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Are you comfortable with the thought of getting older?

Posted Oct 22 2008 8:02am

More results from my survey. My readers said:

34.9% Yes, I absolutely accept it and actually am enjoying getting older.

  • at 60, I'm beginning to figure out that it's really ok to just be. Some of the physical manifestations of the process can be unsettling, but in general I like it.
  • It is quite possible to embrace the changes that inevitably come with peace and joy even when they take us far beyond our comfort level.Health seems to be the biggest issue for me.
  • Our bodies and souls are miracles. Because we are human, they change and shift and work differently over time.
  • Mostly I'm embracing it. I even stopped dying my hair to embrace the Biblical image of "the glory of old men is their grey hair." But I am trying to stay in shape and look good.
  • The only ONE thing I do not enjoy is the breakdown of my physical body. Not because of the cosmetic issues but because of pain/limitations/mobility/ etc. I also am seeing how ageist our society is, and that is disturbing.
  • I know of only one other option, and it seems inevitable too.
  • I am almost 62. It is just since I entered my 60's that I think about getting older. I am very active and plan to live to be a hundred or more, so I see myself with lots of time left, however, I also know that I have less time left than I have already lived. It has changed how I make some decisions. I am more deliberate about how I use my time. And a lot of the time I still feel like a kid.
  • I love gaining all the experience and insights of getting older. I just wish the effects on the body were not so obvious. It is not fun watching a hairline recede or my stomach get bigger more quickly if I have an unhealthy diet.
  • But my body hurts
  • and also want to be forever young - psychologically and physically.
  • I just turned 46 and I'm excited about turning 50. I don't want to rush it, because I want to enjoy every day, but I just think 50 is a magical number (1/2 a century). I thought turning 40 was great too!
  • So far, so good. With every year I grow more seasoned and learn more.
  • UP TO A POINT! I really dont want to get to the old and frail, unable to look after myself stage. Would rather opt out of life before then. Seeing lots of old folk in nursing homes/hospitals really being treated without dignity, respect or intelligence has reinforced this view.
  • Ask me that question again when I get close to 50 (in 10 years) My answer may change.
  • I have both fear and acceptance.
  • yes, yes, yes --- age 56 I do worry about finances and health issues if I'm not getting older, I would be dead
  • I enjoy getting older (and wiser?) but it is the aches and pains associated with it that I can do without!
  • I'm comfortable with this season of my life - wrinkles and all!
  • I am experiencing more joy, power, wisdom, peace and --hear this-- more sense of being beautiful and wildly passionate and unique NOW than when I was in my 20s or 30s. I have learned so much, lived and thrived and survived so much loss, that I feel strong, blessed, guided and more fulfilled and alive than ever. I also like what my face and my body express as a map of my life. Why would I want to erase the story of my life from my face, to have a stretched, empty canvas again? Before, I was never happy with my body and I did not FEEL beautiful, though I was a gorgeous actress. Also, during my first youth (20s-30s) I was insecure, co-dependent and trapped in so many fears that I did not know myself. Now I know, value and love myself, and I am FREE. Nothing can beat that!
  • I have been infirm for most of my life due to chronic health conditions, so while I don't relish the added infirmities that advanced age can be expected to deliver, in all other senses my life has continually improved.
  • I feel more comfortable now more than ever!
  • This is a hope for me remember get older or die.
  • My response exists between the first and second answers... some parts of getting older feel victorious - you know - hard won battles have been fought, or certain abilities to let go have softened and become easier... but parts are scary and more daunting - such as the phycial health concerns and time seemingly speeding up
  • I always wanted to age gracefully and at 47, I'm working on it.
  • The only draw back is the mind is still strong but the body is getting a little weary of the fun!

50.8% Yes, I accept it but I can't say I like it. I just deal with it.

  • Ughh, I have been thinking about that lately. It is not so much getting old but not being financially prepared.
  • Part of me welcomes getting older, but it hard with the body parts not working correctly. When I know that I am in the frustrated mode, I try to counter balance with living artistically. It seems though that working through the medical issues is hardest on maintaining and creating community and friends. I do have a few amazing friends, but feel like I need a little more community, as to not wear them out when life situations come up. Usually the rock is supposed to be the family, but that is not working out to be the case. It is a huge loss that comes up like an old friend when working through the physical parts. I have foregone waiting until I feel better to start new relationships, and try to move forward even if I am not feeling up to par.
  • I can accept it but I will dye my hair forever. I will be 80 with black hair, I mean it.
  • It does scare me, realising my body is aging and I probably can't regain certain things that I didn't know I had when I was younger.
  • Health seems to be the biggest issue for me. My dad always said, "Once you hit 65 it's patch, patch, patch." He wasn't far off the mark with me because at age 65 I had open heart surgery which was fine but it has generated other complaints that needed patching.
  • I think our society is so youth oriented...so sexually charged...it is difficult to feel accomplished and mature when the media, especially when it comes to females, is all about outward appearances. There's not a lot of positive visuals about maturing women and the men who still adore them. We have become a very shallow culture.
  • I like feeling young and strong and attractive. I like a lot of sex, fast driving, and loud music... growing old and frail comes with sacrifices and problems that I can honestly say I'd prefer not to deal with. Of course I accept them as facts of life, and do enjoy some aspects of getting older, but overall I'd stay forever young if I could (only physically, of course - I'll always want to grow older mentally).
  • ... takes time to enjoy the ride up and then down... maybe after men-o-pause... :)
  • my physical therapist this morning gave me a hip strenghting exercise for "senior Citizens" When do you become senior?
  • I did have a bit of mid-life crisis and hated hitting 40. I do miss being able to stay up all night and not look like shit.
  • If you could separate the emotional/spiritual from the physical again, I would answer absolutely, I accept the thought of getting older for the first, but no, it scares the crap out of me for the second.
  • I'm at the stage where I still have acne AND I'm getting wrinkles and droops. I find that I adjust incrementally. My smile is still there, so I am thankful for that!
  • I'm lucky to 1) not really be that old yet (just turning 36) and 2) look and feel a lot younger than I am. I actually felt younger in the first half of my thirties than I did at the end of my twenties. Still, it doesn't last forever... everyone once in a while I have a little panic. I do try to avoid mentioning my age but if someone asks I will tell them.
  • I think I have been coming to terms with my age in the last year... I am working accepting it wholeheartedly.
  • I wouldn't go back to my youth, but I wish I had less pain.
  • It scares me. The upside is I feel much more empowered & that I can do (almost) anything. The downside is time is going soooo fast now & I'm also not sure how much I can do physically. A major trip I took last fall took a toll, but at the same time changed me & fed me.
  • Getting old is like passing into adulthood. We're becoming someone new that we may not like, who is limited by so much. Almost all the good things we loved about the other us is gone and it is being grieved for deeply.
  • Don't know that I am comfortable with the thought, but I know I can't stop it and I don't try to hide it with physical masks. My biggest fear about it is getting older and not being able to accomplish my goals due to aging.
  • As a single woman the aging seems at times to be the biggest mental block. Surely a man will prefer a chipper, young, squeeky thing over a woman with experience and well, more experience? Then, I just consol myself that they don't know what they are missing out on and get on with it.
  • The though of getting older doesn't bother me. It's the aches, pains, limitations on what you can do because the body is simply getting weaker and most of all, the thought of potentially ending up in a nursing home, eating baby food and having to wear 'depends'. That, scares the hell out of me
  • if it wasn't for the physical crap it would be ok. my dad at 80 said in his head he still felt like 20.
  • Don't particularly like the wrinkles and the gray hair but I can say that I like myself better than ever!
  • Not particularly enjoying watching myself age not so gracefully!
  • Aging topic has strummed a bit louder dissonant chord with the 45th bday.
  • It's more regrets about some of the things in my life that bother me then my looks. people guess i am 10 yrs younger then i am. but i had a (benign) bone tumour on my eyebrow for years. that made and makes me not care too much about my looks, much as i love being attractive.
  • Sometimes I see what I would have done differently and I mourn that a bit but I move on and I love that I have that wisdom now.
  • I'm trying to learn how to stay as active and effective as I can in spite or even as a result of increasing maturity.
  • It's the internal aging -- in my brain -- that I am struggling with. WHen will they develop moisturizer for the memory??

3.2% Yes, sort of but I try to hide it with cosmetic "solutions".

3.2% Not sure. I don't really think about it very much.

0% No, and I do everything I can to hide it and avoid sharing my age whenever possible.

7.9% No, and it scares the crap out of me. I hate it.

  • I live in Los Angeles and this place is obsessed with youth. I think I need to move. : )
  • Not my precise answer. But none of the other answers were appropriate. It scares me. I don't hate it. I rarely reveal my age. Not sure why i'm embarrassed by it. But getting more comfortable. What i dislike most about aging is how I FEEL about it and not the aging process itself. Lately i've been working with seniors and I can't help to compare myself to them or worry I will be feeble, wheelchair-bound or worse. I've become a bit obsessed about the lines on my face and plastic surgery. The small voice looms ever present "...you're getting older...you're getting older...hahahaha..."
  • I am watching my mother age with dementia and I SCARED TO DEATH that the same will happen to me!
  • When I was in a committed, loving, long-term marriage, it scared me less. I still didn't like getting older or thinking about getting even older, but now that I am on my own, it's pretty terrifying.
  • Actually, it seems as if life is literally passing away too quickly. I would be completely fine with getting older but don't have great health & already feel about 70 mentally & sometimes physically...so I feel as if being old is literally on my doorstep at times.
  • I'm having difficulties with getting older. Not because of the looks, but because it feels like lots of possibilities are over, the world doesn't seem to ly at my feet anymore. Limitations about life, carreer and love.
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