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Aging Unapologetically: No Apologies Needed in Aging Game

Liz Merritt
November 4, 2016
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Aging unapologetically is an attitude and a belief that goals and dreams can be achieved at any time of our lives. It means ditching the B.S. stories and giving yourself permission to fearlessly go after what you want.

Set Big Goals

There are no limits on dreaming big. And age is irrelevant when it comes to goal setting.

Fear-based excuses ring empty: ‘I’m too old to go back to school, to start a new career, to try a new sport, to ride a bike, to walk a mile, to travel the world, to learn how to swim, to get a tattoo, to change my body, to fall in love …’ The list goes on.

Aging UnapologeticallyGoals can be monumental or miniscule. It doesn’t matter. Simply having a goal pushes you to stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone, and as humans we need to spend at least a portion of our lives challenging ourselves in order to grow.

As cliché as it sounds, change is good. And later in life – when you have more time flexibility, your kids are out of the house, you have more financial security – growth through goals becomes more important than ever.

Aging Unapologetically

We can’t apologize for wanting more or allow other people – even people we love – to yank us back into our comfort zone as we stumble and mutter, ‘So sorry. Didn’t mean to bother everyone.’ We have to be willing to go against the grain.

Instead, let’s age unapologetically together by starting with these 10 practices:

  1. Make yourself a priority.
  2. Dust off the dreams you shelved years ago.
  3. Take pride in your physical health and fitness.
  4. Seek new experiences.
  5. Challenge your fears.
  6. Ask for help when you need it.
  7. Don’t give a damn what other people think about you.
  8. Wear your age proudly – aging is a privilege not everyone gets.
  9. Be a bold, badass in everything you do.
  10. Leave a lasting legacy.

Rock the Boat, Baby

I’m not knocking comfortable routines. I have spent the last several years of my career embracing the comfort and taking great care not to rock my own boat.

After awhile, it was apparent that my routine became so ingrained that I began to settle. I thought seriously about coasting along comfortably in my job until I hit Social Security age and they threw a party for me in the lunchroom.

What I found was I stopped pushing boundaries. I cocooned myself safely in my comfort zone. I stopped growing.

When I made the scary decision to completely reinvent my life and career in my late 50s, I veered off the path of predictability and consciously disrupted my comfortable life.

Does this work for everyone? Probably not.

Rubber Band Ball Syndrome

Rubber Band, Office, Red, ball, selective color

I’ll share a story that hits the point home.

My grandfather had one ritual that left me perpetually puzzled when I was a child. He would make his way every morning to the kitchen, pick up a big rubber band ball that he kept near the rotary phone and snap on the band from that day’s newspaper.

For as long as I can remember, he built this ball – one rubber band at a time.

As an adult, I came to understand that this was his way to check off each day. When he died, so did the ball. That ball symbolized the passage of time fed and watered by routine. It was predictable and comfortable. And it was not remarkable.

Life should not resemble a slow-growing rubber band ball. Rather, let’s dig deep and find the courage to pursue what we really want and step into our light. Taking the path of least resistance ensures we will fade off into the senior citizen sunset. No thanks.

I choose to age with wisdom, grace, faith and without apology. It’s my mission to help others see that spark. My hope is that you can see it too.

How are you aging unapologetically? Leave your comments below.

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