how to age gracefullyMelissa Stetten is in her late twenties. She’s worried about getting old and “hitting her expiration date” as a model.

She puts herself through all kinds of facial treatments to maintain her youthful appearance. Ironically, she hasn’t even made it past her battle with chronic acne! So she goes through expensive treatments for that too.

Melissa talks about her face as her employee. She says she’s in a business obsessed with eternal youth. So she puts up with the facial treatments to keep her skin looking as young as possible.

What if your 20s are a distant memory? Does that mean you’ve lost your attractive appeal?

I understand Melissa’s perspective. She’s just being realistic about the need to plan her next career move. It’s not self-hate. It’s not her own obsession with youth. It’s “just business.”

What about you? Have you figured out how to “age gracefully?” Maybe I should back up a step. What does “age gracefully” even mean?

And how do you deal with aging when it’s not “just business” but something very personal, like putting your picture on an online dating profile?

Melissa is not a shallow person. She’s not interested in using her modeling career to land a marriage with a rich man who can keep her supplied with expensive purses. Her goal is to find a man who genuinely makes her laugh, someone she can relate to.

What do you think about this definition of “aging gracefully” by blogger, Ginger Kay? She was asked by Huffington Post, along with other women nearing or past age 50, what “aging gracefully” means to them. Here’s what she said:

“Aging brings change that is difficult to love. We sag. We bulge. We wrinkle. In our youth-worshiping culture, there is always the temptation to fight these changes.

For me, at least right now, fighting my body’s natural aging isn’t my idea of graceful. I am happy at the age I am. I don’t mind looking it. Accepting the changes life brings with good grace, and a sense of humor, will, I think, make me happier in the long run than obsessing over looking younger than I am.”

how to age gracefullyTo me, this seems to be a triumph. She triumphantly embraces life as it is. As a result, she gets to enjoy life more. She also becomes more approachable, less insecure, and (in my opinion) more capable of a genuine connection with a man. It’s a beautiful attitude that makes her more beautiful as a person.

She doesn’t see fighting reality as something graceful. D.A. Wolf took this line of reasoning a step further. She responded to the same Huffington Post inquiry with these words:

“Aging gracefully? No thank you. I prefer aging defiantly, aging tenderly, aging authentically. I also prefer turning the tables on trickster terminology to do with ‘anti-aging.’ Choose your adverbs to suit your taste, and let’s rally around verbs that serve us better: learning, launching, loving, living.”

She’s not interested in defining her life as a problem. She’s focused on where she wants to go, what she wants to learn, what new adventures await.

As you know, that is one of the themes of my relationship coaching practice. “Draw your attention away from things you fear by putting more focus on what you want.”

Whatever you do, please do not fear aging. I could say the same about any other circumstance you find in your life. Don’t define your life by the problems you find in it.

You are more than that. You are beautiful. You have infinite worth.

Just a friendly reminder from someone who cares.


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