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Monday, March 12, 2012

How to age with grace

Age . . .

It catches up to all of us at one time or another, although we can still remember our good ole high school days. 

Oh the eminence of our youth . . . 

A time when we didn't have to actually go to the gym to look amazing. It just happened. 

Or what about the stuffing of our face just because we could. Our size two jeans would still fit perfectly; bring on the donuts, brownies, and ice-cream!

Those were truly the glory days.

With my impending birthday this week, I've been thinking more and more about age. I truly can't believe I'll be ______. 

Hehe, you thought I was going to say it didn't you?

As I browsed facebook and read the status updates from high school friends who have already hit the milestone, I was sort of taken by their reactions to aging. One classmate wished she could go back to being a teen instead of getting older and another simply dreaded the idea altogether. I get this sentiment. When I went from twenty-three to twenty-four, I found myself in a puddle of tears. I felt so old, so decrepit! (I know that's pathetic and not even a wee bit old but hey, that's old for me!)

The worse part was the dark circles that began forming under my eyes. What on Earth was going on?  As I cried, pouted, and refused to plan anything for that impending birthday, my husband turned to me and said, "Babes, this is going to be the best year of your life," and boy was he right!

This year has been the most challenging, testing, and eye-opening year of my entire life. I've been stretched, shaken up, and slapped in the face by the reality of life that ultimately shaped who I am right at this very moment. 

I experienced my first year of marriage, gained friends and lost others, felt the tragedy of a miscarriage, quit my job as a teacher, started a non-profit for teens, launched an online magazine, and was gifted with another pregnancy all within this year. 

And the simple truth is, I wouldn't give up any of these experiences for the world. Each and everyone has become apart of my life.

A part of my 24 year old experience.

You see, aging doesn't make us old. It gives us an opportunity to experience something new, wonderful, or challenging each year.

As I creep slowly toward being a quarter century old, I'm looking forward to what it has to hold for me. I'm already living my dream of writing and inspiring others. What more could I possibly deserve? I appreciate everything age has allotted me and can't wait to see what 25 has to offer.

So I ask you,

as the clock of life ticks forward, how are you choosing to age? Gracefully or Grumpily? 

I hope that you will choose to age with grace because it's truly the best way to live.

 Here are some ways to start:

1. Acknowledge your accomplishments. 
(If you find you have many, take the time to celebrate! On the other hand, if you feel like you've fallen short, make a plan for this upcoming year and determine to do something you've always wanted to).  

2. Embrace maturity.
(It's okay that you don't want to attend a house party or go to a nasty club).

3. Don't stress the number.
(As your age climbs higher, don't let it choke the life out of you. "Age aint nothing but a number right?")

4. Let the little things in life go. There's always another day.

5. Leave pride and arrogance in your youth.
(It will get you absolutely no where).

6. See each year as a milestone and take note of it.

7. Remain teachable.
(With age comes wisdom, but that's only if your willing to learn from those older and younger than you).

8. Don't take yourself too seriously.

9. Dark circles? Saggy skin? Go out and buy some creams or get a little nip tuck. 
(There's no reason you can't feel confident about your looks! But most importantly drink lots of water. It will keep you radiant).

10. Get out and live! 
There's still plenty of time to make your dreams a reality!

11. If you're turning 25 like me, 
call the car insurance company and get your discount! Yes!! : )

See, there's no reason for a "Virtue" woman to age grumpily. We all have the chance to age with grace. 

Age beautifully my loves!