What does it really mean to age gracefully?

I honestly don’t think that I have earned the right to completely answer this question – although after turning 40, I’m beginning to realize that one’s perspective can change on this subject!

Some women seem to go into fight or flight mode, desperately trying to hang on to the younger version of themselves.

Aging can come with some negative aspects, but there are many things we can do to get through those negative things. Adding activities, exercise, a better diet, and a positive outlook are just a few ways to navigate those negatives. We are all on borrowed time anyway, so looking at things from a positive perspective rather than a negative is a much better use of our time.

Personally, I am finding true peace in allowing things to happen just as they were planned. With age comes wisdom and gray hair, but to me, there is nothing more beautiful than the transition that happens during this time of life.

In this time of life, I am realizing that there are many gifts that I have been given and I cherish each day that I am here to enjoy them.

I am especially grateful for the ability to be with my grandchildren and watch them grow. I get to slow down and share things with them. Hopefully, they will one day share those same things with their own grandchildren, and that is something awesome to consider!

Perhaps you don’t have grandchildren yet, but you still have time to travel the world and look at it through eyes that appreciate life a little differently than you did at a younger age. You may also have the opportunity to care for your parents in the later years of their lives, which is an honor and blessing in itself.

Undoubtedly, God’s plan is perfect, and when we go along with it instead of against it, true peace comes to us.

This doesn’t mean that you are letting yourself go when you stop hiding your gray hair and let it shine through! What it does mean is that you are finally at a place where you are at peace with the true beauty that comes from just being you.

Don’t be afraid of what's ahead – remember, we are not in control of what will happen, but we can control how we react to it and how we choose to face it going forward. Look for the beauty in the little things. Give yourself grace daily and share kindness with whomever you meet.

Aging gracefully is a beautiful thing that we should encourage everyone to do! Embrace the gifts and abilities given to you by God and share them with others, especially your family. Let’s teach the next generation that while “Cover Girl” and “Clairol” were created to cover our natural beauty, God created us in His image, and that is true beauty.

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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