Facing The Facts (The Elegance of Aging)

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Not that long ago, I celebrated another birthday, and because it was a bit of a milestone, I keep thinking about how getting older is not for the weak. Even for people in much better shape than I'm in, as we get older, we tend to slow down a bit and have some aches that have no other explanation besides age. Aging is a process of change that none of us escape, although we may experience it very differently.

At some point, we need to face the facts: We're not getting any younger. Time is growing short. Some things change inevitably as we get older, and because we're getting older and seeing time's march, maybe we need to make some changes too.

Aging Brings Changes and Challenges

Facts. The likelihood of needing glasses increases as we get older. So does the likelihood of experiencing some hearing loss. I honestly can't blame my weight gain on my age, but getting older sure has contributed to the difficulty of getting the weight off! Add in the arthritic knees that are just getting worse every year, and some mornings I feel positively ancient. My skin is changing, my bones are changing, and my hair is changing.

Some women have "youthful genes" and don't seem to develop crows-feet as early, and some women fight those signs of aging with skin products or procedures, and by coloring their hair. Some are careful to stay in good shape by exercising and eating right. How to face the facts and handle the physical process of aging is an individual decision.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~Mark Twain

Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It's beautiful. ~Lynsay Sands

I decided quite a few years ago that I wasn't going to color my hair any more. Going gray was a change I accepted. No regrets! It's not as easy to accept my slowing metabolism. That's a change that's discouraging, but I've got to accept that it's the way things are. If I want to be successful at getting some weight off, I'll have to find a way to do it that is compatible with the limits of my age. I have arthritis and that's a fact. No amount of "getting in shape" or vitamin supplements will fix my knees. 

Whatever approach is right for you, accept that aging bring physical changes. Face those facts with confidence and grace, and maybe a sense of humor.

The Time is Growing Shorter

The longer I live, the closer I am to eternity. None of us, no matter what our age, have tomorrow guaranteed, but as we get older that becomes more obvious. I don't want to run out of time to do the things I want to do! I can't do all the things I could do at twenty, but there are still things I can do, and I don't plan to give up and just sit around. 

Enjoy each day! When my kids were younger, I remember having discussions with other parents about which age or stage with our kids were our favorites. I used to say I didn't have just one favorite age. Whatever age my kids were at the time - that was my favorite. I guess that's not a bad way to think about my own age. It does me no good to mourn the fact that I'm not a thirty-something any more. Today years old should always be my favorite age. That's my goal.

You know people who are already saying, 'I'm going to be 30 - oh, what am I going to do?' Well, use that decade! Use them all! ~Betty White

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Anyone who stops learning is old - whether this happens at twenty or at eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young but becomes constantly more valuable - regardless of physical capacity. ~Henry Ford

For a few years I was making a Birthday Bucket List of things I wanted to do during that year. I left off doing it because it got harder to think of that many things to put on the list! (I'd been doing the same number of things on the list as the number of years.) But maybe it's not a bad idea to pick that up again. There are still things I want to learn and try, and why wait? 

Changing My Attitude?

In today's world, with the impossible standards of digitally enhanced models and focus on youthful beauty, the search for the elusive fountain of youth continues. It's not just young girls that are tempted to compare themselves to the imaginary perfect look, but older women can be discouraged or feel disrespected when they can't hide the signs of aging. No matter our age, we need to face the facts that our worth is not in what we look like but in who we are. There's a grace and elegance in people that are living joyful and meaningful lives because they know that they are loved and forgiven by God, and that their purpose is to glorify God. I'm working on that, and it means changing my attitude about aging!

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
if it is found in the way of righteousness.
~Proverbs 16:31~

As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long -
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty deeds to all who are to come.
~Psalm 71:14-18~

What's your favorite thing about growing older?

For the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge, I've decided to explore the theme of living well and with purpose during times of change. A few years ago, as I neared the end of my years as a homeschool mom, I realized my world would change when my youngest graduated. My roles in the homeschool community and in my social circles were affected. Things changed in the workplace. Things are ever changing at church. And as my children grew up and the nest has begun to empty, family dynamics are changing. To our surprise, my husband's job ended at the very beginning of 2022, and that has brought another round of changes to consider! I know very well that writing about coping with change is not the same as having all the answers. I'll do my best to share what I'm learning and experiencing, and I'd love to hear from others in the comments.

This post is part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. Find all my posts for the 2022 challenge here: 28 Days of Coping With Change

This post will be linked at Inspire Me Monday.

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