Last week I was sitting next to a woman who was older than me by, I would guess, 10 years. On the other side of her was a woman who was in her mid 20s. I overheard them making small talk and then the older woman dropped her belongings on the ground. She was flustered as she picked everything up and the young woman tried to help her. The older woman laughed and told her, “one day you will be old.” The young woman smiled and then a look of fear came across her face before she turned away.
Eventually, we all catch a wrinkle or two or fifteen that make us sit up a little straighter and decide how we are going to move through this inevitable process called aging. I certainly think about it and have been for a while. I admit sometimes I throw caution to the wind and think, “bring it, just let me eat whatever I want.” Other times I fight it…ferociously.
This got me thinking about how I would describe my aging process. Am I doing it gracefully? It sounds so gentle and kind to do it this way and yet it makes me think about sitting in a chair with my legs crossed at my ankles, sipping a cup of tea. Definitely not ready for that. Perhaps I would describe it as aggressive? Aging aggressively. Wow, that sounds like I am working through this aging thing at warp speed collecting new wrinkles, gray hair and achy joints on a weekly basis. While occasionally I feel this way, it’s most certainly not the way I would want to describe my journey into becoming a more mature adult.
I scoured the internet looking for the top ways to age well and while there is a plethora of articles on the subject, they all say the same things: Drink water, use sunscreen, exercise your body and your brain, never stop learning, be positive and most importantly be grateful for the opportunity to grow older.
And there it was. The adjective I had been looking for all along was right there in every article.
We never hear people say, “wow, she is growing old gratefully.” Obviously nobody is grateful for some of the not so glamorous things that come our way as we age, but grateful we should be nonetheless.
So, I think I land somewhere in the middle of all of these. I am going to aggressively fight aging by continuing to workout in the gym; the old use it or lose it adage. I am going to accept it gracefully and for me, that is embracing all of my wrinkles. I will even sip my tea if that is a requirement of doing it gracefully. I will also be grateful for each and every day that I get to fret over such things as gray hair.
If you need me I will be in the corner gratefully crypt-keeping while I gracefully sip my tea.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,