Popular Thoughts on Aging Gracefully

Recently I took a little trip around the World Wide Web. And, while it was difficult to dodge and weave through the proliferation of horrible political news and pathetic stories of other negative situations, I did find some good stuff.

Here are some words about aging gracefully by some cool people. I like what they have to say.

“I think you have to spend your time on, and worry about, more important things. Gravity exists; there’s no way around it. As you get older, you have to look at aging differently because comparisons and criticisms are suddenly thrown in your face. There are a lot of people who are aging quite gracefully; I think it’s about putting the emphasis on what’s inside.” ~ Susan Sarandon

“I plan to go into my 60s blazing. Blazing! And trying to be as fly and as healthy as I can. I can’t buy a sports car. I can’t bungee jump. Can’t skydive, so might as well cut your bangs, right?” ~ Michelle Obama

When asked what’s the ultimate secret to aging with grace. “I have no idea,” she answered. “Just realizing that it’s inevitable, so live with it.” ~Helen Mirren

“There’s a fear of getting old, among the young, that’s worse than the fear of death; it’s amazing,” Van Dyke told NBC News’ Joe Fryer in an interview that aired on TODAY Thursday. “And I want them to know that old age can be wonderful. It’s the best time of my life, by far.”   “People tell me they can’t dance and they can’t sing. Everyone can. They might stink at it, but you gotta be able to keep moving!”  “Why do you think people want to watch you dance?” Replied Van Dyke with a laugh, “I think the fact that I’m old and that I’m still jumping around. … You know, they say ‘Sing like nobody can hear you, dance like nobody can see you.’ Everybody should be singing and dancing.” ~Dick Van Dyke

“I believe in also telling people, when you are young is its own special beauty, doing active things. Then, getting older, its own beauty, more experience to share with other people. One time in Sweden, I noticed, one small group of people, they have some kind of program, those retired people should take more active role taking care of young children. I think that is very good. Old people play, mixing with young children, the old people themselves feel something fresh. Sometimes, children see more love with grandparent rather than parent, that also happens. So I think children may do not attraction external beauty, old people, no longer any beauty, but smile, play, make joke, some sort of short stories, then children looked at. So if you age but then still feel bitter because you are not able to lots of things you could do when you were young, that is total, silly, unrealistic. Of course, the wider experience, the young people, youth, cannot do that — not yet.” ~Dali Lama

“People take a very dim view of aging not just in show business but in almost every business. They’re always looking for the young people coming up, which I understand. But make yourself as useful as possible so that they’ll find a place for you too! And don’t complain—try to accentuate the positive rather than the negative. If you’re complaining, you’re not fun to be around, and fun is the name of the game. My mom said to never lie about your age because you’ll forget what you told one person and get mixed up. My age has been published over the years, so I could no more say I’m younger than 92 than fly to the moon. But it’s amazing—past a certain age, you can get away with murder. You can do anything and people will say, “Well, the poor old soul, she’s … you know …” ~ Betty White

The whole secret to aging gracefully “… is to keep learning, keep growing, keep creating. It’s the opposite of many people when they turn 89, 90 years old. They feel, ‘Well, I’ve done it all, so I better just relax.’ And I think that leads to failure. As long as you’re alive, you should keep learning and be curious and try to figure out what it is that you’re curious about.” ~Tony Bennett

And finally … my own:

“Be fearless as you age. I’m not talking about sky diving or downhill racing. I’m talking about never short-changing all that you are entitled to in this world. If you can dream it, and it is important to you, then pursue it. Create it and make it work for you, without comparison to others.” ~ Antonia Albany taken from my book Golden Grace, Embracing the Richness of Our Later Years.