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Mary's Moments Blog Post

Loving Your Age

As I approach my birthday this month, I find myself reflecting on years past and the experiences that have shaped me. There's a bittersweet feeling that comes with reaching yet another birthday. On one hand, I am grateful for wisdom and strength. I've learned so much about myself and life.  But……

 

Things have definitely changed.  My body doesn’t bounce back like it used to.  There are lumps and bumps where there weren’t before.  Knees don’t bend quite as good - flexibility some days is completely non-existent.  The crow’s feet get a little deeper each year and the weight….well that’s a whole other conversation.  

 

I could waste time thinking about everything I’ve lost with age, but what would that do?

Is it not better to think about all that I’ve gained?

 

Wisdom, Growth, Memories, Health (I’m still breathing….)

 

Some ask wouldn’t it be great to turn back the clock and be young again?

 

Would it?  I don’t think so - not really - I believe my best years are right now and still ahead of me.

 

How about the big question – what if you could turn back time and do things differently?

 

Here’s a thought: you’re sipping your morning coffee, lost in a whirlwind of “what ifs” and “if onlys”, wishing you could turn back time and rewrite the chapters of your life.  But hold on a minute!  While it’s tempting to indulge in nostalgia and fantasize about a do-over, dwelling on the past is like chasing shadows.  Sure, reminiscing about the good times can bring a warm glow to your heart, but fixating on regrets only casts a dark cloud over the present.


It's like staring at the rearview mirror while driving forward – you’re bound to miss the beauty ahead not to mention a possible crash. 


Instead of living in a world of could-haves and should-haves, why not look forward to aging gracefully?   Stay in the present moment and leave time-traveling fantasies where they belong. Life is too short to waste on rewinds and reruns.

 

If you do not love your age, try to focus on what’s going on in your mind as opposed to the number or wrinkle. Where do you place your attention?  Where do you look for validation and approval?

 

How often do you not go after something because you’re afraid of what other people will think?

 

How often do you not wear the outfit because you’re concerned with what people will say?

 

How often do you not speak up because you’re worried about rejection?

 

How often do you shy away from situations out of fear of judgement?

 

Chasing approval steals from you and is a recipe for a miserable life.  By doing this subconsciously, our minds tend to look for what we are lacking as we age.  We need to deliberately shift our focus to celebrating what we gain as we grow older.

 

"The prettiest smiles hide the deepest secrets.

The prettiest eyes have cried the most tears,

And the kindest hearts have felt the most pain."

 

Aging brings experiences and these experiences bring knowledge.  It’s not just information – it’s a deeper understanding of the world, a better grasp of who we are and a growing awareness of what’s truly important.

 

Seek the wisdom aging offers.

 

If you don’t love your age – I get it.  Youth more often than experience is celebrated everywhere you look.  It’s common to struggle with societal expectations and personal insecurities.

 

I’ve consciously put a stop to mourning the loss of youth.  It takes so much energy and is mentally and emotionally draining.  I focus on my beautiful life moving forward.

 

For many women, aging can be a journey filled with mixed emotions and struggles.  Especially when it comes to how it affects their personal relationships.  Insecurities about aging may creep in, causing doubts about their attractiveness or worthiness in the eyes of their partners.  It’s natural to feel vulnerable when faced with pressures to maintain a youthful appearance. 

 

Amidst the not so welcomed changes though, there's a timeless truth: personality is what truly shines. Kindness, humor, and compassion are like a magnet, drawing others close. We shouldn't let wrinkles or grey hairs overshadow the warmth in our hearts. Instead, we can focus on our inner strengths and qualities. Love isn't about perfection; it's about connection and understanding.  We need not place too much emphasis on the physical.

 

Beauty comes from within is an understatement.

 

While many women have insecurities about aging, not surprisingly, their partners may also grapple with feelings of inadequacy as they age.  Society’s expectations of masculinity often revolves around strength and youthfulness leaving men vulnerable to insecurities as well.  They may start to notice changes in their appearance or abilities.  Feel pressure to maintain a certain physique or level of performance, leading to self-doubt and anxiety.  They may worry about being seen as less desirable or attractive themselves.

 

Though these feelings can really strain a relationship, it can also help relationships evolve into

a more mature love. It becomes crucial for partners to not only communicate their feelings but also to deeply understand and respect each other's emotions for a healthy and fulfilling relationship as we navigate this aging journey.  When concerns and feelings are expressed, it's a sign of the depth of their connection. However, if a partner still shows disinterest despite open communication, it can hinder the growth of the relationship into the mature and fulfilling love that aging often brings.

 

How can we change the aging narrative and focus on how to celebrate the wisdom, resilience and beauty of it?

 

Flip the script.   Take a pass on the obsession of youth and beauty.  Rather than viewing wrinkles as flaws, see them as the roadmap of a life well lived.  It’s not about hiding the gray hair but treat it as a badge of honour from the experiences and wisdom accumulated over the years.  If you dye your hair because you like how it looks, that's okay! I do all the time. Just remember, the goal isn't to hide your age.

 

We need to shift our thoughts from anti-aging to pro-aging, recognizing the resilience and strength that comes with each passing year. Instead of chasing after the fountain of youth, raise a toast to the fountain of wisdom that comes with age.  Every laugh line tells a story, every gray hair a testament to every experience - a lesson learned.  So, honour other women in our communities, learning from their experiences and cherishing that wisdom. 

 

There will always be a sense of nostalgia for youth that seems to slip further away with each passing day but it is a good time to assess where we’ve been and where we want to go. 


Consider this writing by Donna Ashworth:


I Wonder if You Know


"I wonder if you know the work your body has done today and everyday;

How much disease it has fought off; how many times it could have failed but battled on; how many ways it could have broken but did not.


I wonder if you know the work your body has done today and everyday; and each day it has done this amazing job without your help, without your approval, your acceptance or your kindness.


Each day it has soldiered on regardless of the constant stream of negativity pulsing its way from your brain to your cells.......


Not good enough

Not attractive enough

Not the right shape


Perhaps it's time to see your body for what it truly is......


A mind blowing competent machine

A vessel to get your soul to where it needs to be in this life - to let you live.


I wonder if you know how much better you would be as a team...... I wonder."

 

Despite apprehensions about growing older, I’m trying to embrace this new chapter with open arms and keep in mind that what really matters is love, laughter, and memories I create along the way.

 

Something else I try to do regularly – seems a bit vain in some ways and weird as well when you first start however, give yourself a high five in the mirror every time you step into the washroom.  Yes - EVERY single time.  By doing this, you're doing more than just a fun gesture. It's a powerful act of self-affirmation that can positively impact your psyche. In those moments, regardless of the thoughts, anxieties, or worries swirling in your mind, you're choosing to acknowledge yourself in a positive light.


This simple action sends a message to your brain that you are worthy of recognition and celebration, just as you are. Over time, this repetitive affirmation can help boost your self-esteem and cultivate a more positive self-image. It's like giving yourself a little pep talk every time you wash your hands or brush your teeth, reminding yourself that you are capable, valuable, and deserving of love and appreciation. So go ahead, give yourself that high five and watch how it transforms your outlook on aging gracefully.

 

Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, fifties or golden years, celebrate each age and stage with pride.

 

In addition to the high -5’s - speak positive words into your life every single day.





Think and feel big – think and feel healing – think and feel success – think and feel peace – think and feel happiness – think and feel growth

 

Always start the day with positive energy –

YOU deserve it!

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