I’m amazed how many products out there these days are anti-aging, designed to stop us from getting old. They have anti-aging makeup, lotion, even anti-aging hair products! How does hair get old exactly? I’m at a loss on that one.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for health and vitality. And I personally stopped aging on the inside around age 25-30. And so often I feel like I am in my 20’s as I talk to people and am surprised to be reminded that I’m double-ish that.
So, what is so wrong with growing old? It’s a gift to get to live that long. In fact, there is a trend right now for letting your grey grow out. It’s a beautiful thing! I joined the fad, and I am so glad I did. My hair has never been so healthy!
There is beauty and dignity that only comes with age. First of all, confidence and self-awareness take time. I was probably 30 when I stopped caring what other people thought of me. I realized that my value wasn’t connected to others’ opinions.
It wasn’t until I was an aunt, and had a beautiful niece who was my clone, that I realized I was pretty. I remember looking at her angelic little face and feeling like she was the most beautiful thing that had ever been born. To my surprise, she looked just like my baby picture hanging in my parents’ house. It was a lesson that wouldn’t have come any other way.
When I was 35, I had a pulmonary embolism. To be exact, I had a massive clot that hit as I was running full speed up the stairs to answer the cries of my two-year-old baby. And that blessing meant I had 15 tiny clots in each lung instead of dropping on the spot.
Up until that time I was feeling old and like somehow, I hadn’t quite built the life I wanted. But experiences like that will make you re-evaluate your priorities.
And in so doing, I found that I needed to stop waiting for permission to be happy. That real joy only comes from a mindset of gratitude and giving.
Birthdays are a celebration
From that day on I stopped dreading my age increasing at each birthday because I know it all could have ended that day. I’ve many friends in a similar position. One is a miraculous cancer survivor, and another recently survived a massive brain tumor.
I was recently talking to my sweet neighbor C.C. who was complaining that as she got older, she kept losing more and more nouns. We regularly play the “what am I trying to say” game. (It’s funny when I get it wrong.) And she was complaining about growing old. Slowing down isn’t easy. And there are a lot of pains that emerge as joints age.
Old age is temporary
But what my friend didn’t realize was that she was complaining to a survivor. My perspective is so different than hers.
For me, those signs of aging are something I almost missed. Growing old is something too many people miss.
I know that when we die all our pains are gone. That we will be resurrected one day, to have perfect youthful bodies that will never age. So literally this is the ONLY time in ALL Eternity that we will grow old. It’s temporary!
We are learning
We are told in the scriptures that the Savior suffered all things so that He would know how to succor us in our time of need. Have you ever thought that this is exactly what we are doing?
We are experiencing life and challenges and aging so that one day we will know how to succor others. Whether it be as an angel helping our descendants, or in some other Heavenly capacity, this is a time of preparation. It’s a gift. Growing old is a gift.
So, I am hoping that as we share this new perspective with others, that maybe we will see more of our blessings. The things we have learned and how we have grown, instead of what we have lost as we age.
Personally, age has given me the strength to share my talents. (For example, I used to be so afraid anyone would read what I wrote that I hid it all in a little green journal in my dresser.) Time and age have given me the ability to see the needs of others more easily. And each year brings greater growth and understanding.
I pray that as you age, as you grow old, that you will take a bit of this to heart. And remember to enjoy the journey. Enjoy this once in an eternity experience. An experience that can teach you as nothing else can.