Monday, November 14, 2011

FOREVER YOUNG

From the time we're small children we're taught that growing old is something to be feared, dreaded and avoided at all costs. Just look at what advertising is geared towards! No wonder so may people go through upheavals as they reach middle age and start to show signs of wear and tear.

Vanity tells us that as our outer beauty fades we become less desirable in many ways. We see the fate of the elderly and know that someday we will sit where they are. As we furiously diet and exercise to stay fit, is our strife solely for health purposes or is it just a feeble attempt to hold onto our vanishing youth a little longer? Are the botox injections, breast implants or cosmetic surgery another step closer to the fountain of youth or something that society pressures us into considering as a desired partner in the aging process to help us through the mid-life vanity crisis?

Should we focus on the outer beauty and struggle to stay youthful or should we concentrate on the inner beauty and wisdom that comes with age? Shouldn’t we be able to know and feel good that within each of us is the same person we were years ago without feeling self-conscious that the physical part changes? I think I’ll stick with the philosophy "aging is inevitable, but growing old is optional…" That way I can just do whatever feels right for me regarding gray hair and wrinkles, but at 35, I have a few more years before I have to worry about my fading youth.

13 comments:

  1. As I get older, I'm really starting to doubt the cultural attitude that youth is great and aging is bad. My life has grown fuller and happier as I've aged (I'm in my early thirties), and I would never want to return to my unhappy, tumultous teens or twenties. Life seems to be getting better as time passes, so I suspect that my older years will not be something to fear.

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  2. Ahab, you have the right attitude. I've never been a vain person...I guess to be vain one first has to have the mindset of feeling like they have something to be vain about. I must have been cutting class the day they were teaching vanity or maybe it has to do with my upbringing. I was more a Tomboy growing up than a lady. I wanted to be rough and ready instead of dainty and sweet. When you have 3 older brothers who feel it's their duty to teach you stuff like how to fight like a guy and shoot a rifle and actually hit the target, it leaves little room to be girlie acting. There's no way I would want to be a teenager again either. Those years make me roll my eyes and my head spin.

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  3. I wouldn't want to be a teenager again but I wouldnt mind turning the clock back about 15 yrs or so....The older I get the more beauty I see "IN" others other than the outward appearance. I can only hope they see the same in me...

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  4. Everything is ephemeral sadly. This coupled with entropy means that all fights against the ravages of age are futile. Instead growing old gracefully seems like the only sound choice.

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  5. As a fellow "35" year old...I have to say that aging has taught me many things. I choose my battles much more wisely than I ever did in my youth....looking back on it now, I made EVERYTHING a battle. Now, it's very little. I have learned to enjoy the little pleasures life has to offer. I am also much happier with myself than I have ever been. I no longer look at myself as ugly or fat.....just as aging very well and healthy...with a little winter warmth added! I have to admit to the weight loss surgery and tummy tuck, however. The weight loss surgery left me healthy but still above my goal weight and the tummy tuck failed because of a weak fascia. Still, I am happier with myself than I ever was as a youngster. Looking forward to the Golden Years with all of my saucy tart pals!!!

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  6. The picture of the saying on this post is one I proudly showcased on my office wall for 12 years! I still live by that motto!

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  7. My philosophy about this (and a whole of things for that matter) is that it isn't wise or constructive to worry much over things one can't do anything about. Certainly I haven't allowed myself to get caught up in the quest for eternal youth. And truth be told, I've always gotten along well with the older folks and in a sense have always thought they are cool, especially the way many of them get to the point of just doing whatever they want and to hell with what anyone else thinks. We pay our dues by overcoming the daily struggle; we should be allowed that attitude after many years.

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  8. Margie, then I must be really beautiful in your eyes! LOL

    Laoch, gracefully sounds like a winner! Let me get all my ailments on the aging gracefully page and then I'll be happy.

    Linda, what's a little failed fascia amongst friends? I'm looking forward to going the distance with all of you guys, too!

    Doug, I think I'll make a great old person since I've always done whatever I want and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

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  9. it's amazing that there are so many of us 35-year- olds around here. we need to start a club.

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  10. <--- is close to totally worn out and skidding sideways but --- hang on... where's the grave?

    OOOPS - I think I went into my slide too soon to hit the plate!

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