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?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


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
Of course there are aspects I value about aging, such as the wisdom (really, am I really smarter or just kidding myself?). And I am a better person in many ways--not as self-centered, whiney, etc. However, when I look in the mirror, there's a huge disparity between what I really see and what I think I should see. I can't put an exact number on the age I perceive myself to be (it's not 16 or 26, maybe 46), but it's definitely not 66!

There are all kinds of platitudes about how wonderful it is to age, and I know it beats the alternative, and I know it's just a number, etc., etc., etc. But, the axiom I relate to is: "Just when I get my head on straight, my body begins to fall apart."

This sums up how I feel about aging.
I, believe it or not, love it. I just turned 47 today, and living it up. I look in the mirror and adore what I see. And that's only because of the changes I've made mentally, physicalIy, and spiritually to myself. I've made it through menopause and looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I am much healthier, thinner, and stronger than I was in my 20's or 30's.
I turned 50 yesterday. I am not too much worried about getting older because the women on my mother's side of the family lived into the 80's. I more worried about that if I don't unload this weight soon I might not be so fortunate.

Becky Report
Old age is older these days. When I was a child my grandmother must have been younger than I am now. Even allowing for the child's eye view, she was an old woman, with grey hair, wrinkly skin (and stockings), and the rest. Now I'm 60 I'm going to the gym, my hair and skin are reasonably good, but most of all my outlook is young. I'm looking after my health and fitness more than anybody in previous generations did. My grandmother lived to 75. My mother lived to 83. I reckon I've got a good head start on the century, which makes me hardly more than middle aged in my reckoning. Of course, in my head I'm still 19. Report
You said it when you made the comment that getting older 'beats the alternative'. We are lucky to be alive and it is what it is. We still can make the best of what we have and we can still have beauty in our lives.

When I feel bad about aging, I try to remember that is my cue to stop looking at myself and go focus on helping someone else.

It would be truly meaningful to me if one day people will say, "She was a beautiful person" and mean it in the best sense of the word. Then I will have lived a life to be proud of. Report
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. Report
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 Report
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 Report
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.

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. Report
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 far. Just hang in there and enjoy the ride. Report
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!!! Report
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?? Report
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:-) Report
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 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. Report
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. Report
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.

I'm with Janey2009; not going down without a fight!! Report
I am thankful to be 50 and have all my teeth. I love my gray hair, it sparkles! I also LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!!! Report
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!!!! Report
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! Report
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. Report
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.... Report
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. Report
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! Report
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.

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. Report
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! Report
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! :)) Report
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 Report
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 it contains stem cells of a 19 year-old. i just started trying it. if anybody is intrested in the results, reach me at Report
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. Report
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!!! Report
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... Report
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 Report
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 Report
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. Report
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! Report
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. Report
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 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 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. Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.