On Growing Older

This year on my Birthday, I not only turn a year but also a decade older. I am now firmly ensconced in the so-called “middle-age” category. This realization set thoughts turning in my head. When you are in the middle-age group you are struck with the fact that the years have suddenly added up to a big enough number. Despite the facials and the expensive face-creams, there are a few lines on your face. You get tired more often than you previously did, maybe now spectacles are needed to read the restaurant menu and the rich gravies of restaurant dinners can lead to severe heartburn. The night about town on stilettos gives way to binge-watching shows on Netflix, sitting on your couch in your jammies.

We suddenly wake up one day, look in the mirror and are suddenly dissatisfied. We are dissatisfied with our appearance, our weight, our hair, and our routine mundane lives. We look at celebrities gracing the covers of tabloids, looking exactly the same as they did twenty years ago, gallivanting off to exotic locations. We look at them and we wonder, “Why not me?” We are bombarded with advertisements of Olay, Nivea, Loreal, all selling youth. They want us to use them, to banish any faint lines that might dare to show on our faces. We color and volumize our hair so that it may look better and not show that we went through pregnancies and childbirth. We go on diets and to Zumba classes, not just because we want to get our cholesterol into range, but mainly so that we can fit into dresses which were bought ten years ago. Some of us manage to do all this and more. Most of us, despite our best efforts, fail. And this failure, further adds to our sense of inadequacies.

We have put unbelievable amounts of pressure on ourselves to look younger than our years. We are so scared of being labeled as the neighborhood “auntie” that we try our level best to be the lissome twenty-five-year old that we were. Whereas once we eagerly wanted to grow older and more independent, we now want to go back to those younger carefree days.”You look younger than your age”  or “You have maintained yourself so well” are the compliments we always aim for. Woe betides if someone guesses our age or the (horror!!!) thinks we are older than what we actually are!!

The beauty industry, celebrity culture, social media, and society, in general, have somehow made getting older a taboo. Despite all the articles on body positivity and acceptance the truth of the matter is we are living in a visual world. We have become so obsessed with our appearances that we, quite often, forget about the person underneath. We forget that the person might have got those frown lines worrying about the health of a parent, those grey hair might be due to the stress of the job and meeting deadlines, the chipped and cracked nails may be due to cooking healthy so that the children get a nutritious meal.

We want to look younger, not realizing that we are not the same people anymore. The person whom we were twenty years ago has been shaped and molded by the experiences of life, the good times, the moments of darkness, the moments of self-doubt and the moments of accomplishment. All these moments have made us the person we are now.

And I guess it is time to accept that fact.

4 thoughts on “On Growing Older

  1. On Growing Older
    An Excellent and thought provoking article associated with real life situation.
    Aging is Life is related to SUN-Shadow System where increase has direct relation with responsibility where the element of fear is a natural phenomenon. This process is essentially required to be concurred with self-confidence and fruitful engagements depending on capacity and capability of individual. It is essential to know that the art of self-living is the best tool to fight against our sense of adequacies.
    The author has rightly expressed the psychological fact that we have put unbelievable amounts of pressure on ourselves to look younger than our years, in fact growth is phenomenon associated with number of processes related to human life. It is to be characterised with positive factors in real life situation. It has only one principle – “Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul”
    While we accept that several moments have made us the person we are now but also it is time to accept the fact that we are the pivot of our society to mould the youngsters on the basis of the experiences of our life, the good times, the moments of darkness, the moments of self-doubt and the moments of accomplishment.
    Let us realise that we are the monomers and converting to polymers through application of ‘decade older kinetics’ – a second order psychological action that can fight against our sense of inadequacies.
    Keep it up and light the world with your natural capabilities.

    Liked by 1 person

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