I’m fascinated by the attitudes of our American society when it comes to growing old. We tend to see aging as something bad, something to be feared and avoided, rather than a natural part of life.
We color our gray hair, pay big bucks for creams to diminish our wrinkles, and swallow all sorts of anti-aging supplements. Today’s media tries to convince us that everyone over age 50 suffers from bladder leakage, chronic constipation, and a multitude of aches and pains. We joke about receding hairlines, bifocal glasses, and memory lapses.
As Andy Rooney once said, “It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” That’s so true!
Yes, aging does bring challenges. But we forget the many good things about growing older. There’s the wisdom that comes from many decades of learning life’s lessons. The strength we gain through overcoming a multitude of challenges. A growing ability to understand what’s really important in life. The satisfaction of friendships and relationships that deepen over the years.
Please join me in watching one of my favorite TED Talks. Here, Jane Fonda shares how the final third of our lives should be a time of growth and discovery:
Yes, I’ll continue to color my hair. I still plan to take my fish oil supplements. But this TED talk makes me think about some things I want to do differently in the future:
- Make a point of looking for the positive aspects of growing older.
- Explore my purpose in life as I approach “life’s third act”.
- Seek out the beauty in each new day I’ve been granted.
- Express gratitude for the many blessings I’ve been given throughout my life.
- Trust that God will walk with me through whatever challenges come with growing older.
I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4 CSB)