Growing old gracefully



"Don't resent growing old.
Some people never have the opportunity."


We live in an era where women no longer accept growing old gracefully. 

Just turn on the television or open up a magazine and it won't take long to hear the messages "combat the signs of ageing" or "defy the ageing process".

When I was young, older women dresses like older women, they wore makeup like an older woman, wore older women shoes etc... These days older women want to dress and look like their daughters or granddaughters. 

Many see ageing as something that one needs to go into battle over as if fighting off a disease. We find ageing a threat and a sign of decreased worth in society. No one wants to get old . . .  but we will all get old at some point, no matter what we do. No matter how many tubs of creams or potions we use, we will still get old. Even botox might remove the wrinkles, they don't stop the ageing process. 

No one live forever. 

Getting older doesn't mean you can't have fun, laugh out loud, be silly, go out and about and enjoy life. One doesn't need to sit at home, get old and die.  What it does mean is accepting the ageing process as part of living and gracefully move into our older years without being afraid of it.


"Age isn't how old you are but how you feel" (Gabriel Garcia Marques)


We need to remember that in 1900 (in Australia at least), the average life expectancy for men and women was just over 50, now it is 80. We have many more years to live than those of our ancestors. So lets LIVE and stop trying to turn back the clock.  Lets enjoy all those added years, not everyone has the privilege of living to old age. 

That doesn't mean not watching what we eat, stopping exercise or not taking care of ourselves. It means remaining healthy but living life and enjoying each chapter that God gives us. At each part of our life we have special roles and in our older years we have the role of grandmother (or great aunt) and that is a very special time to enjoy. Its when we pass on all our wisdom to our grandchildren or great nieces and nephews. It is when we spoil them, tell them stories and have fun. However God had a very special role for older women - the role of teacher, passing on our knowledge to younger women . . .


The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5)


Here is three photos of women all in their older years. These women stand out because they are dressing for their age, their makeup suits their age and their hair is natural. They look beautiful and they are older women. This is what we are striving for  showing that being older doesn't mean looking like we aren't living. It means we aren't dressing and behaving like younger women. . . the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things —

Photo 1: A woman aged 100 photo by Karsten Thormaehlen, Photo 2: Helen Mirren  Photo 3: Rosa Park

"Live your life and forget your age"


*****

Comments

  1. I appreciate this post. At 52, I am struggling with these issues.

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    1. I will be turning 50 soon and I am trying to enter my next decade with joy and a positive attitude. I feel young and plan to keep on being a little silly!!

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    2. I am convinced that being silly and laughing makes everything better!

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    3. You are so right. I am 54 and growing older doesn't bother me in the outward physical sense, it does in the inside physical sense (health issues). I spend a lot of time in assisted living homes (visiting a relative) and sometimes being around that environment if I'm not in a good place in my head, will make me not embrace getting older. What a great post. Enjoyed reading it and it was very encouraging.

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  2. I really like the picture of the older woman with the baby

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  3. Loved reading this post! At 55, I am trying my best to embrace my years & wrinkles & age spots, etc. Currently, I am in the (long, hard) process of letting my gray grow out after coloring my hair for years. Interestingly, the more I look at it, the more I like it natural. The Bible says gray hair is a crown of splendor. Proverbs 16:31 Thank you for encouraging us to keep it real!

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    1. I'm almost 50 and try not to frown to reduce wrinkles - I prefer to encourage the smile and laughter wrinkles instead!!!

      I still get my hair coloured, but no longer all over, rather only using foils, this way, grey can pop through and I can slowly get use to seeing it. I think I will stay at this half way stage for some time!!

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  4. My mother passed away almost 9 years ago - at 51 years of age - a triumph for her after almost half her life being one of battling illness. But she didn't make old age.... She would have been 60 years old this year - hard to imagine, in my mind she will always be young....
    I am heading to 40 (in a few years) and I must admit I just today had to say to myself, "hang on, 40 is not old, I don't need to have a fit!" I wouldn't change my hair colour, get Botox or attempt to change the way that God, my lifestyle and the environment are causing me to age, I just have to live life and be happy - that helps the age come on gracefully! Plenty of love and laughter! =)
    love,
    Bets

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    1. And your mother will always be young in my eyes too :))

      We have been told so often that 40 or 50 is getting old, when in reality it isn’t and we still have plenty of years ahead of us to keep on living life and being active. I agree, plenty of love, laughter and I always think a touch of silliness keeps us young at heart and of course, our children keep us grounded!!

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  5. Yes, I will always think of my mother as being young because she died so young. And I agree that 40-50 isn't terribly old... And yet with this modern era of being "forever" young, we do need to remember that people DO still grow old and not deceive ourselves into thinking people who are 50-70 can do EVERYTHING they did when they were younger. Like my father. I have noticed how he is aging and while he still acts young in many ways, he IS getting older and we must remember to protect the elderly and help them and care for them and yet not let them feel like we're putting them out to pasture (like they're useless). They are still able to be such a wonderful example, a great help and have wonderful advice/counsel to pass on to the younger generations.
    Just yesterday we drove past a doctor's office that had a huge sign out the front advertising "ANTI-AGING", and Dan and I were scoffing/poking fun at such a concept. What a deception! You cannot possibly stop aging! You might be able to stop some wrinkles or colour hair or act young, but anti-aging is literally impossible! I don't do anything about my grey hairs. They are what they are - a gift from God as Proverbs 16:31 says - "The hoary [old age/grey hair] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." (Proverbs 16:31) I think the point is that we should be working on *righteousness* as we age, rather than working on staying young! What a fantastic goal, rather than working on something so useless and unattainable as anti-aging. :D

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    1. I read a list of all the things that the elderly do such as care for grandchildren, care for their partners who may be ill (i.e. dementia), looking out for their neighbours and the many many hours of volunteer work from land care to charity stores - these people do so much in society, often unseen and not expecting any praise, but we continue to see older age as a was of time and something to avoid. We need to treasure those who are older and watch out for them and see it as a chapter of our lives to look forward to. We will all get old, so lets enjoy it!!

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  6. I am 57 and have just recently noticed a rapid increase in signs of aging. I have to admit it is hard. But even though "outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day." I do hope that my inner self will continue to grow and shine.
    And you're right, the ability to be silly and play is wonderful. Love your first picture of the two ladies together.

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    1. Whilst we all aged differently its nice to encourage each other on this journey!! And whilst we travel it really is worth having a bit of fun along the way!!

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  7. I love this. I have always said that I am ready to accept old age and wear it like a badge of honor. I am going to be an awesome older person. Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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    1. I am trying to be awesome at almost 50 !!! May be harder in 20 years :)))

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