What follows does not apply only to the mummies and grannies since aging escapes no one regardless at which decade of our life we are in.
How quickly those years add up on us. While we scramble with minimising the effects of the passage of time, slathering thousands of dollars on our body to protect, conceal and preserve, all these time the pages of magazines, billboards, advertisements etc, portrays a demographic of women that never age – even photoshopped to perfection.
The world that we are living in promotes a notion of beauty that neglects the beauty older women can possess. In the aspiration of becoming mannequins, we see burgeoning trend of nips and tucks, injections and fillers that attempts to freeze nature. We should know that the existence of a woman’s beauty do not need to be confined to taut, spot-free skin with all defining curves remaining northmost!
Yet on the other end, you have women who nonchalantly slide down the slippery slope, dulling with life’s grind, covering up their abandonment of grace and elegance with pragmatic excuses.
Where’s the balance? Consider respectable and admired women icons of today: classic Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep etc. Beautiful women who maintain class and poise – qualities independent of a glam squad – through their golden years. Can we achieve these same qualities without the impetus of being in the limelight? What can you and I do to gracefully embrace one year to the next?
The Heart – Being Young at Heart
What does it really mean to be young at heart? In youth, we lived in zest and hope for our future, unweathered by the terrains of life. The world was in vibrant shades, full of possibilities, full of realities yet to discover and explore. We tackled each new challenge with purpose and conquest. We were unshackled by discouragements and disappointments that increase as life unravels.
Then along the way, unwittingly, we allow these burdens to accumulate and continue dragging them on for the journey ahead; we become jaded.
Why do we not release these baggage that does no good but hold us back? Empty yourself of bitterness so that your steps will be lighter. Release forgiveness, so that wounds will begin healing. Emerge from the enclave of prejudices and disillusionments so that you can journey into hope and opportunities once again.
English novelist Aldous Huxley wrote, “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing our enthusiasm”. To have a spirit of joy that is hope-filled, enthusiastic and appreciative, is the best facelift one can ever get.
The Mind – Being Vigourous and Relevant
The world seems to close in as we grow older – social circles shrink, our day-to-day activities become routine. We get caught up encircling the same well of subject areas and conversation types, facing inwards and missing sight of the richness of life outside of our circle. More often than not, this circle starts closing in on itself and we don’t even realise it.
For whatever our responsibilities and commitments require of us, we need to continue to stimulate our minds with the world beyond our daily ritual. There’s so much to learn that it will take more than a lifetime. Why sentence your mind to the grave when you are still well alive? Now that’s premature aging. Why short-change your mind’s potential by being disinterested and passive?
Continuously reinvigorate your mind with new inspirations. Pick up a new language or a new skill. Travel to expand your horizons and to interact with other cultures. Remain relevant by keeping up with the world’s developments and get engaged in other circles to speed up your learning curve!
The Physical – Being Poised, Well-Groomed and Fit
POISE [poiz] noun: graceful and elegant bearing in a person; composure and dignity of manner
You know those ladies who seem to have an air of elegance about them as they move about, compelling eyes to linger a little longer in admiration? Poise is what they have. Fortunately, poise does not discriminate against age. Carry yourself with dignity, stand tall with an upright posture, move gracefully instead of dragging your feet around. Speak kindly and be gracious in manners so that people will love to be around you.
Single or married, with or without children, stay-at-home or career-driven, practicality is no justification for frayed hair and frumpy dressing. Our appearance reflects the value we place upon ourselves. A self-treasured woman will know how to eat well to nourish her body; practise basic grooming such as exfoliating and hydrating her skin and keeping her crowning beauty well-trimmed and conditioned; and keeping fit to maintain a toned and agile physique. In dressing, she learns through the years what cutting complements her body type and finds her own style instead of chasing fashion trends. Her image is one of authenticity and confidence.
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Instead of wistfully ushering in each new year, or cringing as we blow out more and more candles on our birthday cakes, we can choose to celebrate the time gone by with anticipation for the progress that lies ahead. We can choose to harness our life experiences to sow into the lives of younger ladies, cultivating in them timeless values that defines true beauty – which is perceptibly being distorted and disregarded in this age. Afterall, having a countenance of grace and elegance is a beauty that eludes any product innovation or surgical advancements. A beauty that time cannot erode.
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