Why are we so afraid of aging?
It happens to all of us, no matter what, from the time we are born and every day after… we are aging.
Is it because we are afraid of death and aging is a sign that we are getting closer to the finality of life?
But what about random deaths we can’t account for? If we never live a life that creates maps on our faces, we may as well be dead anyway.
Is it just our culture and the media that puts this insane fear of aging into us from a young age as a vanity, so afraid of what we look like as we age, upset when we see lines and wrinkles on our faces and others?
Why are we so afraid of it when it’s really something to look forward to?
In just a few more months, I’ll be turning 42 years old, and part of me is so excited about this concept of turning 42, that I can’t even begin to describe it. When I was young, all I wanted to be was an adult. I was the 13 going on 30 kid… To me the adults had all the fun, they could do all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t do because I was a kid. And now I get to! And even on a level that I didn’t feel like I could back in my ’20s and ’30s!
I truly feel that I am already in and heading towards the most amazing part of my life. I am so excited to get to be where I am, doing all the things I love and continue to learn and take risks and do more in my life. And part of me feels like I should WANT to be young again instead of looking forward to all the years ahead – which seems so silly.
AM I the only person who DOESN’T want to be young again? I mean, been there, done that.. WHAT’S NEXT?!?
That’s really such an exciting concept to me. Aging doesn’t mean it all ends, to me it’s just the beginning!
I teeter between looking in the mirror and smiling at myself, knowing I am exactly where I want to be, proud of my accomplishments, looking so forward to what else I get to do in the years ahead… and there are moments I look in the mirror and only see the lines between my eyes and on my forehead and around my mouth and I wonder if I am the only woman on the planet who is not plumping up those lines with fillers? It’s a constant battle with me because I don’t have any judgment on people who do use fillers or have surgical procedures to make themselves look and feel better – but for me, it seems like a battle between accepting the fact that I’m aging and giving myself permission to age gracefully instead of trying to fight it and hide it and diminish it.
On the way into the shower, I pass by my mirror and always see cellulite on the sides of my ass. Occasionally I stop and grimace at it… and then I proudly yell YOU’RE 41 MAEGAN, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT?!?! It’s okay to have cellulite, it’s okay not be perfect. There is no such thing!
Yes I wish sometimes that the lines weren’t there. Yes I think that a little Botox would fill in the spaces and soften the edges, and I just may still do it, but I may not too, and that’s okay. It’s like there’s this pressure to get the fillers and procedures and I have to explain why I don’t. (honestly, maybe this is all just me and all in my head, but I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way or wonders these things, or possibly feels weird for looking forward to the years ahead!)
And really, I’m proud of my age, as we all should be! Each year that passes we grow and learn and do things we’ve never done before and become woman and people we weren’t the day, month and year before! Knowing that makes me smile! I want to age gracefully with acceptance and glee and not hide from it. What is so bad about it anyway? Really?
If we take care of ourselves mentally and physically and remain in a healthy state, moving forward towards our goals and those inner strengths make us feel confident then what does it matter what the mirror reflects?
Like I said, this is a constant battle within, though less dramatic than it sounds in writing, but it’s something I think about quite often, as I’m sure all of us do living in the time and place we are now with the pressure to look and be young and beautiful and accomplish everything and do everything and make it all look easy… IT’S INSANE!
If we could all just figure out how to embrace aging and use it as a tool to become even more than our appearance, then wouldn’t that be far more gratifying than worrying about having lines on our faces?
I’m taking a stance now and making myself accountable by telling all of you that I will no longer complain about my lines or gray hairs or wrinkles or sagging body parts (lol). It’s almost like I feel like I have to like we all complain about Mondays… but you know what, MONDAYS AREN’T THAT BAD EITHER! It’s another day to kick ASS and be a bad ass and do all the things we’ve always wanted to do. Take advantage of the time we have and stop worrying about the time we fear we don’t have!
Jane Fonda says research shows that most people OVER 50 feel better, are less stressed, less hostile, less anxious, seek commonality instead of differences and are overall just happier… now doesn’t that sound like something great to look forward to? Who cares if our faces and bodies don’t look like they did when we were twenty? How far did that really get us anyway?
W A T C H // TEDxWomen — Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda, actress, author, producer, activist, exercise guru, and guest curator and host of the ReBirth Session, opens up the third section with a discussion of what she calls the “Third Act” of life, what we can do to make the most of these years, and how we can use these years to make a difference. She describes her own search for self-understanding as she grew older, and explains how reflecting on experiences is key to moving forward with clarity and meaning.
B O O K S // Prime Time
Quote photos via The Zoe Report