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

By , SparkPeople Blogger

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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48??? Why you’re a meer child! In September I will be 3/4 of a century old, and believe me, it’s all downhill from here. I gave up on colouring my hair years agoafter seeing too many women who looked great from the back, but not so good when they turned around. I have wrinkles on my wrinkles, saggy just about everything, but life is still great. My husband and I are relatively healthy and enjoy travelling two or three times every year. He rides motorcycles, I love to garden, and our 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter keeps us hopping. Report
Love this article. Especially the part of not letting adolescents beat her, I have a grandson and when we went for a walk, he said we should race. I won. I was completely out of breath and needed to stop. He was not out of breath and wanted to try again. I just couldn't let him win and he was 10. Report
What is this,'old' you speak of, lol. In my family, we always say that we don't do old. And that's the way forward for me, as it worked for my dad, who was going strong until a week short of his 93rd birthday. He refused to go to the weekly seniors luncheon as it was full of old people. Report
I love getting older (I'm 61 now) and I'm grateful for every healthy day. Imho, being young is overrated - getting older made me less self-conscious, more easygoing, more independent and way more self-accepting. O.k., gravity takes its toll and I need to dye my hair more often. But turning 30 was way more traumatic than turning 60! (I remember because I always kept a journal). Report
Enjoyed your blog and agree with the realization of bodies changing and keep moving forward. You GO! Report
I am celebrating each day - looking for, nay, expecting favour from above. I am through with being tired and down. Today starts the first day of my 40th birthday week and I am so excited to see what's in store for me, I can't wait to get up every day. The way I see it, each day is time on this earth I get to be thankful and giving. Smile - you're on God's camera Report
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

I read this saying a few years ago and have since appreciated its sentiments. The best one can do is to live, enjoy and appreciate each day.

I am almost 62 and live with my mother who is 86 who is still going strong. I embrace each day and am happy to be alive and healthy to enjoy. Report
I'm 59 and I love getting older. I no longer care what others think about my looks or what I' m doing. Do you know how freeing that is? We have a group that all meet at the dog park every day to socialize and play with the dogs. WE have a lot of fun. It's all in the attitude. And SP is getting me more active and fit.
Enjoy what's still working and hope for the best.
Since I retired, I have time to read the newspaper each day.
I'm sad to say, the majority of people in the obituaries are younger than I am, sometimes 5-to-1.
Every day on this side of the flowerbed is a good day!
But sometimes, I wish I didn't look like what I am...a grandmother! Report
At 56, I'm more active than I was at 36. I have more time to pursue my interests, and I'm really having a good time with this phase of my life. I'm making plans for retirement, and for that point when I can't climb peaks any more. I don't mind being over 50 at all. Report
My eyes are going b4 my body Report
How funny! I'll be 61 soon and I still have that competitive piece in me...My husband teases me every time we are out for a brisk walk and see someone up ahead, my pace quickens. We can't stop the aging but we can work on the attitude! Report
LBRYSON26... I got u beat.... I am 51 with a 9 year daughter and plan to be there for her thought high school and college Report
I like this blog. As I get older, I look more and more like my parents. Even my daughter keeps telling me that I do things like Grandma and dress like her at times.(and believe me, that is no compliment,lol..) But I do appreciate my life and try to enjoy every moment of it, by living each day to the fullest and by being thankful for this wonderful world God has given us. Report
I am still learning how to embrace the aging process. I am dealing with some of the same things as this blogger - aging eyes and dry skin to name two.

cj Report
I am following my mom's example regarding some aspects of aging. She never lies about her age; takes care of her skin, does word search and crossword puzzles, and she never complains about being older. She is 62. I am going to age as gracefully as I can, and at age 41 (42 next October), I am well on my way. :-) Report
OK, the older one is me, 68 years and yes a feel really old. Report
I was so active until I reached 50 (I'm now almost 56) and then my health started to spiral out of control. For no reason I suddenly had intestinal problems, heart problems and bone and joint problems. I have been in and out of hospital so many times in the past 5 years it would make your head spin. Then to add insult to injury my weight started to go up and up. I have never been as heavy as I am right now. Although a lot of it is down to my mobility problems, I did comfort eat (not surprising really) and my portion control was non existant. I am lucky as far as not having dry skin so the wrinkles aren't too bad - I think this is down to drinking loads of water and possibly my late Dad's youthful genes. I really looked youthful up until hitting 50 - everyone used to think I was in my 30s then overnight I seemed to age and I remember looking in the mirror one evening and seeing not me but my late mother looking back. I was so down that my youthful looks had seemed to vanish without my noticing. Not to say how thin my once very thick hair was getting - a testament to this lay choking the shower drain! Slowing down, clumsiness, forgetfulness and more frequent toilet visits - not a nice prospect to look forward to as we get older but I have to say that since I joined SparkPeople and got my act together more things have sarted to look up. The weight's coming off (very slowly) I now exercise which has loosened up all my joints nicely and my brain is once again in gear. So perhaps we can all stave off the aging process by fighting back the SparkPeople way. Report
Ha! I'm 50 with a 13 year old son, wanna be healthy to be here for him! He challenges me everyday hope by summer to try to get outside and play and exercise with him...... Report
I use to dread birthdays, until I had cancer. I've been living with it since 2003, was 39 when I was diagnosed. Now it's been stage IV, incurable, but so far manageable, since 2007. Now I look at birthdays as a gift. Report
I am going to be 73 in July & I don't think getting older stinks! I still work at my job, have a lot of friends (of all ages), lots of interests, play the organ for most of our Church services, enjoy my pets, clean my own home, & have a garden (although it's mostly in beds & containers now). And guess still relate to me, because they're just as interested in someone who is interested in THEM as they are in beauty, I believe! I plan to go on forever until God calls me just as I am today!!!! Report
Both my mother and husband died at age 48. Needless to say I am very happy to be 82 even if things are going south and having a few aches and pains. I tell everyone I am able to get up and about and take nourishment - so life is good. Report
I love every age I've been . . . but I certainly wouldn't want to be a teenager with all that angst again. Nor a young mother with all the ferrying around of children that is done today. Nor a student, nor a young lawyer or a new bride or so many other things I've done over the last six decades. Compared to those years my husband and I have so few responsibilities. I have a job I love, my faith is stronger, nine grandchildren to enjoy without having to make the thousand and one decisions their parents do, vacations when I can travel when and where I want to . . . and so much more. There may be a few more aches and pains but the perspective is a lot better if you only lear to "stop sweatin' the small stuff!".
Enjoy every year. Life gets richer and fuller if you'll only let it. Report
I'm now 56 and I'm just starting to embrace the changes. I take my fish oil every morning for the dha (memory loss is the pits) but by far, the best thing I'm doing is yoga each morning. It's limbering me up, adding strength and giving me a very positive outlook as I start the day. I highly recommend! Oh -- and I get the gray covered every 5 weeks. Not quite ready for that yet! Report
I turn 22 this year and still my family either says that I act like a 10 year-old boy or a crazy, old cat lady! LOL You are only as old as you feel. Love the article! Report
There is good and bad at every age! At 58 I am working hard on my bucket list! Report
It's a waste of precious time and the limited supply of effort and energy to wish you were elsewhere in your life. You're only 48 once, and you should be the best 48 you can possibly be. And the best 25, and 37, and 63, and 92! Report
I'll be 44, this year, and I'm already perimenopausal. In my head, I'm still in my early or mid 30's. My mind is always about 10 years behind my biological years. I'm lucky that I don't really look my age, either (it runs in the family). I have a 5 y.o. son and a 2 y.o. daughter, so I HAVE to stay young for them, now.

I'm also lucky that I have no serious medical or physical complaints, no road blocks to exercising. I just started power-walking and jogging a couple of months ago, since joining SP. I've been inspired by stories of people who start succeeding later in life. I already feel like my physical fitness has returned to how it was about 7 years ago.

Sure I'm a little saggy, already, but that's mostly from having babies. I have a few fine lines, a couple of silver hairs. I don't plan to colour my hair or have surgery, although those things are tempting. But, I also don't plan to age without a bit of a fight. I'll be fighting by staying as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, and by keeping my mind young. Report
Jack LaLanne is 95 and the "Father of Fitness" and he is "alive while he is living" and I want to follow him, and be young within myself and live each day to its fullest. My children have thought that I was OLD since they were born, so I don't care about it at this point. Report
I am enjoying my life. In a big part due to spark people. It has motivated me and I can see you are staying motivated. Getting older can mean getting wiser. Knowing myself better with each new challange is reigniting fire in my life. P.S. I'm 54 and still growing (smaller physically + Larger spiritually. Report
I totally agree - get old stinks. It certainly isn't for sissies. Report
What a great article, please write more in this style!!!
I loved the bit especially about the 2 teenaged boys and you nearly exhausted around the corner. Been there and still doing that at nearly 57.
Go girl, while you can coz I sure am!! Your grandmothers have a wonderful tribute in you to their impact on your life. Make them proud . pamela Report
I LOVED your blog.... It says it all in a nut shell and I am in exactly the same boat as you and millions of others are...
Its great to see it written down and concrete...
Thank you for writing it...
Sharon Report
Funny how we know what we are supposed to be saying, but when looking in the mirror, it's just sometimes downright hard to deny the effects of the aging process. I'm with the original writer with the reading glasses, memory loss, etc. On the other side of the coin though, I happily admit that losing my first pounds this past month has done much to give me back several years, I suddenly am feeling younger than I have in a long itme! It's all about attitude and perspective - my granddaughter asked me if I color my hair, because "it's silver" - she was impressed with those gray hairs that I normally hate! Report
Yes there are so many things that my body is doing against my will (I just turned 48 too), but I feel so blessed to be at an age where not only do I have a body that can continue to improve, I've got the knowledge and experience to get it there where when I was 20 with the energy, I didn't know how to get there. Now, While I am getting healthier I love my body. True it's a work in progress, but at least I have a healthy attitude toward food and exercise. I am blessed to have healthy genes (no cardiac issues in my family). And somehow, I already went through menopause. Sadly I was not able to have children. But that is water under the bridge and I have worked through those issues. Getting closer to 50 has made me mature enough to realize that is I don't get to a extremely healthy lifestyle now, it's all my fault. I'm working like crazy to get as strong and healthy as possible to enjoy these years and love every minute I have. Report
I keep waiting for menopause to get here. I think it got lost. Since I turn 50 in December, I decided to declare this the Year of my Mid-life Crisis. I spent most of the year thinking of what to do to celebrate this historic event (whether menopause arrives or not). I finally decided, in spite of the arthritis and collagen disorder, that I would take bellydancing lessons. Salome, eat your heart out. This naturally led to the decision to have my belly button pierced. My mother thinks the bellydancing is funny. She doesn't know about the bellybutton yet. You're never too old to try something new and in case anyone wonders if 50 really can be considered mid-life. My mother turns 72 and my grandmother turns 94 next month, so 50 could very well be the halfway point. Report
I will be 60 in 4 months and I am embracing seniority. My hair is not gray, it is beautifully streaked with silver, I smile more and even chuckle at the aches and pains. I am enjoying the fact that I do not have to answer to anyone but God. (not even my husband!) Report
Wow! This blog could've been written by me. I have so felt like this in the last year as I've felt a few more aches in my joints and dealt with gravity pulling on my body where I wish it wouldn't. This year I will be 49 and for some reason it has hit me very hard. I thought 50 y.o. was going to be the number that made me think.

At any rate, because of this age, I decided to really get back in shape and prove to myself that no matter what age, we CAN look and feel healthier. I realize I'll never look 20 again but feeling healthy is what it's all about. Report
I don't think anyone likes getting older. I'm 25, and yes, you are the exact same age as my mom. But I turn 26 in a week and I know that a year ago I had fewer fine lines around my eyes and fewer white hairs. Sure it will still be 4 years before I have to fine a magical colorist or risk looking like a grandma, but 4 years is so soon!
But I'm with you, it's better than the alternative. Report
I am 51. My grandmother is 98. I hope to keep her around for many years more. She is a young spry 98 and I hope to be the same when I get that age! Report
I'm 53. You are as old as you feel. Really. This is what motivated me to lose weight. I was starting to feel my age. Now that I've lost weight, yeah, I'm still 53, but I feel good. I live in Florida, where I know 93 year old women who are younger acting then some people my own age!! So just stay healthy!! Age happens no matter what, so make the best of it and keep healthy!! It won't bother you then! Report
I knew there was something good about getting older (hitting 60). The darn swine flu may skip us! Now that is something! Or else, they are telling us we don't need to get the shot, because they are going to put us out on an ice flow somewhere! :) Report
I will be 57 this year. There are times when I can hardly stand seeing my face in the mirror, the lines, the sagging, the gray in my hair. I hope some of those things will improve as I get thinner - they probably won't! But I've never been dependent on my looks (thanks to always being overweight/obese), so I still have the same things going for me that I have always had - my sense of humor, my intelligence, my talent, and my friends and family. I thank God for the many blessings He has given me. And that includes SP! Report
There are positive and negative aspects of everything. There is the ease and confidence of being in your own skin when you are older and knowing the difference between the little and big stuff and when it should and shouldn't matter. Then there's the moments where you don't fit into those jeans anymore, wake up with more wrinkles, or suddenly realizing style 'X:' of clothing just isn't meant for you anymore. But then again it depends if you make it big or little on whether or not it will bother you. Report
I just turned the big 4-0 on Saturday. My husband had a surprise party for me which I had absolutely no idea about!!! He planned it with 4 of my closest friends- they had been doing this since August! I never thought that turning 40 was going to be such a blast! So turning older isn't really bothering me; I'm learning to embrace life and all it has to offer. Report
Thanks for sharing this blog. Like you, I'm struggling with the aging process. I really can't figure out how to "embrace the process"! I'm 59 with relatively good health, but the changes in my mind & body are hard to deny. I also hate the sagging skin and don't really recognize the face in the mirror anymore. Lately, I'm noticing changes in my memory and cognitive abilities which is the scariest aspect for me. I've always been gifted academically and intellectually; these things define me. I know that I've matured so much emotionally and wisdom is such a great reward so why is this all so difficult? I'm still searching for the answer. Rose Report
In a word...gratitude. Report
I'm 48. It's all in your mind! Yes, some days I wake up sore and stiff, but it goes away after a hot shower. I would not trade anything for my " younger years" again. I would have let the 13 year olds beat me. No big deal. Report
I just turned 34. I'm still trying to figure out what the "prime of life" is. My age doesn't bother me but my body does(HBP, HCL, Hairloss, & the FAT). It seems like the body starts to deteriorate so fast. One thing happens after another. But I have learned that if you take care of your body, mind, and spirit you can age gracefully and peacefully. Report
At 51, I have never felt "old" or bothered by my age. I have celebrated each new decade -- we had a huge cookout for my 50th with lots of friends and family! I am in better shape now that I'm older than I ever was when I was young, so in many ways, I feel better. I certainly am wiser, though many of my lessons were learned the hard way. Sometimes I forget that I'm as old as I am; I don't feel like I think like an old person....but then there are the times that I hear my grandmother's words echoing in my thoughts about the world "these days." The hardest part for me is the vision thing, trying to find just the right spot on my glasses where I can see through my progressive lenses to read! Report