Growing older gracefully

14 Apr


I feel pretty good about my age. I’m thirty-six. I thought I’d been feeling a lot worse than I do. I’m really enjoying being in my late thirties. It’s so true that “youth is wasted on the young”. We may look young in our twenties but I was a fashion mess, my skin was terrible, I was insecure and I didn’t enjoy my youth much at all to be honest. When I was in my insecure twenties a friend told me that she was happy with every mistake she’s ever made because she likes who she is now. She wouldn’t change a thing because she and her life could have turned out differently. I’ve never forgotten this. I don’t even wish I could go back and do it all again because every single thing I did led me to this point in my life. Every mistake, every mis-step all lead me to this feeling of confidence, this work-life balance, my husband, my children…I just wish I’d enjoyed the journey more.

I think I might be dressing too young for my age. I still shop at Just Jeans and Cotton on, I do my hair the same as I did in my twenties (with a big round brush, making it as full as possible) and my makeup hasn’t changed a whole lot either. I might need a refresher course but I really can’t be bothered. The older I get the less I care how I look. I get ready in the morning and then I forget about it. I just live my life. I never thought aging would be such a gift. It really is. It feels great.

I may not feel this way in my late forties and beyond but I see so many beautiful women of this age who just seem happy, peaceful, look great and have amazing lives. I can’t ever imagine getting botox but I won’t say no to a thorough anti-aging facial from time to time (when the kids are older and I get a chance). Before Australian actress Belinda Emmett died she was interviewed about her struggle. She said she could never understand why people complained about how they were aging. Didn’t the realise what a gift it was to grow old? She’d give anything to live long enough to be an old lady. Her struggle hit me hard because she was so young. It’s a reminder that illness can strike anyone at any age and that our health and vitality should be the ultimate goal.

Now that I have a daughter I’m more focused on being less vain and materialistic. I don’t ever want her to feel like looking good is a competition, weigh less increases her value as a person…I had an argument with a work colleague who thought it was more tragic when a beautiful woman died because it was ‘such a waste’. Please. My arguments were falling on deaf ears but just the fact that he thought it let alone said it really reflected that nasty part of society where we are judged by our looks and not our achievements.

I put on quite a bit of weight while pregnant, especially the first time, but I lost the weight each time. I was always so embarrassed by comments about how thin I was getting. I just grew a person, a human being, out of thin air. Who cares if I’m losing weight. Look at my little creation.

You may not like how you look some days or most days but does your body work? Do your arms and legs function? Do you have a brain? Are you able to feel happiness. Stand in front of a mirror and run your hands down your body from your head, down your arms, over your hips, all the way down to your feet (if you can!). You are alive, you can breath, you are beautiful.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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