Let me ask you a question: what is your outlook about getting older?
This aging business is not for the weak. Aging. Growing older. Sucks. It takes guts. It feels like a second puberty stage, but in reverse. I resent aging. And I’m fighting it tooth and nail. My dresser top is packed with creams, serums, lotions, and round-Stridex-like-pads that are not Stridex, they are some type of over-the-counter peel. Is any of this stuff working? When will my 20-year-old lips return?
Why didn’t someone warn us about the changes that come with getting older? Why didn’t my mother pull me aside and say, “Look, one day you will have more crow’s feet than crows, and there will be a map of lines on your forehead, and the skin on your body will slide a full six inches down, but, hey, you’ll be okay.”
Of course everyone is aging as the years go by. It’s reaching a certain age, however, that shock and awe tend to take us by surprise. It occurs in front of a mirror where we view changes made by nature that only leave hints of our former self. There will be gasps of horror. What the hell happened? It’s different for each of us what age this is.
I often ask myself if I would blow 50K to have something done to my face and body to look younger. Women have, for a long time, worked to fight the aging process with plastic surgery. Men are doing more about their appearances, too. In February of 2014, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013 in the United States; which marked the fourth consecutive year of growth. When it comes to reversing signs of age, it appears many of us are taking it lying down. But, surgical alterations are not even an option for most of us.
Yet, who among us is glad to look like a senior citizen? Anyone? Who brags about winkles and folds in the skin? I think very few. In a culture that promotes young images and youthful appearances e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, I’ve come to realize that I’ve left that stage. When I remember how my younger self looked, it’s sad to me that she’s gone. It’s a loss–an involuntary loss. I’m invisible now as I walk down the street. Any admiring glances have stopped. No more looks from strangers. As shallow as that may be, it was a weird type of validation to hear a whistle.
The reality is, changes in life are difficult, and aging is all about changes. Getting older happens to everyone. And it’s not just changes in our appearances, but also in what we can no longer do the same way. My knee cracks when I sit down and my neck cracks when I turn my head. I’m feeling akin to Pinocchio.
So, what can we do with this business of getting older?
–Age with class. Those of us who, because we’re getting older, experience a social excommunication into being immaterial—an underserved demotion of human value—I say, hold your head up and screw ‘em!
–Be confident, not only in what you have accomplished, but are still achieving.
–Treat yourself well.
–Maintain your self-respect.
–Surround yourself with people who care.
–Remember that each scar, stretch mark, crevice, line and wrinkle represents a memory on your journey in life. Wear them like medals!
–Laugh, a lot, a whole lot.
Think about it!
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