What Exactly Is Aging Gracefully? | Style Goes Strong

| July 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

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What exactly is aging gracefully? Are you doing it? How do you do it? Do you want to do it?

“She’s aging gracefully.” What does that mean?

Sometimes it means spirit, and attitude, but usually it means in terms of looks. And sadly, criticism often is leveled at someone who isn’t, which can involve judgments about cosmetic work. I have to laugh, too, when women and men make note of someone who is aging gracefully — usually they mean not having had work done. And 99% of the time they’re wrong.

But that can’t be the only thing that defines whether you’re aging gracefully or not.

Poking around the Internet, I found suggestions like modifying your lifestyle, and “accepting changes and finding meaningful activities.”

Marketing exec Virginia Sullivan blogged on HuffPost: “Aging Gracefully? No Way!” — a rebellious (her word) take that included not caring about pressures or what people think. And that a little rose-colored-glasses wearing is OK. But my favorite advice was “Look for people that are good for you.”

Blogger Lois Alter Mark also rejects the ‘Aging Gracefully’ adage in favor of “Aging Gratefully”. She assesses aspects of age in terms of the experiences they have ought her:

But she categorizes ‘gracefully’ as passive and old hat…

HuffPost 50 did an aging gracefully round up, highlighting blogger Nina Knox’s. “I am much more authentic at 55 than I was at 35,”…”I do what I want, say what I feel and try to be considerate and compassionate.”

But another blogger bemoaned her mother’s plastic surgeries vs. her grandmothers lack of them — there’s that criticism again. It think this doesn’t always take into account the pressures and life situation a particular person is under.

On BlogHer, Hollye Dexter’s “Aging Gracefully? What’s that?” starts with accuracy:

One morning you wake up and you’re achy for no good reason. One day you’re in a restaurant “playing trombone” with the menu.”

But resolves with authenticity. And like Mark, gratitude:

All these observations are a great Rx for aging gracefully. I would just add one more thing…

Aging GenerouslyThat means applying that perspective you’ve gained. Be generous to yourself about what you’ve experienced, and all the wisdom it carries. Be generous about who you are rather than who you aren’t. Be generous about the process of going through life, aging, gracefully accepting and acknowledging where you are in it, and where others are. Because one person’s process won’t exactly match another’s. Because we’re all just trying to figure it out the best we can.

Be generous because life, aging can be hard, and generosity will make it so much easier. Be generous to yourself. Be generous to others.

It has been a pleasure to serve you here at Style Goes Strong. I hope something I’ve said over the last 3 and a half years has at least made something a little easier. You can find me at HistoryChiQ discussing some aspects of style in a historical context, because I believe seeing the bigger picture makes life a lot easier. I wish you grace.


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Category: Articles, Beauty & Fashion