When Did We Become Old?

BY MELISSA ROWE -- You know the moments, those moments you realize you’re getting old. And feeling it, too. When those wrinkles and age spots can no longer be concealed with makeup, when you've had to​ ​sit down to put on your socks or skip the leg shave because bending over is just too much. You’re waking up multiple times a night to pee, booking more mammograms and colonoscopies or getting senior discounts when you haven't even asked for them. And the real kicker is when you’re out on a Friday evening, your body suddenly tells you it’s time to call it quits. Problem is, it’s only 9pm. What happened? You used to be the life of the party, and it took just half-a-day to recover. Now it takes three, and you’re still talking about it two weeks later.

If you’re like me, these moments are hard. We never pictured ourselves growing old, did we?

So what can we do?

First step might be recognizing our hearts are still young, even though our joints would tell us otherwise. There’s still a lot of joy to be found in life though -- whether it’s through staying active or spending time with family and friends. The key, I think, is not to be overcome by regret. Simply accept the way things are, and find comfort knowing this is exactly where you’re meant to be.

Here are three tips that might help you face the aging process with positivity:

1. Change your attitude

You’re only as old as you feel. Studies claim that as people get older, they identify less with their actual ages. Feeling more youthful and 'able' are important factors. Yes, your knees might not be as strong as they were in your 30s. But, they’re good enough. When you start looking at all the good in your life, it’ll be easier to embrace yourself...arthritis and all. And most importantly, practice gratitude.

2. Stop living in the past

Taking care of yourself begins with accepting that the past is done. You’ve emerged into a different person. It’s hard to live in the present when your mind is stuck in the past, full of regret. Let go of the person you were, and embrace the person you are. This may mean making changes in your life by charting a new and exciting plan for yourself, like starting a blog! Ha!

3. Keep the connections alive
Connect or re-connect with people even more so now. Many might isolate themselves (in their cozies with a good book) because they think they can no longer fit into their old social circles. But it’s easy to fall into depression when you’re alone. Go out, see your girlfriends, make new friends, or visit your scattered family. Keep the connections alive -- in person, though. Facebook doesn't count!

Aging is an inevitable process. Appreciate all the experiences you’ve gained. Each gray hair, each wrinkle and each breathless sigh as you climb those dreadful stairs -- these are all just subtle reminders of the wise old woman we have become, or are becoming!

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