4 Feb 2020

Better Not Younger: Can We Be Ageless?

Better Not Younger: Can We Be Ageless on vickiarcher.com


Let’s think about it.

Why do we have to be pigeon-holed by our age?

Somedays at 60 I feel younger than I did at 40 and certainly happier than I was at 30. Whoever said, “age is a state of mind” was clever but probably should have extended their brilliance by saying. “and body”. Physical fitness has a great deal to do with age, ageless and aging.

I want to leave the physical aside and focus on an “ageless” mentality.


I don’t wish my merits to be judged by my age but rather their true worth.

Ageless is about so much more than how we look. It doesn’t matter whether you can belt it out like Shakira and dance like J-Lo at 50; if you don’t have the mental smarts it doesn’t matter the number of years. How we think is the first step towards, “better, not younger” and whether we can live a life that is not age-dependent. What we do should not be defined by how old we are but more by our own well made choices, our capabilities and our desires. To be ageless means thinking it through on a deeper level; we don’t decide against something because we are too old or past it.


The only time I feel my age is if I am fighting illness and then I fight even harder to regain my mojo. It’s tough sometimes not to feel the passage of time and to acknowledge what it means. I accept time has the feeling of acceleration each year but this makes me more determined to pack more in, open my mind to new ideas and enjoy this life to the fullest. There will be no, “I can’t” because of my age.

There may be financial, emotional or intellectual barriers but they will not be age-related.


However far we have come, we do live in an ageist society. I feel it sometimes.

And the very focus on older women creating, working and living their best lives, while inspirational, is oftentimes double-handed. Isn’t she fabulous can sometimes have the silent “for her age” subterfuge behind the compliment?


It is up to us to set the agenda.

Only we can nurture our minds to live in an open state. This is not to say we should deny our age or ever try to act or appear younger. This is not the idea. I have met women far older than me with effervescence, intelligence and an acute understanding of life; they truly embody this notion.



How can we feel “ageless”?

I don’t really like this word for the two syllables are contradictory but there are certain mind-sets that work for us and others against us.


Open up to new ideas; don’t automatically reject the unfamiliar.


Never stop learning; thinking we know it all is the fastest demise.


Challenge and try; failure is positive if we make an attempt.


Listen to others – it is so easy to fill our heads with our own voices and not hear what’s happening around us.


Live for the future and don’t dwell on the past. I want tomorrow to be better than today.


Realism with goals, dreams and plans; don’t set yourself up for disaster before we even start.


Do; the act of doing is the best motivation. Putting things off for tomorrow never comes.



I wish I had the secret to physical agelessness for you but I fear it would be a fool’s quest.

Let’s start here instead. xv




Some Things Are Ageless

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images, Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Emma Thompson, Annette Bening, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Candice Bergen, Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep & Allison Janney

 

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28 Comments

Mumbai

No matter if the hair is already grey, a bit more pounds on your hips or wrinkles. To my mind it has a lot to do with charisma, posture and attitude how old you feel and look.

Reply
Mumbai

Vicky, overlooked yr article about Helen Mirren. She is the perfect role model for your writing today. Isn’t she a wonderful personality?….a belated birthday
wish for you, not knowing you are 60… the best is yet to come….trust me

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Teddee Grace

I feel ageless because I don’t think about it much. I inherited good genes from my mother, who lived to be 100, and never looked her age and I at least think I have been equally lucky. I also never had children, therefore no grandchildren, so don’t have them to reflect my age. I sometimes find it difficult, at 75, to realize some of my contemporaries have great grandchildren! I’m never depressed, rarely bored, enjoy my own company, don’t have television, love to read, and find my hobbies of creating really amazing faux flower arrangements and decorating my one-bedroom apartment for the various seasons keep me quite occupied. I try to eat sensibly and walk several miles a day with a friend and basically just continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.

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Vicki

I adore your attitude Teddee, it’s very uplifting.
My other was 101 when she died last year and pretty amazing up until the last few years – she kept us on our toes and was always busy with one thing or another… there is the key! :)

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Linda Boardman Kerr

Tedder, you are a huge inspiration, and I just saw your pic on Facebook —so beautiful. I love that you don’t have a television and that you walk so much.

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Angela Muller

I never think about my age, unless someone sends me a birthday card and mentions my age. I’m still passionate about the same things, with new interests always added. My daughter has learned not to grab a package from my arms, unless I request assistance. The only thing that gives me pause, though I still do it, is driving at night. In short, I believe aging is a state of mind, though real life circumstances are always ready to challenge that attitude. A smile, an open heart, and a genuine appreciation for life helps win the battle.

Reply
Vicki

It’s interesting you say this Angela, I think I have become more independent as I have got older also… and if I think about it.. try to do most things myself :)

Reply
Frith

I’m not sure what makes some woman ageless. I think it’s a combination of attitude plus a dose of good genes. But having said that Vicki, after watching Jennifer Lopez in action recently, I do think that dance, yoga, Pilates, a disciplined exercise routine that keeps you supple and agile definitely plays a huge part. Sadly I dropped that ball.

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Vicki

Easy to pick up, Frith ;)
I agree it’s the answer – I’m always trying to do more but if there is one thing I drop the ball on too, it’s the exercise… I’m trying this year for consistency.. and balance… and if I don’t practice… I’ll never reach the heights of J-LO :) ;) ;) I wish….

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Linda B

How I love this post, Vicki! I am all about trying to live my best self as a 62 year old. I have some personal icons that I look to for inspiration, starting with my lovely mother-in-law, who will be 88 next month, and still walks a few miles every day and generally lives a very full and happy life. (And people look at her and assume she is at least 10-15 years younger than she is!) What I learned from my own dear mother, who died 5 months ago at 83, was how NOT to age; part of it was her lack of physical activity through her whole lifetime. She also became increasingly narcissistic and negative over time. Somehow, I think all the difficult emotions she held inside for so much of her life ate away at her. She was not the amazing mother I grew up with in her late years. Even with all this, I miss her so much.

I don’t expect to be “ageless” but will attempt to stay as active physically and mentally as I can for as long as possible! One thing I am going to do with my husband and some friends at the end of next month is a “Roads Scholar” trip, that combines some serious hiking AND study, for a week in a very remote area of northern Arizona.

Reply
Vicki

Linda, that sounds like an amazing opportunity – to learn and to hike in an incredible destination – Wonderful and enjoy every second. Do tell us all on your return, please.

Reply
Jen

I love this. I feel quite ageless except for occasional bouts of illness. I certainly feel more like me than ever before.

Reply
Mary

Hi Vicki, Other women I consider ageless are not with us anymore but I believe embodied the notion of ageless: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Betty White. Another women I find ageless is Mariska Hatigay, lead actor on Special Vistims Unit. The words that come to mind when I think of ageless are confidence, swag, an openness of heart and mind and unique style and flair.

Reply
Lourayne

Age is an attitude.
What truly matters in life is how hard we have loved. And, how hard we have been loved.
Nothing else.

Reply
Christy

I love this thread and the collective wisdom here.
There is a wealth of untapped and under appreciated knowledge, experience and power around the world in those of us 60 plus. Just imagine if we banded together and tapped into it!

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anitapelayorivera

Good morning Vicki!

I agree with you that we must start with the mindset of it all, for many reasons. The list you made of the practices? Those points are what are “ageless” and classic. Every human who has ever walked the earth has been given the chance to take advantage of learning, listening to others to build respect and community, hopes and dreams for which to plan strategically and to carry out courageously. These are the virtues that last and as this body breaks down but this spirit of joie de vivre charges through what life has to offer, our legacy, whether great or small is what will remain as young as the dawn. I’m in.

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Vicki

Yes.. your wisdom is profound, Anita and I am so grateful we all benefit from your comments here. Here’s to learning, listening and respect amongst other virtues. :)

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Lynne

Very well said! I do, however, have a bit of a different perspective when it comes to your statement regarding “live for the future.” For me personally, I think focusing on the present, living in the present and savoring what is makes for a much more vibrant, fulfilling experience of life because the present is perhaps all that we have–most especially true in our later years. It also helps the soul to focus on what really matters right now, which may be–after all–all that we will have!

Reply
Vicki

Good point Lynne… I also believe in the present.. I guess what I was trying to say (badly!) was not to dwell and focus on the past :)

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Pamela

So interesting to read this post and the comments. I agree about keeping open minded, continuing to learn, open to new experiences and active. But first you have choose your parents carefully and to be lucky. Don’t pick as your mother a woman who inherited severe and debilitating osteo arthritis or a father with a dicey heart, or any of the other health conditions that come out as one ages. I am at the time of life when some of my best friends have just died or are in hopefully long remissions from cancer. One dear friend died suddenly of a heart attack only a few weeks ago. She and another friend had joined us in Paris just last June and we had a totally fabulous time doing all our favourite things. She walked for miles, seemed to have lots more energy than me, she was a former scentist with a Cambridge Ph D ,she still read science papers, literature, kept up with current events, walked in Anti Brexit demonstrations, doted on her grandchildren. But she died very suddenly from a heart attack after having just returned from visiting her older sister in Geneva. Another dear friend died a few weeks before Christma after battling cancer for a few years. She’d also been fit, happy, an artist, a happy granny, mother and wife. So right now I think we have to count what blessings we have and just live the best life we can that makes us and our families happy. But without unrealistic expectations. We don’t all have mothers who lived into really old ages happily. Or Dads. Mine died at 48. These are not terrible good genes. I’ve already lived well past that age but then I didn’t volunteer as a soldier at the beginning of WWII, get critically injured in battle or smoke heavily. Best wishes, Pamela

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Vicki

So sorry for these heartbreaks Pamela… and yes, every day is a bonus and we must enjoy them as we can.

Reply

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