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aging gracefullyI’m a big fan of aging gracefully. No, “aging gracefully” doesn’t mean you have to be stick-up-the-ass stuffy and dripping in Barbara-Bush pearls. Yes, you can still have a youthful appearance without looking like Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

At midlife and with a bit of a pot (thanks, menopause and meds!), I try to master the balancing act between MILF and geriatric. While my bikini and bare-midriff days may be in my rear-view mirror, that doesn’t mean I have to surrender to mom jeans.

Attitude Is Everything.

Wrinkles or lifelines? Chunky or curvaceous? The choice is yours. You can give aging a negative spin or a positive one — the latter is much more fun, creative, and healthy.

Find The Joy

…even in your aches and pains. If your bunions hurt, it means you’re alive! Some days, the simple act of getting out of bed is a huge achievement. Plenty of women approach the big 5-0 with dread, but I’m a firm believer that every birthday should be celebrated, from 5 to 105. Remember, getting older is better than the alternative. If you’ve ever danced with a life-threatening disease, you know it’s true. Face every day like it’s a gift — because, damnit, it is!

Let It Go.

Now’s a great time to get rid of excess baggage. Don’t hold onto grudges; they don’t flatter anyone. Don’t miss out on a valuable relationship you kicked to the curb because of stubbornness. Marriage and Family Counselor Jackie A. Castro likes to ask her clients, “Is it more important to be right or to be loved?” You can forgive without forgetting. Move on and move forward. Life is too short to be unhappy. Besides, anger leaves funky furrows between the eyebrows.

Change Your Hair.

It might be a great time to ditch that hairstyle you’ve had since middle school. Many women are stubbornly attached to their long locks. Society tends to equate it with femininity — but that ain’t necessarily so. I never feel sexier than after a snazzy haircut. A shorter, funkier ‘do can take years — and pounds — off a face. And don’t get stuck on the way you’ve always worn it. Try on a few wigs. Have a powwow with your stylist. Be daring. Be wild. It’s only hair — it’ll grow back.

Dress Your Age.

Although rolls look yummy in a bakery window, I can’t get myself to display mine in public. I haven’t made peace with my cellulite and spider veins…yet. Merit badges, to be sure, but there’s something to be said for a sleek, flattering silhouette. (To me, Spandex is a privilege, not a right.) Breezy palazzo pants are probably a better fashion choice for me than Daisy Dukes. While frosty pink lip gloss might look fab on a 12-year-old, on me, not so much. I give myself a long, hard look in the mirror — like I would a stranger in the mall — before stepping out, then go with my gut. And sometimes, a cute belt is just the thing to hide it!

This story by Catherine Gigante-Brown first appeared at ravishly.com, an alternative news+culture women’s website. 

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