. Cherish the ones that stay, let go of those who choose to leave. Celebrate yourself at every stage of life, live a healthy lifestyle and stay fit to delay or avoid any diseases.
Give yourself credit for all the difficulties you have overcome in life. Nurture your relationships. Stay active with your dogs to even keep them from developing any kind of illnesses. And most importantly, don’t forget that your mental health is also very important. Don’t be bogged down by the issues coming your way. A healthy mind is also a healthy body.
Above all, aging isn’t lost on youth. But “positive aging allows us to weather the expected and unexpected changes we experience internally and externally, to age gracefully.”