COMBATTING AGEISM AFTER 50 WHILE EMBRACING THE GIFTS OF AGING
Unfortunately, Ageism in our youth obsessed culture is still alive and well. It’s considered better to be young than to be seen as aging or old and dowdy, particularly for women.
This mindset views aging as a state to be denied and avoided as long as possible. Consider the millions of dollars women spend each year on Anti Aging treatments such as Botox and Fillers, as well as plastic surgery and cosmetics to keep us looking youthful as long as possible.
Some women will never allow their hair to go gray, although some are now experimenting with exposing their silver tresses and embracing the change. But it’s a trend that hasn’t caught on with the majority of older women.
How do you react if someone says you look great for your age, or comments that you look much younger than your actual age? Do you feel flattered?
Most women react positively to that comment, myself included. But if you take a closer look at the message it’s really not a true compliment because it implies that we’re viewed in a more positive way by looking younger. Our culture considers that a good thing!
Don’t mistake my message! I firmly believe in looking and feeling our best at any age. A good hair style, attractive clothes that fit well and reflect our own special taste, and appropriately applied makeup are all important factors in projecting a positive attitude toward life in this next chapter. Whatever you choose as your hair, make up and fashion style, it should be perfectly you! And a reflection of the amazing woman that you are!
How do we fight Ageism? Not an easy task! But we’re up to it. I believe it involves not giving in to the stereotypes and negative labels we’re given and continuing to show up and remain involved and engaged in life in meaningful ways. We don’t have to sit down and grow old! In other words, we can begin to normalize the aging process. By remaining active and interested in all aspects of our lives, we can show that healthy aging is possible for everyone, and far more fulfilling than the alternative. We can only change people’s attitudes about aging by being role models for living life to the fullest right to the end!
THE GIFTS OF AGING
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS! Aging is not a disease! It is a natural process that everyone who lives long enough will experience. Living a long life is a privilege that many are denied. The following quote sums it up nicely: “Sorrow in the face of aging is a poor response to this good fortune.”
Growing older allows us the freedom to be our true selves without apologies and to no longer care what others think of us. Freeing ourselves from the burden of insecurities based on the opinion of others is a gift we can give ourselves!
Can you relate to the following quote? “What others think of me is none of my business.” This thought allows us up to use our energy and talents for more productive and enjoyable pursuits!
Getting older also allows us to change our focus from striving to prove ourselves worthy of acceptance, to now recognizing and celebrating our wisdom and experience.. Whether we were wives, mothers, dedicated career women, or single women going it alone, we often felt the pressure to measure up to the expectations of others in our younger years.
We can relax now because those days are behind us and we can use these years to enjoy whatever pursuits give us a sense of satisfaction without the pressure of pleasing others.
Women over the age of 50 are continuing to flourish in their professions, gaining higher education, starting new businesses, changing careers and using their wisdom and experience to contribute to society well into their later years.
And some women choose to retire from their professional life during this stage to seek out new ways of living and being without the obligations of a full time position or running a business.
Let’s celebrate our age and use this time in whatever pursuits give us the most satisfaction and joy.
Setting new goals is important when planning our future at this time of life. But it’s not always easy to figure out exactly what path to take. Ask yourself some questions to help you narrow down your choices.
What have you always wanted to do that you have put off until now? Are you interested in travel? Do you long to create a different lifestyle, or move to a place that you has always called to you? Have you put off learning to play an instrument or learning to paint, or learning a foreign language?
Consider what else is possible. You can also now choose to take the time to enjoy more leisure pursuits, such as learning to do crossword puzzles or play scrabble, or play pickle ball. Or take the time to read all those books stacked up on your bedside table. The list of choices is endless! Now’s the time! Nothing is stopping you!
Sometimes circumstances play a role in what’s possible. Sometimes health concerns limit our choices. Family obligations are another consideration. No matter what your life situation, you can still find ways to enjoy the benefits of living a long life and seeking out opportunities for new experiences.
Still struggling to figure it all out? Finding the process a bit daunting? It is often difficult to navigate the choices and decisions that come with creating and accomplishing new goals and ways of living.
As women we have spent many years meeting the needs of others and may find it hard to begin to focus on ourselves and what we want to do. As your Life Coach I can help you on your journey of self discovery, one that sets you on a new path that brings you satisfaction and fulfillment!