"I don't feel old just outdated."

How to stay young and age gracefully. As a woman over the age of forty I feel like I am in a constant battle to do both.  Is it possible to stay young and grow up gracefully at the same time? 

There are false messages sent through advertisements that come in the form of anti-aging.  Our society has treated aging as if it is a bad habit or a cold war. It is a selling tactic that keeps women stuck, like a ping-pong ball being tossed back and forth.  All this advertisement has nothing to do with helping us actually age well or stay young and everything to do with making a buck.  So, take note, do not buy into the lie.  Staying young and aging well is not about a pill, a bottle or surgery.

A few days ago I was sitting in my living room when my 14-year-old son came home from visiting his old school. “Ugh!” he said “second graders with cell phones!”  He was irritated at the fact that when he was their age he did not have his own cellular devise.
I looked at him and said, “so son, do you feel old?”  And without skipping a beat he just answered back with a tone of confidence, “no mom, just outdated.”  I almost chuckled aloud at his simple but profound response that resonated in my soul the minute it left his mouth.  I thought to myself “you can easily update what is outdated but reversing the aging process is a whole different story.”

I allowed the two words to dance in the middle of my mind, old vs. outdated, which word would I have chosen to describe how I felt if asked about the same kind of situation my son had gone through. 
Scientist, physiologist and even biblical scholars have proven  that as a women thinks she becomes.  I believe it would be safe to say that staying young and aging well is a matter of perspective rather then a number, a pill, bottle, cream, surgery, exercise, the list can go on.

It is not so much how we look that keeps us young, but rather how we act, what we know and where we go and what we do.  The truth is, I actually enjoy growing up and I find myself more confident and less nervous, more at peace with who I am  and less concerned at who I am not.  I am learning to find those who have gone before me, who have aged well and are still young and follow in their footsteps.

The wrinkles on her hands and face faded as she shared her life story, in a few brief words she had captivated the breakfast table.  She was the oldest one among us, by at least thirty years our senior. The more she shared the younger she became.  As the conversation traveled around the table, we all agreed almost in unison that she was by far the youngest one amongst us and we wanted to know the secret.

Her eyes opened wide with anticipation as she started to share her fountain of youth secrets.  With delight and sincerity, she shared with us as if we were a bunch of kindergartners sitting in circle time.  “Wake up thanking God for being alive,” she said with a grin and a chuckle, “everyday!”  “Dancing four times a week with your husband of forty years that will keep you young as well.”  You could tell by the far away look in her eyes that she was picturing her partner swinging her on the dance floor.  She quickly came back to the moment and filled the space with stories of learning, moving and living.  She was the picture of someone staying young and aging well.  I believe if I stared long enough at every wrinkle, spot and crease on her body, they would have told of a story that of a life lived to its fullest. 

I watched my new friend travel around the table through her conversations, I watched her become ageless, I heard wisdom from her experiences and youthfulness in her tone as she shared her journey to learn new things daily and not use her age as an excuse to stop living.  Not even a severe car accident, broken back and months in a halo stopped her from living. 

What impressed me the most with my new friend was that she was not afraid to ask for help.  After breakfast, we sat in the living room of the bed and breakfast as I taught her how to bring up her flight info on her phone.  She pressed into her questions fully confident in the ability to learn something new, this friend is aging gracefully and makes one young. 

I walked away from my experience that morning with a whole new perspective on life, on living, on aging.  I felt this understanding that lack of knowledge makes the young look foolish and the aging look old.  Who wants to be either?  What is the key then to staying young and aging well?

The lesson I learned from my new friend was this,  the key to staying young and aging well was living and learning and not being afraid to ask questions, trying  new things and embracing change.  It is the fear that causes age to creep in and take over ones mind.  “I might look foolish if I have to ask.”   Women get stuck and stop to growing up and start growing old when we allow our fear of looking foolish to take over .  Fear has a tendency to cause wrinkles, sags and creases in our attitude regardless of our physical age.

Therefore, my friends, it is possible to do both, stay young and age well.  Remember, we are a product of our thoughts, what we think about we bring about.  Choose to live, learn and even be the fool at times, it will keep young as you age well.

What do you know today that you did not know yesterday because you were not afraid to ask?

Proverbs 3:27, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

1 comment:

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