Now that I am older this subject comes up regularly.  If you hang out with women my age you will hear, “Oh, she’s growing old gracefully.”  Or, “I plan on growing old gracefully.”   Then that compliment someone gives me on occasion, “you are aging well.”  What the heck does it mean?

I looked up the definition of graceful:  displaying grace in form or action; pleasing or attractive in line, proportion or movement; elegant

I think I might be in trouble.  I don’t think I have ever been graceful. When I was in the 8th grade I decided to take ballet lessons.  I can’t remember why.  Maybe a couple of my friends were in the class and it offered me a night out of the house?  Anyway, by the third class the dance teacher took me aside and said, “I think you might want to consider an activity other than ballet.”  I was not graceful in 8th grade.

This “ungracefullness” has carried me though six decades, now pushing into seven.  How is it that I will ever be able to age gracefully?

Women are living longer. That gives me some hope as I may have a good amount of time yet to learn to be graceful!

For me there will be no plastic surgery or alteration of body parts. That seems like cheating.  The one cheat I still allow myself is some hair color. My gray is uneven and not that beautiful shiny silver you see on some women. I am not sure how long I will continue this routine, maybe until just before it looks ridiculous.

The best I can do is to eat right, exercise regularly and take good care of my skin. Oh, and try and be more graceful!

Food. What we put in our bodies definitely has an impact internally and externally. Eat organic, clean food as often as possible. For me that means no chemicals, pesticides or GMO’s in any of our foods. No antibiotics or homones in meat or dairy. The problem with me is portion control. Working on that.

Exercise. I have never been athletic in any sense of the word (remember ballet?). However, I have read everything related to the benefits of regular exercise and am sold on the need for it and how it can help you “age gracefully.” I just joined a local gym determined to try and revive my familial-cursed metabolism once and for all.

Skin. I have never used soap, but rather plant/vegetable based facial cleansers and body washes. I don’t spend too much time in the sun and wear a little makeup with sunscreen in it. I try to get a professional facial at least twice a year and I use lots of organic moisturizers. While my skin is in pretty good shape, I have totally given up on my neck.  I have decided my neck is graceful enough. Women in my age category will understand this comment.

Aging gracefully.  It is so much more than how we look at a certain age. It is so much more than appearing younger than our actual age. It is about our relevance. About our wisdom and opinions and spiritual understanding. It is about staying in the game and playing our finest game. It is about ignoring the biological changes in the mirror, maybe learning to embrace them.

Aging, gracefully or not, is a great achievement.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Aging Gracefully

  1. I enjoyed your thoughts, Melissa. Aging gracefully, or the opposite, isn’t important to me. None of my ancestors lived to be ‘seniors’, so I try to keep an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and find laughter wherever possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nancy! I appreciate your comments and the fact you are following along. I am really enjoying the development of the beyondsixtyproject.com
      I am certainly grateful to be “older” even though the graceful part alludes me!

      Like

  2. Melissa, I love this!!! Grace, in the traditional sense has eluded me, as well. Twice, in grade school, won awards, and walking up the short 4 steps to the stage, tripped and fell flat on my face-both times! So true that we just do what we can to care for ourselves-clean eating, a bit of exercise, good skin care-for me that comes out of a big bottle of olive oil-a tradition passed down from generations of equally ungraceful Italian women! I think aging gracefully comes down to these little self-care things, along with a growing peacefulness with who we are, and, a robust sense of humor to carry us through the years.

    Like

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