reader comments on aging

reader comments on aging

Lately I’ve been thinking about aging and how much of a gift it is. The older you get, the more pro tips you have under your belt, and laugh lines are *literal proof* of a life that is full of humor. Here are nine comments that make getting older feel exciting instead of daunting…

On trying new things:

“At 54, I’m halfway through graduate school for mental health counseling, and I’m loving every minute of it. I always tell people who are deciding whether to do things, ‘You can still be deciding two years from now or you could be done with [the thing].’ There is no moment when it cannot be different, or fulfilling, or filled with learning.” — Caroline

On love for the ages:

“My grandmother, Edith, found true love at age 90. My grandfather died in his 50s from cancer and apart from a brief, unsatisfying marriage in her 60s, Grandma had no romantic interests and felt she wasn’t ‘built that way.’ Fast forward to her 90s, she met Cyril (they were a floor apart in their retirement home) and they fell DEEPLY in love. He was 95 and they had four wonderful years together. They held hands, kissed, and shared inside jokes. They both said it was the love they waited a lifetime for.” — Spark

On body appreciation:

“I’ve learned to love my aging body FOR aging: the way my skin is getting crepe-y and soft is luscious! Its loss of elasticity makes me more aware of my muscle and bone structure in ways I dig! In order to feel this way, I consume little mainstream media. I read books, make things, and spend time with people and nature, instead of letting the awful machine of white supremacist, patriarchal, heterosexist, capitalism take up space in my mind. It works!” — Dahlia

On going gray:

“I started going gray at 17 and IMMEDIATELY dyed my hair. Fast forward 30ish years: I had a breast cancer scare and realized that I didn’t want to spend two hours every three weeks in the colorist’s chair. There were better things to do with my time and money! It’s been nearly seven years and no regrets. My hair has so many tones — gray, platinum, silver, white — and the curls are gorgeous. I’m constantly told it’s beautiful and that I’m so brave. Brave? For having gray hair? I want to be the ambassador that reminds others that you’ll never know how beautiful YOUR gray hair is if you never experience it.” — Gena

On wise words:

“My beloved grandfather died last year at the age of 102. He grew up on a farm in the Midwest, sailed around the world during WWII, kept an open heart throughout the many social and cultural changes over the last century. My grandfather also experienced a great deal of loss throughout his life, including the deaths of two of his four children when they were young. When asked how he got through the grief, he said, ‘I let it sit next to me.’ The idea of grief being close to you, but not necessarily a part of you, has helped me find my way through my own losses.” — Seraphim

On embracing an aging body:

“As an artist, I’ve spent years teaching figure drawing. When drawing the human figure, older bodies are much more interesting; they have unexpected contours, more character, and more to communicate to the viewer. I now see that character in my own body — the odd knobs of bone and awkward shifts from lankiness to soft pudge over my surface — and I feel like a work of art.” — Gwyneth

“I turned 66 on Friday. Birthdays don’t bother me, yet I feel much younger inside than I appear outside. I want to do a cartwheel, but can’t. Friends are starting to pass on. I have my first granddaughter and realize that I won’t see her grow old. It is a weird feeling. I feel grateful, but it is an awareness that the edge of life’s time is close and it colors the days.” — Joanie

On forging your own path:

“My mom was a high school French teacher in rural Pennsylvania, then an FBI agent in Monterey, then she worked for corporate security at Apple in the early Silicon Valley days, and then became a real estate agent. This all happened before she got pregnant with me at 36. After getting divorced, she started her own property management company to control her hours while raising me. With her as my role model, I was never scared to change my mind and try new things in my 20s and 30s and beyond.” — Christine

On creating a life you love:

“I have wasted YEARS of my one wild and precious life worrying about being late for things. What an utter crock of bullshite I stewed up for myself when I could’ve been idly flirting with the man with silver hair and tattooed forearms who works at the bakery! I’m 33 and about to graduate medical school. I’m so proud of this accomplishment, and am tired of the tyranny of my own internalized narrowness making me feel late when it’s my goddamn party to begin with. This particular party has a naked ring finger but also an old, sweet dog, a bed stand full of weird books, the freedom to go anywhere I like for residency, a supper table that is sometimes filled with friends and festivals of dips, and rather a lot of very good coffee. I’m going to flirt outrageously with Hot Bakery Man and let myself enjoy all of this goodness with less scraggly worries about that to which I am allegedly late. I’m here, plump, succulent, vivacious, good at crosswords, no longer taking my own shit.” — Jenny

What’s been your favorite part about aging? We’d love to hear…

P.S. 12 readers share what they love about their looks and a realization about aging.

(Photo by Rob and Julia Campbell/Stocksy.)