Confession: Getting Older Really Stinks, but I Guess it Beats the Alternative

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Last week I celebrated my 48th birthday. While for many of you that may seem quite young, for others, that means I am old enough to be your mom. Either way, I do not like the transformation my body is undergoing! I wish I could say I am embracing this aging process with grace, but in all honesty, I hate IT!

I do not like the way everything is beginning to dry out and sag just a little more with each passing year. It's hard not to notice the fine lines every morning and the gray hairs that seems to be multiplying by the hour. Thankfully, I have a good colorist! My skin is not so moist, my hair is even thinner than it was before, and yes, sometimes I awaken with a few more aches and pains than I remember just a few short months ago.

And let's not talk about the "where's my reading glasses" scenario. Yes, I was the one who was going to defy presbyopia--defined as 'old eye' (I am not kidding) on a website for an eye doctor. I was the one who planned on aging well into her fifties without needing arms the length of a football field to read the fine print on the shampoo bottle that seemed so big just 2 years ago and now just looks like a GIANT blur. I was the one who was never going to wear glasses like my high school typing teacher used to wear, you know the ones that sit on the end of your nose so that you can still peer at the people you are talking to. Now she was an old lady. I, on the other hand, can't be that old, can I? Well, I have to say I have not defied presbyopia--I own at least three pairs of reading glasses and I always misplace at least one pair somewhere in the house. But memory is a whole different story.

And sometimes I forget that I am actually getting older. During a run one evening just after my birthday, there were two boys around 13 or so riding their skateboards. While I had my iPod on, I could hear one of the boys yell to the other, "let's race her." Well, I thought to myself, "I can't let these boys beat me! Bring it on!" I put these legs into motion and before I got even 300 meters the boys stopped. Thankfully, I was able to round the corner so that I could stop and catch my breath. There was just something that triggered this need to not let these two adolescent boys beat me. Don't ask me why--and it wasn't even my speed work day!

While I can't stop the aging process, I am not going down without a fight. I plan to continue running as long as these legs will carry me. I know menopause is just around the corner--OH JOY! And in two short years I will be eligible to sign up for my AARP card, which means I can treat you all to a Denny's breakfast for a discount.

Funny how kids are so eager to grow up and the older we get, we want life to slow down. Either way, it's out of our control, so I guess we better enjoy the ride while we can.

How do you feel about growing older? Have you learned to embrace the aging process? What do you think will make you feel old?

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BOBBIESOCKS-46 11/18/2019
Oh! I thought that was just a number. I Love may sliver hair and how everyone is so attentive to me when I'm about to climb a ladder or lift anything over 20 pounds. Seriously though, I feel fine about it now. I didn't a few months ago. On Oct 26, 2019, I made up my mind to take charge of my lifestyle. First I Stopped eating Sugar to get my blood sugar down from 250/300 range and that only took 10 days to get it down to 100. Plus, my blood pressure has come down too. I had already stopped smoking two years ago on 11/10/2017. I have lots more energy and my mood has lifted tremendously since I started eating 4 to 8 cups of greens a day and No Sugar at all including starches and reading labels. I started drinking Turmeric Tea a year ago too. I feel 15 YEARS YOUNGER.!.!.! My DH said I look younger too. He's a bit prejudice though. Report
LEANJEAN6 11/5/2019
mind over matter Report
TUTUNAN 10/22/2019
When I get old, I plan to gracefully accept the changes that come with age. I will be 86 next week, and I'm still going strong. Report
REDMANCHRONIC 10/2/2019 do you feel ten years later?? Report
DRMOM4U2 8/13/2019
As a physician and an older woman I cannot believe how discouraging and one sided this article was!! I am 66 years young, and have learned to accept this part of my journey. But here are a few reasons- among many I found this discouraging: 1. Women age 50+ are competing in increasing numbers and WINNING in fitness competitions- bikini and all;2) repeated studies have demonstrated that of any age those in the 50s abd 60s plus benefit MOST from consistent exercise and weight training; 3) a study of cyclists 50+ compared with 35 year old counterparts found that those *who trained regularly * matched their 35 year old counterparts in muscle strength and endurance and finally people over 50 -on balance- have learned to navigate and balance life’s demands.
In summary yes aging is challenging but it’s not doom and gloom. Like much of life it’s what you put into it- while I’m challenged to lose my extra pounds; I’ve still finished 4 half marathons (race walking) , volunteer as a shepherd and can flip sheep and muck out a stall and swing a pick axe for hours. I stopped competing with my 25 year old self- instead I’d rather focus on BUILDING my awesome 90 year old self- one who will still squat with 100+ pounds and encourage my patients to build their dream 80 -90 year old too!! Report
MORNINGGLORY893 8/13/2019
I am committed to treating my current period of life as an opportunity to enjoy the free time, like being a teenager again- except now I'm smarter! Report
When I hit 50 I dreaded getting older, but since I've been eating properly and exercising daily I look and feel better than most men my age (68 1/2). what a blessing. Report
ALEX3440 7/16/2019
I just celebrated my 66th birthday and if I can lose this extra weight, then I'll be looking pretty good for my age Report
IRISHEI 7/10/2019
I enjoyed your blog. I am not as young as you but I can relate. After 67 I noticed myself with knee problems and other aches and pains due to arthritis. I just made up my mind to keep moving each day and enjoy life to the fullest. No matter what health problem arises I just deal with it and move on to better health by activity and eating healthy. I do the most I can each day and enjoy life. Being positive has kept me upbeat and enjoying life. Between Spark and WW I really try to stay on top of the best nutrition and keep moving this body, sometimes 90 min a day and other times 30 minutes with classes and walking. I also enjoy my grandkids and have fun with them. Report
CATNAP629 7/6/2019
good article Report
MARITIMER3 7/2/2019
Good heavens... I’m 75 and still having a great life! Relatively healthy, relatively stable financially; some problems like everyone else. Looking forward to a few more good years. Report
I loved reading this post.I'm turning 48 on the 26th of May. I'm aging gracefully with blended silver strands my youngest adult is about to leave for college making me an Empty Nester and just looking forward to this next chapter called Life. Report
JDSMMS 5/7/2019
This article is almost 10 years old now. I’d like to hear how the author feels 10 years later. I’m good with where I am and who I am at this stage and age of my life! Report
LBST201 5/6/2019
I feel fine about growing older and I'm 100% not happy to click on this app to find this rather depressing title. Report
Yes, some aspects of getting older are not fun/enjoyable. #1 would be the realization that my proverbial clock is running out with each day. However, I'm at a point (I'm 59) where I'm comfortable with myself regardless of my weight, or the size of my pants or the wrinkles that seem to spring anew each day.I'm comfortable with me and that's huge. Up until my mid-50s I was so self-critical and not very kind to myself when it came to my personal numbers and my appearance. By the way, I wish I had a dollar for every man/woman that told me I was beautiful. This was criticism I aimed at myself; much insecurity. I don't do that anymore. I wish I had been this kind to myself and relaxed with myself all during my younger years. I am VERY GRATEFUL to older age for the peace it's given me. Report
DLREYNOLDS2000 4/27/2019
I am 64 and I agree getting old is not that great. But I am finally back on track to lose the weight I should have lost years ago. One good thing about being this age is that I had cataract surgery and my eyes are like brand new eyes. No more glasses for anything. This is coming from wearing glasses since I was in 6th grade, hard contact lenses since age 14, Radial Keratotomy at 29, reading glasses at 39, then back to glasses and computer glasses since my 50's. So happy now. Report
GOANNA2 4/18/2019
I am 73 and age is just a number. Staying healthy is my top priority. I was joking with a few friends once that old age stinks. One of my friends who is stage 4 breast/bone cancer told me that I should be glad as 'at least you'll get to see old age'. Won't say that again. Enjoy each other. I don't dye my hair and I have wrinkles. That's me...
That’s the way to do it. I meant. Report
Sweet sue-1, I loved your comment. That’s the way ofo it Report
VELDBLOM 1/21/2019
Hallo, I enjoyed the blog :-). Nancy you are about 58 this year and I wondered what your thoughts are now about aging? I am 52 and have a hard time accepting how my body changes. Sometimes I joke about it but most of the time I (secretly) I hate it! I swear just last year I looked real good and now photos shows otherwise. To put on makeup it takes twice as much time as before to look natural. Everyone around me says growing old is not an issue and of course I won't tell them what my feelings are! Well, it's news time on tv, let me get my glasses, if I can find them. :) Report
RDEE22 1/20/2019
Don't spin your wheels worrying about what might sag or drop off. Live each moment an enjoy it. I have just turned 80 and still love every minute of it, Report
Getting old isn't something that everyone attains. As the title says, it beats the alternative. As a retired 62-year-old, I consider it a privilege! Report
SWEETSUE-1 1/6/2019
75 and asking the Lord to renew my youth according to Isaiah 40:31. Report
LESTERJ5VA 12/9/2018
I think growing older affects everyone in some way. For myself, I think about it, but it's ok! Can't do anything about it anyway! I really don't mind cause I don't look 69. I've had some people say that they're astonished that I'm that age. I'm lucky that way. But also, I just don't feel it either. Report
I will be 65 in January. I will give thanks when I reach that milestone. I have many friends who were not given the opportunity to live a long life so I will honor and thank God that I have the chance to do so. Whenever someone gripes to me about old age I always tell them to just remember what the alternative is and tell them they should be grateful not gripeful. Report
I'm happy for every day I wake up breathing. I'll be 71 next week and thrilled to celebrate another year. Thank you for an entertaining article.

Yes, I need glasses, have slowed down and have aches and pains. Sometimes I make noises just to move but I'm grateful just to be alive. Report
It definitely beats the alternative. I will be 65 in January and every morning I wake to see another day, I thank God for that opportunity. You don’t have to get “old” just because you age. Your choices determine how much joy you have in your life. Young or old this will always be true. Report
I'm 65 and retired last year after working for 44 years. Enjoy life! Report
LOVE this! Also love your positive and upbeat attitude. I'm 74 - grudgingly exercising in some way every day and feeling lucky that I can. Even more grudgingly I have just started Yoga for balance so I really needed to read this today because the alternative is an old age that I'm not willing to go with until I have to. Thank you Report
I agree that we really don't have much of a choice but it is sad that we have to deal with the aging process. If you are running, you are doing much better than I am. Report
I remember back when I was young (probably 10ish if that) looking at a calendar thinking I would be turning 42 when it was 2000 and boy was that ever old. Now I'm 60 thinking where did that time go. I'm glad to have my family and my health, glasses since I was 10 and now can't see clear more than a foot in front of me without them) and lots of aches and pains. We always want what we can't have. I'd like to go back a few years. We've struggled and have lived paycheck to paycheck working way too many hours and days. Retirement is not in my future. In reflecting back I don't see that I could have done much to change that. But I am grateful for what I have. Longevity is not in my family so the days are numbered. But I make the best of every day and hope for a better tomorrow. Now if I could just get this body in a little better to ride. Report
Enjoy the day before you at whatever age. Report
I wish I was 48. I'm pushing 60. Getting old has given me the blues...quite often. But, thank God for another day. Age is just a number...Or so i've heard! Report
Your 48? You are just a baby! I am 60, have a hip and shoulder replacements. But that doesn't stop me. I hike, walk at least 3 miles a day, garden and want to learn cross country skiing and snow shoeing this winter! Age is nothing but a number. It's about how you feel inside and not a number. Report
I'm almost 71 and still work full time. And I work in a retirement center so I know what is down the road. I have a pacemaker and wear a knee brace to keep Arthur Itis in line. So go for it. Report
I'm 68 and have never been this healthy. I love being older. No worries about work, kids or anything else. Yes, I do get aches and pains but I also did when I was younger. Now I just don't sweat it.(except when I exercise) Report
Yes aging can suck. I don't always like the changes but some I don't mind. I'm in better shape than my Mom was at this age. So I guess you're as young as you feel Report
My first thought when I read this blog: Oh, honey. 48 is not old and neither is 58. Not anymore. I've met old 30 year olds and young 80 year olds. You are what you believe. Report
I am 57 years old. I wake up with aches and pains and remember watching my mother struggle to climb the steps or grunting as she walks. I refuse to go down like that, although the aches and pain often make me want to scream and grunt. However, I thank God for every day and I try to enjoy each day to the fullest. I stopped dyeing my hair around 15 years ago and I have a healthy head full of salt and pepper hair that folks often stop me on the streets and ask how did I dye it that color. I have a wonderful husband, a two awesome sons, a smart beautiful DIL, and two amazing grandchildren. I have more years behind me than ahead, I know this. I plan to enjoy each and every pain, wrinkle, gray hair, that comes my way. I thank God for this life every day. I also plan to work harder at keeping this body in shape. As we age, stuff gets a little softer. It takes work to keep things in check. Report
I NEVER thought I would get this old. But I have to be grateful as I was given 6 months to live after finding I had a level 4 melanoma 22 years ago. I fought it using a variety of things and won. EVERY single day is a gift and even though I dont like how much slower I might be moving now I am still moving. I walk often in nature as it aligns me with how beautiful things can be and still be aged. Report
I never thought I would get old. I never expected to see 30. My younger years were really rough and I almost ended it several times. But now I am married and am taking care of myself so I can take care of Dearly Beloved. Report
I had to put on my reading glasses to read this Fun article- yes above the grass... well actually I am donating my body to science ....but yeah Report
As I approached 60, a friend told me, "That's when it really hits you that you're getting older." Now, at 72, I guess I agree. I certainly notice all the things you mentioned, but I live by Paul Newman's motto, that every day above the grass is a good day! I refused to ever get on the vicious cycle of hair-coloring, and it was actually kind of entertaining to see what color I would end up with. I've also said no to the Nip-and-Tuck-Train, which I view as another vicious cycle. I am working at seeing every day as a new beginning, a day denied to many others, and a day for me to live fully and productively! Report
This is so funny! I can really relate to this.
Getting old isn't for sissies. Report
I'm embracing the fact of getting older, benefits and not having the concerns and issues I did while younger. I'm looking for every discount I can find. House and car paid in full, it's nice to have extra time and funds to do and be what you wanna be. No bucket list here, I'm working on my life list! Thankful to have enjoyed the life I live for this long and being healthy and happy helps. Report
Actually I have found great joy in the rich blessings of aging and I praise & thank my Creator God for each day along the way. To me the physical process of aging has been extremely interesting; however, one of the greatest joys of aging has been the learning along the way...with the absolute most wonderful joy being the spiritual growth granted me = growing in knowledge of & relationship with the Creator, who is my beloved Abba Father, & His Son, my Lord Savior Christ Jesus! I truly look forward to each day that dawns & am looking with eager excitement to when I enter my eternal destination of choice = when the aging of this earthly vessel ends. \o/ \o/ \o/ Report
I am 76, and have dumped about 40 pounds (on purpose) in the last 9 months. The subcutaneous fat is gone, gut fat is hanging around. and I am saggy every where! As for besting kids, grandkids specifically, my oldest one was just accepted into Navy SEAL training. He does not have any sags! My goal at this advanced age is to add some muscle to fill out these sags. Hard to do at this age, but not impossible. Report
When I got depressed about aging was when I turned 25. You see, I teased my older siblings about turning a quarter of a century old. Wow! Now, my next birthday I will turn 70 y.o. I feel better and less stressed than when I was in my 30s and 40s. So it goes to show that if one keeps active, embrace the changes that are happening in your body, eat well, sleep well, you're on your way to be a much happier person. Take the time to enjoy who you are today and not what you were 20 years ago. Report
Ha--first I realized that time was changing how people looked at me was back in my 30s with young kids in tow. I seemed to "disappear", didn't get noticed or acknowledged like I used to. Then in my 49th year I was hit with the first of a number of major medical issues that continued over the next decade. It was sort of a crash course in aging, I suppose. Crash, burn, resurrect as someone I like to think is a better person now that I'm in my 60th year... My body still has its aches, pains, and limitations, but I kind of love the person I see in the mirror every day, flaws and all. And I now try to see light in everyone I run into. It seems to keep everyone happy. Report