Aging

Why Aging Is A Privilege

Published:

November 20, 2018

As often as possible, my husband and I take these crazy 72-hour international trips. We have small children and don’t like to leave them for very long, but we still love to travel. These three-day trips feel like a good compromise. The only condition is that it has to be a direct flight from San Francisco. We book a hotel, sleep on the plane there and back, and the rest we make up as we go. On one of our adventures, I found myself in Copenhagen in a beautiful park speaking with two gorgeous women.

As I sat with them and gradually paid attention to more of the women around me, something struck me: I saw laugh lines, frown lines, and wrinkles, and there wasn’t a single colored strand of hair in sight. I also saw incredible style, strength, and a sense of belonging and worth. It feels strange to notice these things in an outdoor café, but it was very strong and apparent. These phenomenal women were growing older unapologetically, and it was beautiful to witness.

When I came back from Copenhagen, I made a very conscious effort to find women who were living their beauty truth. It isn’t easy for anyone, me included. When I read the words “anti-aging” or “youth-enhancing” it feels as if aging should be a fight to the finish. But what are we even fighting against or for? Considering our unsettled (to say the least) world, we should celebrate every passing hour, day, and year. Aging is a privilege—a true blessing—and something we should take pride in.

I have found that with aging comes innate, untouchable truths that only years of life experiences can reveal. Even though the passage of time doesn’t always happen as gracefully as we would like, it’s all a chance to learn, grow, and uncover your truth.

That’s what stood out to me about the women I met in Copenhagen. I’m sure it isn’t a perfect place—nowhere is. But I remember the way these ladies exuded strength and a sense of worth. It was like they knew where they belonged. They knew who they were. These women were smart, sharp, and had style for days. They had an innate confidence in themselves and their journeys. I don’t know where this came from, but surely having role models plays a part. To see women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond when you’re younger has to have an impact on what you think of aging. That it isn’t something to fear or fight, but a process that allows you to uncover more of your true self.

One of my favorite quotes about aging comes from Pablo Picasso: “It takes a very long time to become young.” This idea sums it up for me.

As we move through this world, we should constantly try to shed what doesn’t serve us. Society’s ideas around youth and aging are big ones to drop by the wayside. And when you do, there is a lightness that comes from you—a lightness often associated with youth. That lightness allows you to soar and do things you never would have while you were weighed down by someone else’s ideas of what you should be.

 

Read this next.

Here are Dr. Doris Day’s thoughts on beauty and aging.
Plus, the case for being unpretty.

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