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Graceful Aging: What Does It Look Like?

Updated on June 19, 2013
Pueblo  over 1000 years old
Pueblo over 1000 years old

Is graceful aging defined by each individual as they age or by society portraying ageing in a negative or positive light? Both points of view affect each of us as we age, society seems to set the old and very old aside and as individuals we face many transitions in our health, physical and mental.

Graceful

Graceful is defined as being elegant or beautiful in form, manner, movement or speech.

Ageing

Ageing is defined as the number of years from birth or stages of developement one passes through, such as childhood, adolescence, middle age or old age.

Graceful Ageing

Graceful ageing then looks at the way we pass through the stages of development from young age to old age contrasted against the ideal of beauty of form, movement, function and style set for us by society. How do we age with style, knowing or coming to know that we will face difficulties in our future?

My own experience tells me that I can not define Ageing Gracefully for anyone other than myself. The experience of ageing is purely individual, full of one's own experiences, attitudes and lifestyle choices. People approach age from an individual perspective, what seems graceful to you may not appear graceful to me. I may enjoy the ballet with its graceful form and elegance and you enjoy heavy metal concerts with opposing hard hitting styles of form and elegance. Graceful ageing can only be defined through each individuals lens and how each individual defines grace in ageing through our own values, experiences, relationships and attitudes.

I have been fortunate in my life to share a portion of my life with many friends of advancing age. Each person I have met has aged in a different way. The truth about ageing, as with all other parts of life, is that we will face trials, fears and successes. We must face the oudcomes of our own choices for a lifetime as we reach old age and at last we will face our own death. In the end we must reconsile our life, comming to terms with those things left unsaid, undone in our relationships throughout our life.

The Pueblo

The pueblo pictured above stands as a metaphor for ageing with grace and the individual lens. One may view the pueblo as a conglomeration of old decaying rocks without meaning except for structure. Another may view the pueblo as a contributor to our being, a graceful reminder in form, injunuity and advancing societies.

Your perception of graceful ageing may differ from mine, but it is, after all, about our individual views.

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    • mjboomer profile image
      Author

      Mike Elzner 4 years ago from Oregon

      Thank You Deb, I admit life is a bit like riding a roller coaster. For me age is simply a time keeper......I have learned from some of the oldest people in our community that the stereotypes of aging need not limit your zest and zeal for living. EVERY DAY IS AN ADVENTURE!!

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      I enjoyed your Hub on Aging. I'm a Boomer or Zoomer as they call it in Canada. I have so many mixed emotions - one day I feel young and full of energy like the Everready commercial bunny and then the next day my RA kicks in and I can't do as much. Thank God everyone is different - age does not determine lifestyle, hobbies or work. A good read.

      Useful and Interesting.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good job! I think being young at heart helps with aging.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very beautiful! My grandmother always said she kept her hair grey so people would know she has six beautiful grandchildren. She aged gracefully.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      This is really a touching piece of work, I too agree with point of view and hope I am growing old gracefully, something my mother of 85 is managing to do! Up, interesting and am going to share!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting point of view and one I agree with. I need to find the time to read your hubs on Alzheimer's....my best friend is 52 and is suffering from this horrid disease. It is painful to watch him go through the stages and deteriorate.

      Thank you for a great hub!

    • mjboomer profile image
      Author

      Mike Elzner 5 years ago from Oregon

      Shawn and Lambservant, Thanks for your comments.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      What a beautiful piece. I am struggling with trying to grow old gracefully and I appreciate your comment that it is different for each person. That is kind of freeing. Nice job. Voted up!

    • Shawn May Scott profile image

      Shawn May Scott 5 years ago

      I am not that old yet but aging gracefully is the way I intend to do it!!! Thank for sharing.

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