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Aging Gracefully? No way!

Mar 26, 2013 | Uncategorized | 25 comments

When it comes to aging gracefully, I’m clearly on the rebellious side.  Like Napoleon holding fast for the last battle, I refuse to give up, not one single inch.  I run half marathons, raft with my friends, and go to rock concerts. I’m finally getting to fulfill a life-long dream of skydiving next May.

To do these things- I stay healthy. Now there are a million blogs and books that will tell you how to look young, and tons medical papers on how to eat better; this is not a post on that.

How do I fight it? I have my own plan for staying young. Here goes:

Say “WGAC” more often.   Who gives a crap if you want to move to a deserted island, or be late on every bill until you’re 92, or if your kids don’t make it to the best colleges? It’s your business.  I mean honestly, how big of a deal is all the junk we worry about? Stress is the #1 ager. So, say “WGAC” every time you start to worry about something. Tell your brain that you don’t give a crap about whatever little thing you agonize over. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go.

Continue Learning. You can’t believe how arrogant some older people sound- because they’re convinced that they know it all.  “I’ve been around”, “In my day” and “Let me tell you son” should be banished from your vocabulary. We’re never fully baked so there’s a still lot to learn and you’ll be a student of life.

Stay in 2013. The past was just that— the past.  And if we focus on it too much we will miss the opportunity to make these years spectacular, with lots of good memories. So, live in today. Leave the past where it belongs.

Think of your bright future. Remain anxious to see what the future will hold. Surprisingly when people get old they tend to stop thinking about the future.  It’s exciting to think that someday we’ll ride in a spaceship, they’ll balance the fiscal budget and we’ll find a cure cancer.  Just think of the possibilities.

Throw caution to the wind.  Don’t spend every waking minute making sure that you avoid all risk in my life. It can be wonderful and serendipitous to just do things sometimes without a 5 year plan or a safety net. Does it make sense to start out on across country trip without checking the oil? No, but we probably will get there. Does it make sense to spend your last pennies on a cool sports car? No, unless it will feed your soul.

Wear rose colored glasses. What’s wrong with thinking the best of people, and that things are going to work out fine?  Have the patience to wait it out. Think of things in the best light. Grumpy people are emotionally draining and should be avoided at all cost. Look for people that are good for you and put on a new pair of glasses.

So, why not fight aging every step of the way? And if you’re doing these things you will love the years you have- no matter how old you are.  I still drink a little too much every once in a while, I still eat fast food when the urge strikes me, and I still go outside on a warm sunny day without sunscreen.  Why? Because who wants to be here if you’re not treasuring every minute.

Let me know what your secrets are, and we can both enjoy battling it every step of the way!

 

25 Comments

  1. Dawn Biocca

    Well said. Live each day because it is a present from God and once it is over it is over move on to the next day. We have so much that we can do not just for ourselves but for others. I would like to do some volunteer work at the local Women’s Shelter or the Food Bank. Jessica is volunteer hours at the Food Bank as part of her program in school but why not do it for the sake of doing something for others. The feeling you get is over the top. I donate jewelry to the local Women’s Shelter in May for Mother’s Day and at Christmas. They send me a picture of the ladies holding all the goodies they receive at their tea and it just warms my heart so much to know that I put a smile on their face and made them feel special.
    I am looking toward the future and starting to plan for 2014, yes that is correct I am looking way into the future but it will be here before we know it. In 2014 Alan will be retiring from LBNL after 30+ years there – that is a mile stone in it self, but in addition to that we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary – which is a BIG MILE STONE, and we will both be turning 60. That sounds so old but I am still active – getting more active each day, my health is great – diabetes under control and dropping lbs, and I am excited about my business and life in general.
    I don’t have a bucket list but I think I am going to make one. Just to have things that I want to do written down and to check them off as I complete them. Such a good feeling.
    I also have one dream and that is to walk in the “Susan G. Kolman 3Day Walk for the Cure”. I have wanted to do this for several years and things come up but it is still on my list and I will do it in 2014. Not sure if it will be in San Francisco or maybe I will travel to some place I have never been to walk it. I start training tomorrow and I will do it.

    • Virginia

      My goodness Dawn! you sound like you are in such a wonderful place in your life. Good luck with your walk- it will be a great accomplishment. I know you can do it. Thanks so much for sharing. Virginia

  2. Holly

    I love, love, love this post. I tend to focus more on the ‘outside’ when I think of growing old gracefully, but after reading your post I am reminded that what is going on in the ‘inside’ is just as important -if not more important! I am already with you on the ‘Who gives a Crap’ part though. Strangely that way of living just naturally evolved in my late 40’s and I am getting really good at it now.

    Holly

    Can’t wait for the hop to begin tomorrow!

    • Virginia

      You are so right Holly- it takes practice to refine the “who gives a crap” part. Glad you have it down- it’s taken me a little while longer, but I’m catching up with ya! thanks for the comments. V

  3. Dawn Biocca

    I have been reading a book called “Successful Women Think Differently”. That has helped me so much. I am more aware of my self-talk and make sure that what I am saying to myself is positive and not negative. That all I can control is me and my actions and how I react to outside forces. The stuff outside my control I try, not always successful, to shake it off and move on. As a motivational speaker once said “Build a Bridge and get over it”. I do believe that what you think about yourself has an effect on your aging. If you are always negative then I think you will age faster then if you think positively. I can feel that happen to me when I let something negative get into my brain I feel older. It wares me down.

  4. Karen D. Austin

    WGAC! Wonderful. And avoid energy vampires. I’m an adult child of an alcoholic, and I spent way too many years trying to “fix” people. I still believe in compassion, but I don’t believe in enabling. It’s a fine line, but I’ve got 50 years of practice in discernment. Some great insights. Thanks for participating in the hop.

    • Virginia

      Yes Karen, as a child of an alcoholic myself- I certainly relate to your comment. Thanks for sharing, V

  5. Joy Weese Moll

    Excellent advice. I especially love “continue learning” — that really makes such a difference in our attitudes and moods.

    • Virginia

      Yes Joy, I wish I remembered that more often- but I’m working on it! It just feels like it gets lost in the day. We are so busy! Thanks for sharing, V

  6. Angela @Momopolize

    WGAC! LOVE that. That will be my new mantra! Stopping by from the blog hop! (We have the same WordPress theme, down to the same spring photo at the top! LOL)

    • Virginia

      Nice to share a blog theme- thanks for stopping by from the hop, I’m still making my way down the list. Such fun! Virginia

  7. Walker Thornton

    Love the WGAC, but have to admit that I’m more of a WTF girl! I’m fighting it all the way, in my own way. Not denying but not allowing someone’s definition of aging to box me in!

    • Virginia

      You go girl! Love it Walker.V

  8. Carpool Goddess

    I love this! Continue to learn, take chances and be positive. I tell myself this everyday.

  9. D. A. Wolf

    Love your sentiments! (I’m also a WTF woman… but same thing! Though I admit I worry about details to the nth degree on more than I have to.)

    Risk-taking and learning… so important!

    • Virginia

      You guys are so great! I also thought of WTF, but didn’t want to offend anyone. Glad to know I’m with the right crowd. You guys are my homies….Thanks for letting me know- Virginia

  10. Barbara

    What a great post, Virginia. I’ve been better and better with my WGAC attitude, living my life as congruently and authentically as I can, looking toward the future and remembering to be happy right now, in 2013, as you say, and keeping those rose colored glasses on toward others. My authentic life may not, probably is not, the same as someone else’s. But it’s so empowering to not worry about what others think you should be doing. I’m too old for “shoulds” imposed by others.

    Stopping in from GenFab. Fun to meet you!

    • Virginia

      Great to meet you too Barbara, and what a great line- “i’m too old for the shoulds imposed by others” . I love it! Virginia

  11. Sisters From Another Mister

    Rose tinted glasses are a must, and living in the moment most necessary right now.
    I do think that I am learning and taking strides, certainly throwing caution to the wind a bit and most definitely adopting WGAC!
    Great list, it should be my mantra xxxx

    • Virginia

      Throwing caution to the wind is where it’s at- I so agree. It’s the best thing about growing up- you can afford to risk a little! Thanks for sharing, Virginia

  12. Beverly Diehl

    I choose to be happy, most of the time, by looking for and acknowledging the blessings in my life. It may be the way I feel about completing a project (yeah, me!) or the way the spring breeze brings the sweet odor of blooming jasmine.

    But I am also committed to honoring ALL my feelings: fear, sadness, envy, to acknowledge that’s what I feel, examine them, and let them move on, like a flowing stream.

  13. Virginia

    I agree Ginger, those rose colored glasses will save me every time! thanks for sharing,Virginia

  14. Mary

    I agree. I think we waste a lot of time stressing over things that don’t really matter in the long run. Count your blessing. You are responsible for your own happiness. So be happy.

  15. Carol Cassara

    the idea of staying young at heart and keeping fit–two ideas, actually–are so good I never tire of hearing bloggers exhort them. Quality of life is everything. I’m not so much a fighter against aging, because the fact is, we ARE aging and I resent industries that capitalize on women’s fear of aging (of course I just had an age spot burned off my hand, so…) Also– wisdom comes with age, if we pay attention. I totally love “in my day” posts. The past is a huge teacher and I love the fact that someone’s sharing something that might help me in some way. It doesn’t happen all the time, but enough that I read with interest. I also love the glimpse into culture of the past, mores and all that stuff. So, bring on those “old days” posts! I like the idea of embracing age and living well as we age. Thanks for so much food for thought this morning!

  16. virginia sullivan

    Great thoughts Carol- I’ve met so many wonderful women who meet midlife with a sense of adventure it’s great! virginia

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