Do You Embrace or Fight the Aging Process?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll be married 10 years this summer.  It doesn’t really bother me to get older- I think age is just a number- but time just goes so quickly.  There are days when I think “Wasn’t I just in high school a few years ago?”, and then I remember that it’s been more than a few years and my oldest will start Kindergarten this fall. 

When I look in the mirror, I’m like most other women who are critical of what they see.  My body is healthy and strong, but let’s be honest:  I’ll never look exactly like I did before having three kids, no matter how hard I try.  I’ve got circles under my eyes from sleepless nights with babies and brown spots on my face from being careless about wearing sunscreen.  Although I don’t love these things, I do my best to accept that regardless, I can still be fit and happy. 

I’ve never been one to dwell on my looks.  Sometimes I envy those moms at school who always look so put-together, while I’m usually dressed in sweatpants with my hair up in a ponytail.  For me it’s all about choices.  I’d rather spend 30 minutes exercising than styling my hair in the morning.  Exercising makes me feel good, while that other mom feels good because she put in the time to look good. 

I think part of this attitude is why the aging process doesn’t bother me.  I know I’m getting older and things are going to change.  Training for races or getting stronger might not be quite as easy as it once was.  I can’t just assume that most clothes will look fine on me- I have to find clothes to fit my shape (which is different than it was before kids, even though I’m the same weight).  For the most part, I’m okay with that, but there are other people in my life who seem to struggle with aging. 

One family member has said she doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday anymore because she’s gotten too old.  She’s in the best shape of her life, but is always very critical of her body.  She has explored different cosmetic procedures, hoping to regain some of the look of her youth.  I think it’s sad that she can’t be more accepting of the changes age brings, and just be happy living in the moment.  I love birthdays- I don’t care if I’m turning 10 or 100.  I just want to be around to celebrate as many of them as possible.

Do you struggle with the physical changes aging brings?  How do you cope with them?  Have you learned to accept it, or do you find yourself constantly trying to fight it?

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ROBBIEY 1/5/2020
I am okay with aging. I do color my hair Report
GBOOMER 11/29/2019
There are good and bad things about getting old. Like many other people, I am happier than ever (age: 58) but, my body and mind are ageing. If I had exercised as I do now back in my 20s, I would have become a super athlete. Instead, all this exercise just keeps me healthy and active. But I love it. I feel blessed to know how to exercise and care for my ageing self. The BIG challenge will be preparing for the day when I can't care for myself and depend more on others. Report
MARITIMER3 11/11/2019
Nembrace it proudly... learn from your mistakes... be generous... help others... I’m 76and I’ve never been happier. Report
POETLKNG2LOSE 10/11/2019
Yes at times I worry about my appearance. I still dye my hair and now and then put on makeup to look better. I cannot do a lot about my wrinkles though. Report
KOALA_BEAR 7/1/2019
Aging was fine until about 2 yrs ago, I really started noticing changes with getting very grey & then sone age spots on my skin. Yes, I am a bit vain. Always dressed in the latest styles, jewelry, purses, shoes had to be color coordinated. Now I wear the same outfit twice in a week since retiring, & have started trying a couple products for my face. Thankfully my health is good tho I've watched my older hubby lose some mobility this past year or so which is troubling. His diet is horrible & yet he is disgustingly healthy other than his old work injury. I am doing SP to keep myself on track to not only outlive him, but be able to do all that I enjoy. Already told him, if I ever remarry it will be to a younger one.LOL! Report
I let my grey hair go, no more paint for me. This was unexpectedly controversial, as friends or family took definite sides. I never looked back, am enjoying money and time saved. I also feel like I earned my age, and want more authenticity. Report
CHERYLHURT 6/18/2019
We’ve been taken for our 50s instead we’re 66! Report
EO4WELLNESS 6/17/2019
Embraced, or not, it still happens. Report
KHALIA2 6/7/2019
You can do it! Report
LADYALYSE 5/7/2019
Thank you Report
DRAGONFLY631 5/4/2019
Thanks Report
MARITIMER3 4/20/2019
We all age, so we may as well embrace it. I have seen so many women who look great from the back... but oh my... when they turn around! Be yourself, love yourself, and worry more about what you can do for people than about what others think of you. Report
CLAYMACT 1/25/2019
I don't embrace or fight the aging process. I just age. It's not always fun to get older - at least at my age. I ache, am limited, have pain, get tired easily, but don't easily sleep . . . i'm too busy gettin' 'er done to worry about the process, though. If I don't spend too much time in the mirror, I don't have to embrace or fight. I spend my time figuring how to adjust to what I can't do and how I can do it a different way. Report
Well, I just turned 61, and have had 6 abdominal surgeries in 18 months. My body is reminding me of my age, but my mind forgets. Sure I'd like to have the pretty skin I had in my youth and a body that cooperates more. My mind is still young and that's what really counts. Report
I turned 61 yesterday and I remember when I turned 60 last year, I wasnt depressed but grateful for the privilege to be around so long and I still am! Im in goid health and tho Im sometimes frustrated by the arthritis in my knee, I keep active as much as possible and I don't really feel old! I embraced my gray hair a few years ago and find it very freeing to just be me. I get way more compliments on the color now than when I colored it! I'm more careful with skin care now but don't obsess over it. I tell young girls to stay active & wear their sunscreen bc their body will be around a long time! Report
ARNETTELEE many comments. Hubby is 70 but looks younger (good genes), and I'm 65 going on 66. Retired this past December and enjoying every minute. We've been married 45 years this year in November. We're enjoying life to the fullest with our two children and three grandchildren who live here. We have one daughter and two grands who live in CA whom we see about once a year. Life is good. Report
To me age is just a number. I am taking better care of myself and living a great life. Happy and beautiful just the way God made me. Report
I figure I earn all the trappings of being 60. But coloring my hair blue (just as others color brown or blond) has made me look 15 years younger. Report
I'm almost 71 still work full time as a Chef in a retirement center, have a pacemaker and a knee brace, and the work quit is not in my dictionary.
I'ld like to thank the world for sticking around long enough for me to grow old in it. That was not a given in my youth. Report
I'm 67 and love who I am, body don't work as well, but I push on and enjoy life every day and live it to it's fullest. Report
I've since gotten over all the make up and "super" creams advertised. I view them as hacks and any way to get our money. You get to a point where it doesn't seem to be as important as to when you were younger, plus you see it for what it is. And the comment about wanting to be older, because of carding? Enjoy it while you can because someday you won't be, then you will miss it, and feel like an old lady. Don't push aging, it's not for everybody. Report
This is the perfect article for this time in my life, and week. For a while I have fought being older after I turned 51 I guess. Before that I really didn't think about it. That may be because I was taking care of a loved one who had cancer and passed away in 2016. But then I was busy. I didn't have time because my thoughts weren't on me. But now there is no one else to care for on that level, so its just me. As for grey hairs, I have 2 streaks on each side of y head like Mortisha Adams. I like her and I think its cool to look like her in that manner.

I don't like birthdays as much as I used to and every morning I wake up I find myself asking what now. AS in what experiences will I be met with today? I am still working on making me a priority and changing my mind set to remember I am worth it. Report
I'm proud to be almost 58 years old. I'm probably in the best shape of my life and eating healthy thanks to SP. I stopped dying my hair over 10 years ago and get complimented all the time on my beautiful silver hair. I recently started Pilates to strengthen my core and support my low back issues, but does that make me feel old? Absolutely not! My husband of 36 years loves me just the way I am and we have an amazing life together. We celebrate the life God has blessed us with and choose to embrace our age by taking care of each other and the "temple" God provided. Report
What is this ageing you speak of? Lol Report
It doesn't bother me that I am getting older or all the wrinkles and grey hairs that have been appearing over the past few years either. It is all a part of life and I have no intention of dying my hair or doing anything about the wrinkles either. I just want to work to keep my bones strong and healthy as well as the rest of my body and mind.
I do not mind the age, I mind the way older people are treated. Report
I get excited about getting older! Love that I can say I am 70! No way do I feel it or look it. I just want to be the healthiest and and as fit as I can be. Report
I'm not afraid of getting older, not even of dying (that's part of the joy of being a Christian!) But that being said, I must admit, I am not enjoying the "look" of being older. I do feel good though, I could lose weight and feel even better, but I have great health and great strength, so I am appreciative of that, and aim to keep it that way as long as possible. I appreciate the SP site and the encouragement it gives us! Report
For me a birthday is just another day. I do see effects of aging (knee does not work as well; getting stiff sitting at the computer) but I feel I am doing OK. Report
The only part of aging that concerns me is the number of years used verses the number of years available. Seems like there is never enough time to do everything I think I want to do. Time keeps rolling on and some times I find myself doing nothing important. This troubles me. Looking old doesn't trouble me as that is how I am supposed to look. Report
Women tend to fight it while men embrace it. People judge us by our age and I'm enjoying getting wiser and using it as a benefit. I do dye my hair, work out and eat right as it's how you feel displays how you look. Report
Never had a problem with getting older until I turned 60. Not sure why that age really bothered me, I still feel like me (the same me that stepped out the front door and eagerly drank in the early morning cool air, sunrise and sounds of the first day of school so many decades ago!). I am not happy about how my hair has changed, but hey, its just hair! I have some beginning crows feet around my eyes- chalk it up to so much laughing and smiling and sunshine, and well, just the "mileage" of living. My goal is to continue to love what I do, make someone feel better every day and feel that I am making a positive difference in my little corner of the world. Even though I am working on and glad that I am losing some of my extra weight, I am still sort of afraid if I lose a lot of weight, the fat won't keep the wrinkles puffed out and they will be more obvious. (How's that for a messed up perspective?!) Report
I turned 65 this year and had to sign up for medicare, but you know what? I'm glad to be around and to have a loving husband and a happy and healthy family. Report
Age never really bothered me. I always looked younger than my calendar years, but sure wish that I had the same body as in my youth. Infirmities have gotten to me, but I think that my mind and way of thinking are still young. I don't color my hair, just glad that my hair is still naturally a medium dark brown, but now with more grey creeping in. I look on those greys as free highlights. My husband is 15 years younger, so he keeps me with a youthful attitude. I wouldn't even consider plastic surgery---after having knee replacements I'm in no hurry to do anything that's painful. LOL. Report
I'm 65. I'm looking forward to retiring next January. I'm married to the love of my life for last 43 years and he still wants me and compliments me and that is all that matters. Report
Easy for a 30-something to warble about how she accepts aging and the physical changes it brings. As others have already said, if you are female, you ARE judged on how you look. Moreover, by your mid-fifties, you become the incredible INVISIBLE woman. There's NOTHING "sad" about exploring cosmetic procedures for looking younger if they boost your confidence if you can afford it. After all, you maintain the exterior of your HOUSE don't you? Maintaining your body is no different. Report
Women are "focused on looks" because men JUDGE you by them. Doesn't matter it it is "fair" or not, it just is. I have four grown sons and they have all told me "If I was a woman I'd do everything to look as good as possible, because men judge women by their looks." Report
I've never understood why people are so focused on looks. It has nothing to do with the person inside. But people talk about it all day. I love getting older. I'm 59 and loving my life. I no longer worry about what others think about what I do. (Did they ever really care anyway?) It's so freeing. A group of us meet every day at the dog park and socailize and play with the dogs. And Sp is getting me healthy and fit. Enjoy your life wherever you are.
Great Blog! I love getting older-it beats the alternative! Spark On! Report
I only obsessed about getting older when I turned 30. Turning 40 and 50 was absolutely not problem. When I turned 60, I looked at what my life had been (good), but this was the milestone that leads toward retirement. Oops! that's not in the cards. So I've had to backtrack a little.

As I've gotten older, I've had some health issues that make it just a little challenging. Can't clean my house all at once, have to break up my exercise into shorter sessions, and so on.

As far as surgery goes, yes, there are some areas I'd like to have fixed. Will doing that make me a better person? Absolutely not! That's just icing on the cake.

My advice, for what it's worth, is live each day to the fullest. Delight in the little things, stop and smell the roses. Give thanks for every day you have. You are God's creation, and wonderful. Report
I am only 24 and I am freaking out about aging, I already started using anti-aging products. Report
I've been noticing lately that my facial skin isn't "young" any more. I have lines that don't go away and it is getting "crinkley" looking in my cheeks. I really don't like that and I notice it. I'm 50 this year and single "again" for the last 14 years.
All of that being said, I've never even worn makeup regularly and I wouldn't know where to start. I don't mind the gray hairs--in fact, I kind of like them. It feels like I earned those!
Anyway, it is all part of "growing up" which I'm not sure I will ever do entirely (or that I want or need to). I look at my Dad and still see the same guy I saw when I was 18. May my sons say the same in 30 years!
There are many more important things to me than that skin I don't like. Supporting my family. Getting back to my ideal weight. Excercising and feeling more energized. Finding the next challenge at work.
I guess my face will just have to take care of itself! :) Report
To be honest. I hate growing old. I turn 60 this year and the makeup just doesn't hide all the wrinkles and more.
Yes, I am vain and I would have a facelift in a haert beat if I had the money to be frivolous. I can make my body look it's best but I can't fix the wrinkles and the sagging that comes with the aging process.

I would gloadly go back to being 25 again but with the wisdon I have now.
I do however thank God every day for giving me life and for allowing me to be able to live healthy. I have had a wonderful life with travel and children, grandchildten and a loving husband and soul mate.

Every birthday I do have, I show my grandchildren how I can still get my legs up and stand on my head without any help. Report
I think it depends on what parts of growing old are being referred to.

I've had an increasing number of white hairs since my early 30s at least. I don't dye my hair or try to change them. I notice that my hands don't look as smooth or that I have wrinkles at the sides of my eyes and I'm fine with those kinds of changes. Appearance items just don't bother me. I'll wrinkle and sag and go mostly gray and that's all completely fine.

Aches and aging related disorders worry / concern me a lot more. I see older people hobbling along with walkers and don't want to lose my mobility until as late as possible. I don't want to lose my ability to lift things, my balance, my vision and hearing. But unlike all the surgical procedures to nip, tuck, smooth, and the like ... there isn't any way to really stop the aging process in those areas.

So I work now to get as fit as possible, as active and alert as possible, in the hopes I'm not at 96 like my grandmother who passed last year and hadn't really stepped outside much in over a decade. I don't want to live a life incredibly diminished in scope because I didn't do something now while I could. Report
Sometimes I do both - accept it AND fight it! I'd be happy to let my hair go gray and dress comfortably ALL the time, but there is such ageism if you are still (lucky enough to be) working. I absolutely agree with CIRANDELLA and anyone else who has opined on this blog that age is a state of mind. At 62 and with 32 years of marriage under my belt, I try not to think about where I've been, but where I still want to go!

My favorite, personal 'age' anecdote is this: when she was 6, I said to my daughter, "You were in diapers half your life." She got totally incensed that I reminded her of her 'baby years.' Report
I think it's great to be old in BOTH body & mind/heart! I wouldn't want to be 21 again; what little wisdom I have has been hard-won over years of struggle, & I treasure it. I'm working hard to age well. I'm letting my hair go gray (Proverbs in the Bible says it's a crown of honor!), & I won't get plastic surgery to lose wrinkles or forestall a bit of normal sagging. Keeping my knee muscles strong so walking & occasional running don't hurt--THAT's important. Eating right to avoid high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, bone-density loss--THAT's important. Smiling & laughing a lot so the wrinkles in my face are good ones--THAT's important.

I don't always feel like it, but growing old is a mercy. Report
This is why I have the strongest contempt possible for Hollywood and the entertainment/media/fashion industries - their mindset is so un-"age friendly" that it's scary ....... and don't even get me STARTED on their contempt towards us women! Of course, the way gals have been socialized from almost the beginning of time has been no help, either!

Everyone - PLEEZE - let's toss those stereotypical "gold watches" and damned rocking chairs, get out of your stinkin' houses and start LIVING LIFE! There is NO age limit on doing that! Report
Age is a state of mind. I'm a perennial 15-year-old in a 90-year-old body :)
Any day I'm still above ground is a GREAT day, seriously! Report
The healthier u are the better u look. Report