The SparkPeople Blog

Confession: Getting Older Really Stinks, but I Guess it Beats the Alternative

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/23/2009 4:05 PM   :  375 comments   :  18,623 Views


Last week I celebrated my 48th birthday. While for many of you that may seem quite young, for others, that means I am old enough to be your mom. Either way, I do not like the transformation my body is undergoing! I wish I could say I am embracing this aging process with grace, but in all honesty, I hate IT!

I do not like the way everything is beginning to dry out and sag just a little more with each passing year. It's hard not to notice the fine lines every morning and the gray hairs that seems to be multiplying by the hour. Thankfully, I have a good colorist! My skin is not so moist, my hair is even thinner than it was before, and yes, sometimes I awaken with a few more aches and pains than I remember just a few short months ago.

And let's not talk about the "where's my reading glasses" scenario. Yes, I was the one who was going to defy presbyopia--defined as 'old eye' (I am not kidding) on a website for an eye doctor. I was the one who planned on aging well into her fifties without needing arms the length of a football field to read the fine print on the shampoo bottle that seemed so big just 2 years ago and now just looks like a GIANT blur. I was the one who was never going to wear glasses like my high school typing teacher used to wear, you know the ones that sit on the end of your nose so that you can still peer at the people you are talking to. Now she was an old lady. I, on the other hand, can't be that old, can I? Well, I have to say I have not defied presbyopia--I own at least three pairs of reading glasses and I always misplace at least one pair somewhere in the house. But memory is a whole different story.

And sometimes I forget that I am actually getting older. During a run one evening just after my birthday, there were two boys around 13 or so riding their skateboards. While I had my iPod on, I could hear one of the boys yell to the other, "let's race her." Well, I thought to myself, "I can't let these boys beat me! Bring it on!" I put these legs into motion and before I got even 300 meters the boys stopped. Thankfully, I was able to round the corner so that I could stop and catch my breath. There was just something that triggered this need to not let these two adolescent boys beat me. Don't ask me why--and it wasn't even my speed work day!

While I can't stop the aging process, I am not going down without a fight. I plan to continue running as long as these legs will carry me. I know menopause is just around the corner--OH JOY! And in two short years I will be eligible to sign up for my AARP card, which means I can treat you all to a Denny's breakfast for a discount.

Funny how kids are so eager to grow up and the older we get, we want life to slow down. Either way, it's out of our control, so I guess we better enjoy the ride while we can.

How do you feel about growing older? Have you learned to embrace the aging process? What do you think will make you feel old?



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Comments

  • 325
    Love it...I am in my mid 40s now. I never thought I would be the girly girl that got all wierd at turning 40 but that year I had my first cavity, I thought I was going to die with no cavities, yup got my reading glasses, became monster-in-law LOL, became a Grandma and found first stray hairs. You know those long dark nasty ones that grow where they absolutely should never be! Now I am looking forward to the next phase on my life, skinnier and healthier, more freedom and less responsibility. - 10/2/2009   5:36:22 PM
  • PEPCEA
    324
    I absolutely love getting older! I just turned 54 and since I've been Sparking and getting healthy, my life is so much better. If anything about it stinks it's that I wish I had discovered good health when I was younger. I love it though....I feel great and soon I can retire and REALLY start to live. With good health we can live well into our 80's, 90's and beyond and still be able to enjoy life. That is why I'm working to stay healthy and make my last years truly golden.

    Alexandra - 10/2/2009   2:07:09 PM
  • 323
    Heck im 22 and have stigmatisms in both eyes i wish i could just wear glasses in my 40's!!! YALL ARE LUCKY!!! God id love to be yall. I have back pains EVERYMORNING and all day due to a quick growth spurt of my breasts. I can deal with fine lines a lil grey and thinning out id rather have that than stigmatisms and often pains lol dont complain girl your aging GREAT - 10/2/2009   12:36:36 PM
  • 322
    It is my primary goal in life to feel as good as I possibly can. This is true both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Regardless of my age, I have the ability to create positive feelings by how I think.

    If I think getting "older" is bad and that my value in this world is diminishing, then joy will not be present. If I assess my life purely by the number of wrinkles, my weight or number of gray hairs, the liklihood of being joyless is much greater.

    On the other hand, if I welcome each day and live it to the best of my ability, which includes healthy eating, exercise, connection with others, service and gratitude for all, then I will surely feel joy.

    I will celebrate my 57th birthday next week and I plan on fully celebrating it by appreciating the power of my positive perspective. I am not just a body (or my ego), I am a joyful soul that needs not to be affected negatively by any changes in my appearance.

    - 10/2/2009   6:35:30 AM
  • 321
    Nancy-I'm going to be 47 in less than a month and I am feeling the age thing too. It started in my mid 30's when my hair started thinning and falling out and going gray. Now in my 40's it's perimenopause and bifocals and bingo arms. Girl, you hit it right on the nose. Though I can't say I HATE it, I do feel a little panicky once in a while. On the other hand, my husband is the same age as me and still has a gorgeous head of dark hair. And I think he looks distinguished in his reading glasses. - 10/1/2009   8:15:38 PM
  • 320
    What do I think about getting older? It's just a number and I say, if you don't like your number then reverse them (if you can) or add them together. Really, it is only a number and I just turned 63 this past August and I don't feel it, nor look it, that's what I'm told. But I do know I have some really good genes because my mom never looked her age either. I know there are times I wish I was back in my younger days so I could do over a few things.....the right way. I don't touch up my hair, I say I have God's high lights. I figured he gave them to me and so why cover them up besides he's doing a good job...so far. Just hang in there and enjoy the ride. - 10/1/2009   7:31:57 PM
  • DIANE1251
    319
    I never understood why women lie and say they are younger than what they truly are. It really only makes people think that you look old for your age. My theory is that once you turn 40 you start adding years on-tell people you are 50. That way people will say how great you look!!! - 10/1/2009   6:54:18 PM
  • CRONE1
    318
    Physically I notice the changes, some welcome, most not. My hair started graying at 27 and after a few years dying it I said bag this, My hair is genetically disposed to gray very nicely and so I have some very nice silver sidewall, as my brother calls them. I even wear my hair to emphasize them. I get tired to soon and I don't have the strength that I used to which I DO NOT LIKE. And my skin is starting to dry, which I never had a problem with until about a year ago. But I work with young college students and one of them asked me how old I was and I replied '10', she just nodded her head and said, 'I thought so." I don't act old so I guess that keeps my young?? - 10/1/2009   6:23:59 PM
  • 317
    In a few months I will be 50. I can't believe how fast time flies by! It's like the toilet paper roll, seems to go faster as the roll is used up. I must say that there are those that are 50 who look 30 and then those that are 50 and look 70. Genetics could play a role in some, but I believe nutrition and wearing sunblock, etc helps too. I feel so young inside...and to think all along when I was younger I thought people my age now would be thinking older thoughts...not so! If I dyed my hair, erased the circles under my eyes, ironed out wrinkles, both the permanent ones and the ones that occurred while sleeping that take hours to go away, I could be a gal in my 20s! Or so I choose to believe:-) - 10/1/2009   3:25:07 PM
  • 316
    How do I feel about aging? It STINKS! Mostly because I was so busy trying to cope with my life, that I thought I missed out on a lot of "being young".

    But as the years so faithfully teach us...you have to pay attention to this:
    Being Young is a state of mind...that is with you until you draw your last breath. The body ages...but the mind just gets better and better like the
    best wine. Don't forget the spirit...and I agree with the gentleman who said
    "Once you learn to love God...with all your heart and mind and soul...because He is the one who started all this and his wisdom is there, waiting for us to find it....Once you learn what comes first, the rest falls beautifully into place. - 10/1/2009   2:28:42 PM
  • 315
    At 53.6 I have learned that there are some things I need to worry about - and some that I can't change. Age is something I cannot change - I can just be the best at it that I can be, and that is what I am working towards. Stay fit mentally and become fit physically, eat right, sleep well and enjoy every minute in between that. - 10/1/2009   2:19:13 PM
  • NORTHERNLADY
    314
    I will be turning sixty in just a couple of months and I must admit that aging does bother me at times. I also still work but am in the process of slowing that down as well going from working casual to retirement.

    I have older sagging skin regardless of what creams or exercises I do. I try to keep the weight off which is a battle I haven't won yet but it keeps me busy trying. But my husband just says to "get used to it because your going to be older tomorrow" and then we both laugh. It helps having him getting old with me.

    The other side of the coin is I am still having fun and I am active. I ride my horse, Traveler atleast twice a week and he is getting older too (22 years) so he needs the exercise as much as I do. I also have dog which I walk once a day if not twice and work in my yard almost everyday. Golf is also something I participate in once a week so as you can see I do as much as I possibly can.

    Getting older also means enjoying those wonderful grandchildren. That is something you can't have when your in your twenties!

    Enough...enjoy what you have now for it is gone all to quickly.

    - 10/1/2009   11:07:31 AM
  • HARMKS
    313
    I'm with Janey2009; not going down without a fight!! - 9/30/2009   8:45:49 PM
  • 312
    I am thankful to be 50 and have all my teeth. I love my gray hair, it sparkles! I also LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!!! - 9/30/2009   7:53:14 PM
  • 311
    Old ? Nah! I am turning 65 in 5 weeks....I do not look my age, nor feel my age, so why BE MY AGE!!

    As a nurse I take care of folk all the time, my age and younger who look SO MUCH OLDER. Last night had a 61 year old lady, who looked 71! I try very hard to take care of myself, and always shall. I love life and want to live it to the FULL. So I RATTLE when I walk full of all my vitamins and nutrients! But if that is what it takes... PLUS I am eating right, AND have lost almost all the weight I want to. I was told the other day, not to get any thinner, yet I am 28 lbs. heavier than in High School. TOO FUNNY!!!! - 9/30/2009   7:48:59 PM
  • 310
    I love getting old, I'm 60 and a breast cancer survivor . Old is what you make it. Keeping active will keep you young in mind and fit. Dye will cover the gray and eating right will make you look and feel young. I love it when I hear you don't look 60. yeah! - 9/30/2009   1:54:58 PM
  • CRIS7771
    309
    All well and nice, but what if the two 13-year-old boys would have beaten you? Would you have committed suicide? What's the big deal of accepting yourself entirely, the way the nature intended, - age and all? Think about it. - 9/30/2009   10:21:04 AM
  • 308
    Well getting older is all in your mind, I think we should feel blessed that we have the opportunity to get older instead of the alternative of not living at all.... - 9/30/2009   10:20:56 AM
  • WALL-E2
    307
    I have my 49th in 2 weeks. I was more upset turning 30 than 40 and I am not looking forward to next year's b/d. That next number really, really bothers me.
    I am in good health (minus the odd ache & pain), exercise but as for the alternative, I think of the last statement in the Nicene Creed (I look for the Resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the World to come).

    Enjoy your day everybody. - 9/30/2009   7:16:30 AM
  • 306
    I'll be 40 next month and I absolutely cannot believe it. I'll be listening to the radio and hear a song from 1984 (and there were some GREAT ones that year--think Madonna, Prince, Duran Duran) and I will literally say out loud in the car, "How in the world could this song have come out 25 YEARS AGO?????" It's simply unbelievable. Turning 40 reminds me I need to take care of ME, as my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 and died from it 10 years later. This is MY decade to get healthy so I can live long enough to get REALLY old! - 9/29/2009   10:41:15 PM
  • 305
    I'm 63 and feel great. DH and I dance 3-5 times a week, and we walk almost everyday. We have been able to travel a fair bit and we head South for the winter.
    Yes life is very good.


    - 9/29/2009   9:14:53 PM
  • 304
    I'll admit it was a bit of a shock when I became a grandmother at 49, but I learned to accept my seniority and now I tell people I'm 21 years old with 40 years experience. An exhuberant attitude will take you a long way. - 9/29/2009   8:39:23 PM
  • 303
    Yay! I'm "only" 37 but that has been my motto for years!
    Mostly because, for some odd reason, so many of my friends have been complaining about their age forever (!?). Especially famous was the one who claimed we couldn't throw a friend a bachelorette party because we were nearing 40 - we were 33 at the time! LOL! - 9/29/2009   7:23:03 PM
  • SANDY0K
    302
    I like just about all everybody is saying...I'm 53...and it's nice to know, there's so many of us in the same boat...going to the same place...and enjoying the ride! :)) - 9/29/2009   5:01:18 PM
  • BOBBYAUTO
    301
    does anybody know why when i take vitamins, i get hyper? i ask alot of profeesional people but they don't know. i'm also sensitive to caffiene. i am 51,very fit,eat extremely well,no sugar,no bread. i can be reached at bobby91257@aol.com - 9/29/2009   12:10:34 PM
  • BOBBYAUTO
    300
    ththe maximun life foundationere are alot of websites committed to the research of anti-aging. one website is the maximum life foundation at MAXLIFE.ORG i gave a donation of $100.00 and they sent me a product for my skin worth $200.00 by a company caller stem120.com it contains stem cells of a 19 year-old. i just started trying it. if anybody is intrested in the results, reach me at bobby91257@aol.com - 9/29/2009   12:07:51 PM
  • 299
    Since I joined SP, I feeling better now at 51 than I did 5-6 years ago. As I continue to progress on my plan, I know it will get better. - 9/29/2009   2:46:27 AM
  • TILDEN3
    298
    I am 87 and take no meds; only thyroid. I lead a charmed life with no aches and pains. I admit to being very careful about nutrition, eating only organic and whole foods and laughing alot. Life is great!!! - 9/28/2009   9:51:18 PM
  • 297
    My children have said that when I turned 40, I stopped being old and I finally grew up. Sure, I'm not the flat-bellied, soft skinned, firm muscled thing I was in my 20's, but there's so much more to me now. Doesn't mean that I don't want my butt back up where it used to be... - 9/28/2009   9:44:33 PM
  • 296
    Oh my, that is the way I felt when I turned 50. No that I am nearing my 6th decade, I feel more alive and better than I did 8 years ago. I know that I am healthier and I have more energy. I also have more gray hairs and my hair is thinner, I also have occasional creeks and pains, but not bad at all. When I look at others my age, I know that I don't look like them. then I hear them complain about this ailment and that pain and I think thank Heavens for Spark and getting healthy. Good luck. Star - 9/28/2009   7:04:49 PM
  • 295
    I am so tickled reading your article... Oh please! Honey the best is yet to come!

    I turn 59 years old in August & just yesterday arrived in New Orleans & Un nouveau départ (Starting Anew). I traveled for 3 days by train moved into an area that is still recuperating from the ravages of Katrina and off this evening to have dinner of shrimp & veggies with several other visionaries.

    It is time to use all the benefits of lines/wrinkles bags of honor and all the things heading to the south 40 for good.

    I plan to open my own studio, volunteer at a charter school shortly & have a bang up time as I near my 6th decade.And that is to start! Yes I walk a little slower more because of my knees from years of dance. But I fgure why rush anyway?

    While I am working on my weight & a few personal "remodeling" I am delighted in my life right now!
    o - 9/28/2009   5:35:13 PM
  • 294
    I am 53 and I feel better than I have in years. I am in so much better shape. But I am not looking foward to the aging process. I hate the thought of being in a wheel chair in a nursing home. So I hope that I don't have to do that. - 9/28/2009   3:50:23 PM
  • 293
    I am 51 today! I feel great...better than I did at 50! :) Age is mind over matter...if you don't mind it doesn't matter! Happy belated birthday to you! - 9/28/2009   1:45:19 PM
  • 292
    I'm 65 and not sure whether I look it or not. People say I don't but it's how I feel about myself that matters to me. I have to spend far more time than I used to to keep myself looking as good as I can but to me that's part of value-ing myself. I still have fun - see the world a bit - go out with friends younger than I am and spend a lot of time with my children and grandchildren. Sometimes it's an effort to keep up with them but I manage. I guess I'm lucky that so far - apart from a brush with cancer - that I am pretty healthy. I have a friend 10 years older than myself who runs a website expounding her views on growing older - 'older and bolder' she calls it. Not a bad philosopy I feel. - 9/27/2009   10:34:20 PM
  • 291
    I'm 55 now and feel like 40. No one ever believes I'm 55. I'm not sure what 55 should look like but that is the age I am. It's a number. Sure, I have glasses and getting grey hair but I've come to accept that. I notice it's "older" men that compliment me now, and younger men that say "yes ma'am" out of respect for their "elders" I have friends that have had strokes and heart attacks that are my age anda friend that still tries to look (and act) like we did in high school. In my college years a professor told our class about a book entitled "Passages" and told us to read it when we get older because in our early 20's, we would not would not be as interested. Well, the book is about the passage of time and how we accept each decade of our aging from 20's to 30's to 40's, 50's etc.... The book is now old too but still has lots of value to its message. I remember my mother and I making faces in the mirror once and she stopped and said "wow, I look so old on the outside but feel the same I have always felt on the inside" Sure, our system breaks down eventually, but until that happens, I will do everything I am able to do....top speed or slow motion
    Sorry.... I'm getting sentimental...but I also remember some words to a song and due to "aging" cannot remember the singer..... it goes like this "time has no mercy for the growing young soul....it leaves us with memories while it makes us grow old" ---- something like that! Time does fly so enjoy each day as though it may be your last. - 9/27/2009   9:08:28 PM
  • 290
    I'm positive I felt the same way at your age. The very thought of getting old and all the horror stories that came along with it was frightening to me. I am now of an age that was in my "old" catagory, 62, and I can tell you that I couldn't be happier.
    I've determined it's all attitude. Every day it's the choices I make that determine my view of my world. Sure I have the limitations I expected; achy joints, trouble doing things in the amount of time I'd like to do them, floaters in my eyes, quick growing facial hairs, puffy under eye areas, pain when excercising, etc.,....But I choose to focus on the good things. Every day is a new beginning and I look forward to it because it's better than fearing what's ahead. Some days I when I realize I have fallen into my "tunnel vision" look at life I have to really focus on the good in my life; but it only takes one positive thought about my journey to turn off the tunnel vision and see the beauty that is my life. After I read some of the posts I am truly grateful for the life I am living.
    My favorite quote is "Success is the best revenge." and though the successes I enjoy today are not the same as the successes when I was in my 40's they are my succssesses and they are sweet.
    Thank you Nanci and you other posters for giving me the opportunity to again see how really blessed I am. - 9/27/2009   11:22:58 AM
  • 289
    There are advantages and disadvantages to being any age. Would I want to go back to being 20 again? .... Not for a minute! I've made a lot of mistakes and I've learned a few things as well. I'm not planning to fight aging, but rather I want to embrace it as best I can.

    No, I don't look like my younger self any more. I have some aches and pains and stiff joints. But, all in all, I'm fortunate and grateful that I am as blessed as I am (in so many ways).

    Edited to add ... I'm 52. - 9/27/2009   11:07:51 AM
  • 288
    I just turned 51.The little things (aches, tiredness, hormone rollercoaster, drooping face, gray hair) started bothering me last year when I turned 50. I remind myself that I'm fortunate to have good health. And if I don't think about it or look in the mirror, my inner young woman still peeks out of my old eyes. Denial works for me. - 9/27/2009   9:33:14 AM
  • 287
    I'm on the cusp of turning 57 (on Halloween!); my body hurts, my eyes are getting wonky, and something painful happens with my hands when I try to do something that used to be so easy to do just a couple years ago...and yet my spirit says I'm only 25 or so, I listen to hard rock daily, and I try to keep a positive attitude at work every day. Getting older is better than NOT, that's for sure! - 9/27/2009   12:39:01 AM
  • 286
    I laughed and laughed about the glasses. I was in my late 40's when all of a sudden, I couldn't read any more. I hated wearing glasses!!! And I have several pairs, laying all around, always lost.

    Oh well, not living is the alternative.

    Jo - 9/26/2009   8:19:46 PM
  • 285
    To answer your question....I AIN'T GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT! - 9/26/2009   5:32:34 PM
  • 284




    The sad reality of life as I call it. I too was not going to age without a fight! Mostly winning but not in all areas. I have take a few pills , Bonivia being one of them. I keep calling it the "THE OLD LADY MEDICINE" !!!! At least we have modern medicine to help us along the way. Just think where we would all be without all the technology.


    - 9/26/2009   3:08:09 PM
  • TAFOOT1
    283
    I am 64, and things they are a changing! I take several prescription drugs, I'm being fitted for a C-PAP device, I'm diabetic...and the list goes on. It's shocking to me that this is happening because INSIDE I feel 30, full of pep and life. It's only this old bod that holds me back sometimes. I try to keep my dear mother in mind. She lived to be 90 and said, every day she was able, that she'd had a wonderful life, a wonderful husband, children and grandchildren and didn't really want for a thing. She kept a BIG smile on her face for everyone and made each person feel the love that she gave so freely. If I can do only those things just like my mother...well, it just doesn't matter of the outside is going to pot. The inside will be as good as gold. - 9/26/2009   2:47:49 PM
  • 282
    I'm 50 yrs young & I look & feel younger cause of my weightloss & living a healthy life style. BUT yes the eye 'suck' & I refuse to wear the cheater glasses. Yes I have trouble with remembering things got to write things down.. Boy I miss my remebering thins at times & eye sight.BUT got to execept it..lol - 9/26/2009   1:40:07 PM
  • 281
    I always had to work 12 hour shifts standing most of the time. I raised 4 children alone. I graduated from college when I was 42. I have only had the use of 1 arm since birth. I am now 60. I saw a podiatrist for the first time yesterday. I am actually excited I can finally have foot surgery. The doctor said He doesn't know how I have managed to walk for the past 20 years. All I have been told when I complained of foot pain is I am crazy, out of shape, and drug seeking. It feels good, really good to know there really is something wrong. I could never see a podiatrist before because I couldn't get a referral and always had to work - 9/26/2009   1:26:02 PM
  • 280
    In five years she'll be wondering what she was complaining about at 48.
    It is all relative, and we need to enjoy today for what we have and what we are. I'm 57 and wouldn't go back a single day and I'm looking forward to 58. - 9/26/2009   12:08:37 PM
  • EAT2LIVE57
    279
    After having survived two bouts with cancer (the last one being 6 years ago) I agree that any day above ground is a good day! I say "bring it on"! - 9/26/2009   10:17:00 AM
  • 278
    People used to tell me that I was as old as I thought. If you think you're young, you'll be young. But they never told me about the pain of arthritis or the brain fog. I'll be 65 in two months and eligible for Medicare (One good thing about getting old). It seems in the past year, I've aged more. I'm facing a second knee replacement due to a fall on the ice last January. Most of my joints hurt and I can't remember stuff as well as I used to.

    I've kept my canoe and ten-speed bike in the garage as reminders that I can still do those things (even though neither has been used in over five years). I'm saving them to use with my grandchildren. Right!

    But as you said, it's better than the alternative. Although I don't fear death and feel I've accomplished most of what was on my "bucket list", I'd still love to see my grandchildren grow up. But at what price? To live a life in pain is not my idea of a good time. - 9/26/2009   9:39:47 AM
  • 277
    I think the reason we're uncomfortable with aging is because we're afraid of death. We may give other reasons but in the end the reality of death is at the heart of our discomfort. When you're in your 20s you can live as though death doesn't exist but the older you get the more the reality sets in--we are going to die. We will not live forever on this earth.

    I came to know Jesus Christ on Oct 26, 1986 and since then I have steadily grown in peace about life and death, and therefore I have learned to really enjoy the aging process. I have especially loved my 40s because I still have lots of energy, thanks be to God, but I'm much wiser than I was in my 20s!

    So it seems to me that, as with all things in life, the secret to dealing with the aging process and death is to obey the Great Commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength" (Mark 12:28-34). As we learn to get this right, all other things fall into place. - 9/26/2009   9:13:40 AM
  • LAURENLIVES
    276
    Well, honestly I think it's the season change that amplifies this gradual aging process. Fall is a time when we step into our new "school outfits" and into our roles. Summer is so carefree, vacation youth and fun no matter what the age. Our tans fade causing the rather depressing show of wrinkly skin, and it always looks worse each year. I will focus on the colors of fall, the warmth of layers and the rosy cheeks that also return each year when the snow falls. Attitude makes or breaks us....I say just stay positive with each year and you are positively beautiful. - 9/26/2009   8:33:44 AM

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