31 answers

How Do You Feel About Aging?

I just found out I am going to be a grandmom. Ok It's a foster grandmom, but it still hit home. My foster son is 24 now and I am biologicaly more than old enough to have birthed him. It doesn't matter, I'm gonna be a grandma! I wish they had waited, but I am still happy for them. Bu, it all sparked the aging issue.

I will turn 50 in a couple of days and I am really ok with it. I don't like some of what my body is doing, but hey I in pretty good shape and part of me is ready. Old age does bring some infrmities and other issues, but I see it as a new stage in life where I get to be in that new part. I want to enjoy aging rather than battle it every step.

My friend however, freaked out at me about it the other night. She said I was settling and giving up. She said it was stupid of me to let my hair go gray (its actually not that gray) She said since I no longer go out to clubs and go dancing, that my life was getting sedentary and that staying home with my husband and kids meant I was allowing myself to get old. Frankly, I would raher be home with my husband and kids! I think she is the one with the problem! Why fight it so hard?

How do you feel about aging? I it a struggle for you? Do you think staying home is giving in?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

It is good to hear that so many of us are cool with aging. I think our society makes it hard for women. Men get better looking - distinguished but women just get old. I say hogwash to that and the stereotypes that go with it. When I stay home I am working on our farm raising kids and -well, kids. I think a great time out is hiking with the whole family. The best nights out are sitting around a campfire after a days hike roasting marshmallows and talking to my hubby and kids.
Hubby and I look forward to retirement. We have interests and hobbies that we will get more into and plans, plans, plans. I'd rather save clubbing money and travel!

I think getting older is exciting and getting older with my husband is an amazing gift. Thank you all for sharing!!

Featured Answers

I am 48 and I rock.
I lost 35 pounds this year and am back in a size 2. While I am squishier than I used to be, I love the "new" body that I have.
I have gray in my hair and don't plan on ever dying it.
I have an awesome libido and a great man to share it with.
I have a teenage son who is proud to be seen with me and enjoys my company.

I struggled with aging until this year, to be honest. Then I kinda' woke up and realized that I could hate aging and waste the next 20 or 30 years, or embrace it, and enjoy life.

If you are happy then no one else's opinion matters.

9 moms found this helpful

Getting older is a gift. Every single day. Every single birthday. Embrace it.

But I do think a person needs to get out and be super active or he/she will get the bad kind of old (aches, pains, slow down) as opposed to the good kind of old (enjoying the family and keeping up with all the kids/grandkids, keeping one's body fit and toned). I guess I'd say staying home would not be on my list. As long as I'm at the gym daily (when you get older you have the time) and not sitting around...being at home some isn't bad.

Any hair color you want. YOU are in charge.

4 moms found this helpful

If staying home is giving in, then I gave up before I even got started! I've never been into the club-scene and would rather stay home and snuggle with my husband or play games with me kids than go to a bar filled with loud drunk people I don't know.

What's sadder? A middle-aged woman being happy at home with her family, or a middle-aged woman pretending to be 21?

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I am 48 and I rock.
I lost 35 pounds this year and am back in a size 2. While I am squishier than I used to be, I love the "new" body that I have.
I have gray in my hair and don't plan on ever dying it.
I have an awesome libido and a great man to share it with.
I have a teenage son who is proud to be seen with me and enjoys my company.

I struggled with aging until this year, to be honest. Then I kinda' woke up and realized that I could hate aging and waste the next 20 or 30 years, or embrace it, and enjoy life.

If you are happy then no one else's opinion matters.

9 moms found this helpful

I just turned 50 during the summer. I'm not ready to let my hair go gray, but I think that's a personal decision and not necessarily a reflection on aging. There are a lot of reasons to color or not color your hair. But going out to clubs and going dancing? I think she's the crazy one. I have no desire to do that kind of stuff. Not when I have a husband, kids and dogs at home! I like to go out with my friends for dinner and plays and stuff so I'm not just "giving in." Sorry, but I think your friend sounds like she has some insecurity and/or maturity issues. Wanting to stay home with your family is a family and maturity issue, not an aging issue.

And BTW, I'm not "settling and giving in" in other ways either. I lift weights, work out and stay in shape and stay active. But I'd rather spend time with my family than some strangers in a night club. I agree--sounds like your friend is the one with the problem.

Welcome to the 50s and congrats on the grandbaby!

9 moms found this helpful

Interesting question.

I think staying home is more of an introvert/extrovert thing, personally. Some of us really didn't think much of going out to clubs beyond our early 20s. It was a long time ago that I found an evening at home to be more enjoyable than being in a sweaty, smoky room with a bunch of people-- some of whom were on the prowl. Still love dancing, don't need a crowd to do it.

I'll be 43 in a few days and I'm fine with it. I don't color my hair, so I have some gray in it. ( I colored it for years when I was younger and am satisfied that my natural color is just fine.) For me, being intellectually engaged is what 'keeps me young'-- I like to think about things, new ideas, write... I don't like some of what I've been dealing with this year in particular-- tendinitis, back pain, my nearsighted eyes need a new prescription, but if I take care of those things, they will get better.

I will say this about coloring one's hair- my grandmother did it for years, until one day she stopped-- the first time I saw her, I was shocked. Instead of her usual brown she was completely white. Skipped seeing the 'silver' stage.

You know, I guess the thing I love about aging is that I've really come to accept who I am and what I'm about. It's less about worrying what other people think of me and more about considering what *I* think of myself. I know so many women who took time to really pursue things they loved as they got older instead of doing what they were 'supposed' to be doing. They are much happier than the ones I know that are constantly fighting 'being old'. It's a fact-- we all get older. I just happen to think that the folks who spend so much time and effort (and money) trying to look young or hip just end up looking silly or ridiculous. Being healthy and taking care of oneself is fine, but those out there who dress like teens when they are in their forties or who spend loads of money on cosmetic surgeries and such... I wish our culture valued wisdom and age more than it does. I think that's the bigger problem.

9 moms found this helpful

America creates people like your pal. She is not being mean. She's scared. She feels that if she can bring you into her world of hair dyes, clubs, and fad clothes then you will help her feel young.

I'm somewhere in the middle of you two. I am 55. I look late 30s due to being a Dance teacher, having a few nips, tucks, Botox, and enlargements...

I am just getting comfortable telling my age when asked. I don't broadcast it and I hate when others blurt out my age--but I no longer lie about my age.

This is a wonderful question. Be patient with your pal. She's hurting and scared. In our country, it's all about the 20 something. Such a shame.

As for staying home, I go out to malls, meet friends for drinks, but say no to clubs because I really feel old there!

I like staying home on weekends with a good DVD, book or on mamapedia until it's time for bed (11pm).

8 moms found this helpful

I'm 70 and while I am aware my time on earth is limited I'm loving my age. I look back on great times, feel success over difficult times and know I will do what makes me happy for what time I have left.

I was a bit anxious about getting old when I was in my 50's. Getting comfortable with the idea was a many year process. Instead of trying to stay young I looked forward to all that I could do. I wanted to expand my life; not continue with youthful things.

I discovered that I was much less anxious. I could count sucess on so many fronts. I could try new ways of looking at life. I loved spending time with family and friends. I didn't need a frantic life to dull my perceptions.

That is what I see club life like. I went to clubs for a very short period of time to meet others or to cover loneliness. Didn't need that anymore. If your friend is going to clubs because she enjoys the music snd activity and not because she's fighting aging that makes sense. Clubbing does not make us younger. It can be denying who we are, preventing us from maturing in a graceful way.

Do what you enjoy. Embrace your age. Look forward to new ways of thinking and being.

8 moms found this helpful

I think your friend is a nut case. There is NOTHING wrong with getting old. When I'm gray, I will have EARNED every one of my gray hairs. I do NOT see the appeal of a 50-something trying to look like a 20-something. You've been through life, it's time to show off how fabulous you are. 20-somethings just don't have the life experiences of a 50-something.

7 moms found this helpful

Aging - it's not for the faint of heart.
But it sure beats dropping dead.

Clubbing vs staying home has nothing to do with aging.
It's ok to get out of a rut and going out all the time can be just as much a rut as any other habit.

7 moms found this helpful

I suppose I never give clubbing a thought.

I always thinking of the aging super model interview I saw once.
She watched everything she ate, she exercised like crazy, she had all the nips and tucks she needed. She was on the golf course one time, when a young caddie runs up beside her to say some thing. She turns around and he gives a start, like a horror movie and stumbles around and says, I thought you were a teenager... She had her AHhh moment and ask herself Why?

Your gf is not fooling anyone. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, or have hopes of being, you are fine. I'm a little older than you and my body betrays its age with aches and pains..and wisdom and insight. I'll take that.

7 moms found this helpful

LOL I wonder if your friend knows how ridiculous a fifty year old going clubbing looks!
Seriously, I still go out (we did karaoke at a great pub last weekend, and we go to rock concerts several times a year) but for the most part I'm in bed by ten and happy to be cooking, reading and working on projects around the house during the day. I'm 45 and I am totally looking forward to being a fairly young grandma some day!

6 moms found this helpful

Congratulations on your new "soon-to-be" status! My grandson is the single most wonderful addition to my life in a long, long time – it's been 7 fabulous years of grannyhood.

At 66, I'm gradually accepting the fact that I don't feel or look young anymore, at least physically. I've never given much thought to fashion beyond looking presentable, thank heavens, because now comfort is front and center. This is what works for me. I do stay active, as mentally and physically involved as each day will accommodate. And each day is different, for me.

The one real concession I've made is using henna on my hair, which was naturally carrot-red, not a color I've loved, but it feels like "me." About 10 years ago I began developing multi-colored patches randomly around my head, stark white on one side, a horrible pinky-beige on the top, pale red on the other side, and auburn at the nape. YUCK! So now I henna it all a dark auburn.

I'm with you – enjoy the life you've got. Nobody else can tell you what parts of you to value, and what parts to change. If your life now includes noticeable aging, enjoy fighting it if that's what blows your skirt up, or enjoy settling if that's where your greatest peace lies. I think most people seek a balance between the two. But change is inevitable, and fighting it without grace or gratitude is usually a mistake.

Added: I agree with other responders that it's important to exercise. I disagree that this "will" avoid "the bad kind of old." I would love to be able to dance, do yoga, run. But for the past decade plus, I've been slowed down a lot by a rheumatic condition that makes movement painful for most of my body. Pushing too hard can significantly cripple me for days or months. So even good things like exercise need to be applied with common sense.

6 moms found this helpful

I'm 41. I stopped coloring my hair when I got pregnant with my first over 6 years ago. I like my natural hair, and I look forward to the salt and pepper look!

I haven't been clubbing in the similar amount of years, and I'm OK with that. I did enough of that in my 20s. I like my current life, and I look forward to another decade of wisdom. I truly am liking this aging thing.

6 moms found this helpful

I don't know what clubbing is like in PA, but out here, you better brace yourself. Once in a while I will go shoot photography in a casino and get out late. The clubs are in full swing right about midnight. I will walk by in my frumpy ol clothes and can you say AWKWARD!

You know I don't really feel like I am frumpy until I walk by and I notice my black shoes are not 6" red spikes.

My hair is just starting to frost around my face and I despise the thought of coloring it and setting myself up for that maintenance.

I do laugh at those who pay so much to tuck & lift, only to find that their hands and neck give it all away, not to mention that their freckles have now turned to speckles.

Anyway...to each their own, do as you please and never mind that friends comments.

5 moms found this helpful

I am enjoying life at my soon to be 66 years.

My grandson turned 16 last month and he was a big surprise. I didn't want to be a grandma until like now (66) but things come when they come.

Going out clubbing got old real quick and become boring and the hangovers were undesired. Find something else to do with your time that you like to do. If your friend still parties she could be the one with the problem of growing old gracefully. Soon I will be retiring into another area of my life and having fun being home and not working. I will get to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

As for the gray hair, I am not sure about coloring it again or letting it be natural. I may color it for the holidays and then let it go.

Enjoy yourself and do it at your pace. You have earned it. Fifty is young and you have another 20 to 25 years to do things. Enjoy that grandbaby and have fun. Get down and dirty with him/her and have a blast.

the other S.

PS I stayed home this weekend and enjoyed not having any deadlines to meet or meetings to attend.

5 moms found this helpful

Just be yourself.
Don't compare yourself.
Do what you want.
Don't think aging has to be a certain way.
It does not.

5 moms found this helpful

I applaud your attitude!

I have run into this, too. Unfortunately, our society overvalues youth to the point that many women feel pressure to spend an inordinate amount of time and money trying to arrest their development in their mid-20's. I try to be sympathetic to our sisters who struggle with aging, but honestly, other than being pissed off at my sometimes, creaky knees, I'm fine with it. As the cliche goes, it beats the alternative.

I am in my upper forties. I have let my hair go silver, and frankly it's more interesting than the mouse brown it was before. I have smile lines. I am a bit rounder than is socially correct. I'd rather spend my time with my family or chatting with a good friend over coffee than I would hitting the town. And you know what? I am happy with myself as I am. I don't feel the need to try to look like I'm twenty-five, or to pretend that I still enjoy the same things that I did then.

I do believe that it is important to take care of oneself, because it can make the difference between feeling great and being able to do things 30 years from now and having old age be a living hell. But caring for one's health is quite different from trying to arrest time. Trying to arrest time virtually guarantees that one will be unhappy, because it is impossible.

4 moms found this helpful

Getting older is a gift. Every single day. Every single birthday. Embrace it.

But I do think a person needs to get out and be super active or he/she will get the bad kind of old (aches, pains, slow down) as opposed to the good kind of old (enjoying the family and keeping up with all the kids/grandkids, keeping one's body fit and toned). I guess I'd say staying home would not be on my list. As long as I'm at the gym daily (when you get older you have the time) and not sitting around...being at home some isn't bad.

Any hair color you want. YOU are in charge.

4 moms found this helpful

Congrats on the grandbaby. Let her pursue her pleasure, you pursue your own.

Best,
F. B.

3 moms found this helpful

I am 52 (Holy Smokes) and am very happy with our lives the way they are now. I have been married to the same man for 32 years. We have three grown children and three fantastic grandchildren. Yes, there are challenges with getting older but there are so many perks. We can do whatever we want. We can have dinner or not. We can dye our hair or not, etc.

The only thing I would caution you about is "getting old." Just because you can doesn't mean you should stay home. I remember wondering what the heck we would do with ourselves when our children (very involved in sports, activities, etc.) grew up and left home. The good thing is we always had maintained our friendships. We had date nights every week from the time our children were born. Now, we are doing what we enjoy. We don't go to clubs, really haven't done that for years, but we do things with our adult children/grandchildren, we have joined clubs of things that interest us, we go out with friends even more often, etc. Sitting at home does age a person quickly. I decided years ago that I would never turn into one of those people who just stay home every night because it's easier. Figure out what you like to do and go for it!

3 moms found this helpful

Oh, hell. I'm 32 and I don't go out dancing. I have preferred to be home with my close friends or my husband and kids since I was sixteen. I can't figure out how that pertains to aging, frankly.

How do I feel about aging? I'm in favor. If you are fortunate enough to be around long enough to get "old" I think you should embrace it.

I work in a plastic surgeon's office. I see women fighting this everyday. Turns out its not a fight you can win.

3 moms found this helpful

I think getting old beats the alternative as long as you're able to continue doing things you enjoy.

I'm almost 50, and I have friends in local bands. I always go out dancing when they play.

I dye my hair, not because I want to hide my age, but because I don't look good with grey hair.

One of the perks of having lived long enough to get old is that you get to decide how you want to spend your free time. If going out makes you happy, go out. If staying in makes you happy, stay in.

3 moms found this helpful

Rhonda X had work done, your friend enjoys being out! They are embracing aging in two different ways. For me, I color my hair. Why look old when I do not feel it. My husband and I do go out to dances and I go out with my girlfriends. We enjoy life. We dress appropriately. At 63 I will not just sit home and wait for old age ailments to get me. So buy some new clothes, get rid of the gray, and embrace life. Get out. Your friend seems like she really does enjoy life. I hope she keeps it up and you get on board with having some fun.

3 moms found this helpful

My best friend turned 60 in September, my hubby turns 59 next year and I turn 55 a couple of months before his birthday.

I am coming to terms with being nearly 60 and knowing I have less years left on earth than I have lived. It's rather shocking to realize how old I am.

So many of my relatives had beautiful gray hair in their 30's. I am one of the few that still has the majority of natural hair color left. So sad. I have to put highlights in.....

3 moms found this helpful

If staying home is giving in, then I gave up before I even got started! I've never been into the club-scene and would rather stay home and snuggle with my husband or play games with me kids than go to a bar filled with loud drunk people I don't know.

What's sadder? A middle-aged woman being happy at home with her family, or a middle-aged woman pretending to be 21?

3 moms found this helpful

Doesn't sound like a true friend. Perhaps she's a little jealous?
I am about to be fifty six, cancer survivor and the only thing I'm jealous about is I don't have grandchildren yet. But I borrow my sister's grandchildren.
Staying at home is wonderful. Enjoy whatever age you are.

2 moms found this helpful

No, doing what you feel like doing is not "giving in" to aging. So the only thing your friend feels is a valuable pastime is going out to clubs?

Oh please, other than possibly listening to music and dancing, clubbing is usually a pretty trivial waste of time, and there's a reason most people stop doing it after their twenties. What did I do when I was young and went out to clubs? Picked up guys. I can think of a gazillion things that are more interesting than picking up guys -- how about going to a museum, for one.

But how do I feel about aging? Old age comes a lot faster than one thought it would and aging is not for the faint of heart. The thing that bothers me the most is the knowledge that you are on the downhill slope of life and that you no longer have endless vistas of possibility.

I definitely prefer my hair dyed, though. It's only a few minutes once a month and it looks a heck of a lot better than grey. To me, physical upkeep is not the same as "fighting" aging.

2 moms found this helpful

Ugh. Your friend sounds like an unhappy person with regrets.
I turn 50 this year as well.
I love this part of my life!
Who wants to be the 50 year old in a sparky sweater sitting at a bar? Lol
Not me!
I mean, I like girls nights as much as the next gal, but I know I'm not "missing" anything.buoy probably feel the same.
I thnk it's really important to get an education, be independent, travel and life a full life BEFORE the family thing happens. Cause then you have no regrets, right? That's my thinking on my "almost 50 contentment" anyway.
Anyhow---looking FORWARD to the next 50!
Cheers!

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like your friend is having trouble getting older. I have never heard anyone say that staying home is giving in. What are you giving in to?

I am 43 and my hubby is 49 and we are usually home, but we were never the type to have to be out all the time. I don't really mind aging. Yes there are some things I don't like but there are some good things about it too.

I think the media and magazines make such a big deal out of getting older (at least for women). I cant stand some of the pictures they print of older actors and say look at how bad they look (and I think they look just fine for their ages, most were 70 and over with no plastic surgery).

If you are OK with your appearance then don't worry about what she thinks. We are all going to get older there is nothing we can do about it other then enjoy the life we have.

1 mom found this helpful

My Dad always said " Age is all mind over matter, If you don't mind it won't matter. I've come to use that as my mantra. I'm 47 I feel more confidante now than in my 20's or 30's, I'm more settled now. Just because you add another candle to your birthday cake doesn't mean your ready for the rocking chair and shawl. Being a Grandma is great, you can now REALLY enjoy a baby/child without having the $$$ responsibility or other aggravations you had to deal with as a parent.

1 mom found this helpful

Ha! I passed your age-mark long ago, and one of the benefits of being that old is that you don't have to care - at least not so much - what other people think of you. Not that you go around being difficult like that woman in the greeting cards, but you don't have to worry so much about other opinions.

How old is this friend? If she's close to your age, she's getting worried about herself and taking it out on you! If she's a lot younger, she just doesn't understand. So shrug it off.

You can color your hair or not (I don't and never have, but my older sister does so that she can keep her job). You can pick your entertainments, not wait to see what everybody else is doing. You can enjoy your home life without wondering what you might be missing; you know how to appreciate what you have! You also find yourself reading more books, taking courses, enjoying activities you've never done before, learning new things. You can discover ways to exercise, eat, and otherwise keep healthy, because you value your health more the older you get. You don't have to worry so much about how you look in workout clothes. You're privileged to get to know people both younger and older than yourself, keep your longtime friends, and make every day count instead of worrying about how to appear cool. Is that settling? Is that giving up?

Both you and your friend will get older every single day, whether you dance at nightclubs or stay home and enjoy your family. Time goes in only one direction. Enjoy that time on your terms.

And happy birthday, and congratulations on the grandbaby!

1 mom found this helpful

It feels nice. I am 50. I take good care of myself. I eat well and I exercise daily. I do meditation and stretching also. I do notice that my body has changed a lot, it is happening, mood swings, hot flashes, and headaches, but they go away on its own. My kids are still young, and I am enjoying them very much. They are my treasures, I adore them! I am still deeply in love with my husband, we are the same age, and we are aging together, which is fantastic since we understand each other very much. We decided I would stay home, long ago when my first baby was born; actually it was a decision as a couple, and I do not regret it. Staying home is never giving in. I enjoyed my career and my independence for years, so for me it was time for another journey, and it was at the right time!
Every day, every morning I decide that I will enjoy and embrace my day whatever happens; aging gracefully is a process,in my opinion, it comes from inside out otherwise my work out, my healthy diet and all I do to feel well and happy wouldn't work.
A. :)

I'm 39. I am okay with aging I guess, but not okay with my body not recovering from things and bouncing back the way it used to. I'm a big runner and right now I have a leg strain in the calf, and the leg has been sore for weeks, even with PT weekly. It just won't go away for good. It takes me longer to recover from a long run or a hard workout, I get tired more easily, the whole lot of it. A couple of years ago, we tried for a third child and it didn't work (even an early miscarriage), and I was told it was due to age. I am not okay with those parts of it.

Having more confidence and being able to tell people what I REALLY feel instead of pretending - that is more than okay with me. I guess you take the good with the bad.

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