essays

Aging with Delight and Grace

scaleI want you all to know that I'm determined that it's up to each one of us as to how we age. There have been many times in my life when I did things "kicking and screaming." I would deny and fight the reality. It wasn't fun, but I suppose it fit a purpose of some sort. Well, now that I/ we are aging, I thought I'd examine the "how to age" concept a bit.

I've written before about having knee surgery. I'll spare the details; but the previous year took a toll. It started with a fall and a hematoma on my shin, then, I hurt my knee, etc. For nearly a year, there was little exercise. I gained a good 10 pounds, on top of 10 pounds too much that I already carried. I got flabby. I felt very unattractive and insecure about my body. I would try to tell myself -- hey, you look pretty good for a 61 year old. That was true -- I certainly dress well, have a good sense of presence and know how to conceal the pounds. But, I knew. I ranted about getting older and how it's not fair and how the body isn't what it used to be, etc.

What I didn't do, however, was take responsibility at that point for all that had happened to me - my fall, my injury, my weight gain, my eating habits, etc. I just made excuses and whined. I dated some, but wasn't in a long-term relationship and not having a lot (or when I was having it, it wasn't "great") sex -- so I would say, "Look, I hardly drink, I don't do drugs, I'm not having sex -- don't take my effing FOOD away from me." It was my joke --- but I didn't admit it was my joke on myself.

After my knee surgery, my doctor said, "you have to lose weight". I cried and felt it was a daunting task -- even though it's about 20 - 25 pounds (as opposed to Jamie Lee Curtispeople "really" overweight.)

This morning, I read an article about Jamie Lee Curtis ( the actress). She's turning 50 and will be in AARP magazine soon. Here's a quote: "I want to be older," she tells the magazine. "I actually think there's an incredible amount of self-knowledge that comes with getting older. I feel way better now than I did when I was 20. I'm stronger, I'm smarter in every way, I'm so much less crazy than I was then."

I love what she says. She goes on to take responsibility for how she looks. I'm doing the same. I have a new boyfriend. He's a couple of years older than me. He's thin, fit, trim, athletic, a great/ healthy eater. What an inspiration. He's attracted to me as I am AND he's open about wanting me to be healthier so I can live longer and maybe share a longer life with him. How cool is that.

For the first time, in a long time, I'm motivated about looking good BECAUSE it will mean I'm healthier. I love to look good -- always have. Like I said, I dress well, am sexy and desireable (with my clothes on) ... but, I've fooled myself too long. I'll keep you informed of how I'm doing.

To start, I'm walking longer each day as my knee heals, I'm making much better food choices. But, most importantly, I'm not making excuses ... just taking action.

Point: We, and only we, are responsible for how we age. We can approach it with disgust OR we can be delighted about the mystery and adventure of aging and face it with delight. I choose the latter.

Happy aging with Grace!

Ann Fry calls herself Head Boomer but she's also a professional speaker, trainer and corporate coach. You can read about her company at It's Boomer Time or check out her blog or have fun solving serious problems at Humor University.

Got a 400 word essay you'd like to contribute? Click here.

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

2006-2013 ConceptDesign, Inc. Terms of Use
BoomSpeak - For babyboomers - by babyboomers.