Throughout my life, I knew this moment was coming. Aging, the “slow decline,” as some folks would say. “Just wait until you experience it,” they’d tell me. Now, moving into my fifties, I have to admit that I could never have anticipated how much I would enjoy this process based on the messages I grew up hearing. Rather than being something to fear, aging is a reason for celebration. Becoming older is becoming more beautiful. We live in an era where our age, rather than limiting us, is starting to open up possibilities, and taking control of our lives, especially as women, is a vital part of that process. We are beautiful older women. The time has come to move beyond anti-wrinkle cream and anti-aging products to embrace what is the new norm. It is not wrong; it is simply, powerfully, different.
Technically speaking, aging is when the cells in our bodies don’t quite replicate or take care of us and our systems in the way they used to when we were younger. However, aging doesn’t just happen with a sudden snap of the fingers around the age of 40. Your lungs begin to age as soon as your early 20s. Our whole life, we are dying. Think about that. And yet, aging is a lot more about changing than it is about dying. That may seem radical to say, but as I’ve gotten more used to the shifts in my body, mind, and heart, I see how these changes do not necessarily have to be good or bad. Rather, they exist beyond this good-bad binary and they defy my expectations. To age gracefully is to sink into acceptance and to open up to curiosity in a way that is radical, revolutionary, and powerful.