Did you ever wonder why western society makes “growing old gracefully” a difficult task? If you ask practically any adult, whether young or old, what this expression means, they probably don’t have much positive to say. Which I find so odd, since the alternative, not having the opportunity to grow old, is such a daunting prospect.
Let me break down this commonly used expression a little:
Growing: grow into (result of a natural development), grow on (gradually become more appealing), grow up (advance to maturity, arise or develop)
Old: having lived for a long time, long-established or known
Gracefully: having or showing grace or elegance
Can you explain to me why we are doing everything (emotionally, physically, cosmetically, artificially) possible to avoid, prevent, or delay this journey? Isn’t this a great disservice to those people who have served society in general, raised families, and survived many decades of constant change?
No, I am not stupid. I know how difficult, arduous, painful, sad, tragic old age can/will be. Yet, does this excuse us from freely partaking on the journey? If you read any women’s magazines you would think aging naturally must be avoided at all costs.
It’s discouraging, with first page titles such as: “10 Tips to looking 10 Years younger”, “Today’s 40 is Yesteryear’s 20”, “Botox Brunch, the latest Hollywood Trend”. Or some such nonsense. Why shouldn’t a 50 year old want to look 50? And isn’t Botox considered the most poisonous naturally occurring substance in the world? (Wikipedia)
Over the lasts months, I’ve contemplated ways of creatively and constructively celebrating the transition from middle age into old age. I’m not quite sure what form this creative endeavour will take as yet.