“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inspiration: Aging Beautifully... Somali woman
Written in a Carefree Mood by Lu Yu
Old man pushing seventy,
In truth he acts like a little boy,
Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits,
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers;
With the others having fun stacking tiles to make a pagoda,
Standing alone staring at his image in the jardinière pool.
Tucked under his arm, a battered book to read,
Just like the time he first set out to school.
What does aging beautifully mean to you? When I spent time in my father’s village, many moons ago, I observed that the elderly were revered. My grandmother and her friends were consulted for their wisdom and experience, and the prevailing attitude was one of respect and reverence… From that vantage point, I saw aging as a gift; something to honor if/when we get there, and a place we all get to eventually, if we are blessed with longevity. When I first read Oprah‘s Life Lesson #7 on Aging Beautifully, (see below) I wanted to write a post about it, but I didn’t. Instead I wrote a general post about the first 10 lessons. How do you broach such a subject without delving into the ups and downs of aging? How do we age beautifully, even with the aches and pains and the daily dismissals that many experience after a certain age? To age beautifully is to make peace with the many changes going on inside and outside. It is to embrace our body and treat it with loving care; exercise, good food, good reads and company, and even enhancements/treatments if that entails our vision of beauty.
Elizabeth Berg shares 3 Things Nobody Tells You... while Val Monroe shares 6 Things That Happen to Your Body… on Aging.
♥You understand that time moves—and has always moved—in inverse proportion to your desire for it to slow down.
♥You get over yourself.
♥You can stop speaking in questions.
♥You may develop “turkey neck”
♥Your hair gets frizzier and more brittle
♥You’re more prone to facial redness
♥You may start to see spots
♥Your legs start to resemble a roadmap
♥Your lipstick starts to bleed into the lines around your mouth
How many of us take the time to consider all the wonderful, beautiful, life-affirming events that have shaped our lives and made our age worth celebrating? Our stories matter.
“A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Inspiration: Aging Beautifully... Tibetan woman by Luca Galuzzi
When You are Old by W. B. Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
When I was gathering materials for this post, I read on poets.org that most poems about aging are rarely happy. They are often sad and filled with regret, loss, anger, reminiscences on the passage of time and death… I chose to add one, by Lu Yu, that was playful above because we don’t have to see aging as the termination of life and our enjoyment of it. Life only ends when we take our last breath or when we choose to sit and wallow in misery over past things we no longer can do or change. Aging beautifully is also about letting go of past hurts and jealousies. It is about forgiveness and sharing stories and family history with loved ones so the kinship can continue. Many of the beautiful stories I heard growing up, were shared by my granny and elderly uncles and aunts who have long passed on. Yet, those stories have stayed with me and will be part of my family legacy and history… Passing the stories on is aging beautifully.
An Aging Exercise via Oprah’s Life Lesson 7
♥Write a brief description of yourself at the age you are now.
♥Where are you judging yourself according to what others may think about you?
♥Do you have a number in your mind of the age when attractiveness ends?
♥Are you lying about your age? Why?
If we see our lives as over after a certain age, then why express horror at the swift, downhill spiral that becomes our lot? Our thoughts and beliefs become our self-fulfilling prophesy… Live! More below.