What does growing old gracefully mean to you?

@callyw (191)
March 14, 2009 4:06pm CST
How do you grow old gracefully? I am writing an article on growing old gracefully and just wondered what other people think about growing old gracefully.
4 people like this
7 responses
• United States
14 Mar 09
I believe it's a combination of things, both physical and mental. Physically, allowing yourself to age. Not getting botox or plastic surgery, not dying your hair, not trying to dress twenty years younger than you are. Accepting that your body is changing and going with it, keeping yourself fit and healthy for your age. Mentally, it's not allowing your old age to slow you down any. It's utilizing and applying the wisdom you've learned in your years without being condescending or looking down on younger generations. It's staying mentally sharp and active, and being happy with your life. Both what's passed and what's still to come.
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@callyw (191)
14 Mar 09
Thanks for replying - I agree with what you say (especially about not getting botox).
2 people like this
• United States
14 Mar 09
To me it means not being a bitter, grumpy old woman. Wehn I see a person who has grown old gracefully to me they have a loving family that loves, respects, and likes them. I have seen many older people that are always mad or angry and to me that is not graceful. I have also seen older people who are the center of their family, they have taken care of themselves so that they can play with the grand and great grand children. They do it without being boastful or prideful, but instead being thankful that God has let them live so long and enjoy their families and friends.
@callyw (191)
14 Mar 09
Thanks for your reply - that is what I was thinking.
2 people like this
@katsalot1 (1619)
14 Mar 09
To me, growing old gracefully means not making every effort to fight the fact that you are getting older. For instance dyeing your hair in an effort to look younger. If you are dyeing your hair just because you have always dyed your hair and like doing it is different. Wearing clothes which are obviously suited to someone young is just embarrassing. Trying to take part in activities which you really aren't up to. I admire people who accept that they are growing older, and make the most of what they have got and can do, without resorting to pretending.
@callyw (191)
14 Mar 09
Thanks for taking the time to reply - I agree with what you say.
2 people like this
• Canada
14 Mar 09
I don't want to repeat all of the good replies that have been given so far. I totally agree with them :) I just wanted to add that I feel "growing old gracefully" also includes embracing changes in society. Many older folks relish their younger days... simpler times... but they are living current day and it becomes necessary to adapt to some things. For instance, fighting against ATMs, computers, phone systems and voicemail, self-service functionality and other advances in technology is hardly "graceful." Wishing things could be "the way they used to be" is completely understandable but I consider it "graceful" to embrace change and to do one's best to learn and become current with those technologies that affect our day to day lives. I remember in my first-ever full time job, when I was 21 or 22, the responsibility fell to me to train the Vice-President's secretary in word processing. She had fought tooth and nail to keep her IBM Selectric typewriter. She did NOT want to use a computer and she felt that, if she dug in her heels and refused, she simply wouldn't have to learn. Well, unfortunately, the Vice-President (who was even older than she was), saw the value to technology, saw the work that was being produced by the younger workers in his charge, and directed her to accept the training. It was SO hard to teach her because, no matter how patient I was, no matter how many times I was willing to review and repeat, she would make disparaging remarks about "stupid computers", "stupid technology" and such, well within earshot of coworkers. She did eventually learn the minimum she needed to do her job (and retired not long afterwards) but her attitude was much less than graceful.
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@callyw (191)
14 Mar 09
I used to work with someone like that - I know what you mean. Thanks for adding your post - it's interesting to hear other people comments (and reassuring to know that I am on the right track).
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@katsalot1 (1619)
14 Mar 09
I think that the comment from thinkingoutloud is a very good one. Embracing change is important, otherwise you would be in constant conflict with everyone, which is definitely not 'graceful'.
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@underdogtoo (9600)
• Philippines
14 Mar 09
I would prefer to grow old gracefully and to my mind this means gaining the wisdom with the years that are added to your aging frame. Cheers!!
@callyw (191)
15 Mar 09
Thank you for replying. Wisdom is one of the good things that comes with age.
2 people like this
• India
14 Mar 09
It means growing OLD where no one notices the person and no one knows that the person Exists. Then one fine day they realize that this person has grown old as they have nothing to say. They came up with "Growing up gracefully concept".
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@callyw (191)
15 Mar 09
Thanks for your reply. I think that sometimes the elderly are ignored, but just because this happens doesn't make it right. We, as a society, should be interested in what elderly people have to say. It's not that they have "nothing" to say, it's that we are not listening.
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@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
15 Mar 09
Since I'm almost 60, I've thought of this a lot lol. To me, growing old gracefully means taking care of myself, body and mind, and being the best 'me' I can be. It's being appreciative & happy with what I do have, as opposed to being bitter about what I don't have. It's realizing that while the glow of youth is past, that there is still much life ahead to be had, and that while our bodies start to feel older, we can still be somewhat youthful in our minds and thinking. It's not getting 'stodgy' or set in our ways so much we can't appreciate others who don't think, or feel, the same way as we do about things. I think too growing old gracefully is about appreciating and acceptance of ourselves for where we are today, living in the moment, and not dwelling on the past, or worse...what the future will eventually bring.
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@callyw (191)
15 Mar 09
That's a good attitude to have, for young people as well. Thank you for replying.
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@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
16 Mar 09
Thanks for b.r. Callyw! Never thought about it being that way for young people too...good point!