Aging is a myth they sell, but one we don’t need to buy. Everyone tries to sell aging as a “bad” thing. They work so hard at trying to convince us we must do everything possible to slow the process or hide the inevitable. But why is aging “bad?” Why is it not ok to show the world we’ve lived? Why are laugh lines not seen as proof of a good life? Why is it not ok to be proud of the number of times we’ve been witness to the sun orbiting the earth?
I look back at pictures of myself in my teens and early 20’s and…well…let’s just say they’re a scary sight! I’m so glad those days are in the past. During those younger years, I had no idea what was to come. I had no idea how much I would grow into my age. I didn’t know how much grace would come. But I am so glad it has. I am grateful to be rolling into a new decade a much stronger, healthier, and more beautiful individual than I’ve ever been. And if history continues to repeat itself, I’ll continue to arm myself with the knowledge and care to age gracefully into the decades to come.
I can guarantee some of you can relate. Do you look back at pictures of yourself from 10 or even 20 years ago and say, Damn – I look better now than I did then and I’m stronger and healthier too?! I hope you do! And I think we can all collectively say…Sure, glad we didn’t peak in our younger years! (Sorry, not sorry to those that did.)
I’ve accepted and I am embracing my age, but that doesn’t mean I’m waiving the white flag. I’ve found ways to ensure I take care of my body and the reflection staring back at me. I want to ensure I am here, happy, and ready for all the experiences to come in the years ahead. With sunblock first in line in the beauty routine, a daily sweat session a must, a glass of water always within reach, and making my bedtime routine feel like a visit to the spa, I’ve found ways to care for myself that lead to my best self being reflected in the ways I tackle my days and, in the reflection I see staring back at me.
I’ve come to love the reflection that’s aging. It’s one that I’ve been witness to for 40 years. And yes, it’s a reflection that has changed quite a bit over the decades (thank goodness because those grade school pictures are enough to scare anyone) but she’s beautiful because with each one of those years has come memories, experiences, joys, and sorrows. Each one of those years has added up to my life – a life well lived and well loved.
When we’re 19, we all wish for is to be 21 and be legal. And then we become 30 and we all wish to be 19 again. Let’s try embracing our actual age and loving the decade we’re in. There are so many benefits to becoming older. And it turns out older does equal wiser. It’s been found that as we age, we learn to focus on those moments that make us feel better, making us happier individuals. Our emotional and social intelligence improves, making us smarter and kinder. And we become happier, learning to focus less on the negative and seeing the brighter side of things. We’ve lived and we’ve learned. Adopting a positive outlook on aging also tends to extend one’s life.
I can only speak for myself, but there is not a decade I’d like to repeat. While they all were good, they were good in their own time. Just like this new decade is going to be perfect in its own time.
According to Wikipedia, The Fountain of Youth is a mythical spring which allegedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its’ water. While this theory is only mythical, the fountain of youth turns out to be a real thing except it has nothing to do with something you drink or bathe in. Your fountain youth is found in the ways you practice self-care, express self-love, and your ability to simply be happy at the age you are.