The Write Word

Aging Gracefully

I am bombarded on every side with the message that the aging process is something to be feared, dreaded and hidden by every means possible. Society acts as if ones teen years were the best. The message of the culture is that youth reigns supreme. But I am inclined to disagree. I have been young. And I do not want to go back.

The treasure one finds in trading youthful looks for experience is one that is precious indeed. The unlined face of youth bespeaks lack of life lived. It is the blank page vs the filled one. Easier on the eye perhaps, but lacking in perspective. The aged face marks the passage of much more than time. It marks the experience of living.

These lines where sights and smiles have graced my face have left their mark. Lines around my mouth are worn there by the passing of many a smile. I am proud to wear them. Lines around my eyes mark the millions of minutes my eyes were opened to the wonders they have seen. I would not trade them. These signs of aging are the mile markers on a life I am happy to have lived.

My hair is increasingly filled with silver strands. I know that it is popular in our culture to despise silver hair. But it seems to me that when one has earned the right to adorn herself with badges of honor, life blesses her with silver strands. They are a mark of distinction and of lessons learned, battles fought and honor retained. It is an outward sign of the beauty of aging gracefully.

As one matures, learns to live in her own skin and accept life’s offerings she bears the marks of her lessons. One earns degrees only after years of study. And equally so we earn our degrees of experience. One we hang on the wall, one we wear on our body. Both deserved, both earned.

We are not who we will be in 10 years... let it be that just as we shed our silly selves of our early years so we gracefully shed our youthful appearance. Grow MORE beautiful.. not by fighting to retrain the beauty of you teens, twenties and thirties but in the beauty only known by women in their 40's, 50's, 60’s and beyond.
As our skin creases so should our pride. Written on our faces will be a map of our smiles and laughter. As our hair loses its luster let our spirit glisten with grace. As our body’s shape softens so let our faults soften away. Age we must. But I intend to do so with dignity and grace.

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