Is This What Aging Gracefully Looks Like?

You know, I mention fairly often that I want to age gracefully. I say I should write about it. Other people say I should write about it. I’ve started innumerable articles (okay, one) on what it means to age gracefully.

But the truth is, I am still figuring it out.

This morning, MLG came over to do some more work around the property. He surprised me by bringing along his wood splitter. Do you all know what a wood splitter is? Its a pretty darn nifty tool, if you ask me. And he let ME use it.

A wood splitter eliminates the need to swing an ax. But it does still require you to lift and roll some huge rounds of cut logs, and then to throw the split pieces (that are still pretty heavy) into a pile.

In the middle of splitting this huge pile of oak (a very heavy wood,) I was feeling pretty cocky. I thought, Is this a picture of aging gracefully?


I thought, ooh, photo op. I should have MLG take a picture of my bad self splitting wood. Good blog fodder. So I ran in to get my camera and glanced in the mirror. Ick. I did not like what I saw. No make-up. I had washed my hair, but let it dry without fluffing it. I was  wearing old work clothes that were not flattering. I just looked like a dowdy old woman. I left the camera inside. I’m pretty sure this is NOT an example of aging gracefully.

So the truth is, I’m still working on that aging gracefully thing. They don’t teach it in school. And no one talks about it to you when you are growing up. Maybe that’s because they know you wouldn’t be interested in listening to it.

I plan to think more about this, and try to write more about it.

I wish I had had the courage to take that picture that just showed me the way I am. I’m proud that I was able to split that much wood, and I even stacked a bit of it before I gave up and took the afternoon off.

Tonight I took a short walk with Noah and felt really great. I haven’t felt that good walking for a long time, so we went a little farther, and I gave myself the night off from my P.T. exercises.

Somewhere between accepting my physical limitations as I age and pushing the boundaries of what I can still do lies one facet of aging gracefully.


9 thoughts on “Is This What Aging Gracefully Looks Like?

  1. I don’t think aging gracefully is all about outside appearance. What about vitality? You were doing some hard work, show it off! I don’t think that sort of thing in heels and evening gown. *GRIN*

  2. What’s on the outside isn’t everything, by any means. But I also understand that it’s such a hard thing to get over. As I wrote (and have now been posting) my Grand Canyon blogs, the hardest thing for me to do was to put photos of myself in there, because ‘I’ could see every single bit of the weight I’d gained and the fitness I’d lost with my fractured foot last year. But, thankfully as I’ve recovered I didn’t stay there and truly that’s EXACTLY where I was and what I looked like in May. But you know, it definitely wasn’t everything and I proved it on that vacation. I didn’t like it but it wasn’t what was inside me, at all.

    The fact that you were out there splitting wood? That IS aging gracefully to me! I think about friends who are my age and are fierce fitness warriors (you know, like people who swim 2+ miles!) and I know for a fact that my parents generation wasn’t doing that at the age we are – they were already retiring.

    Age really is just a number – it’s what you do with yourself and your life and your health and your fitness that matter. You’re doing a whole lotta things excellently, aka aging gracefully!

    (Sorry for writing a blog but I feel passionate about this!)

  3. I can imagine that the log splitter would be fun to try, but to actually keep using?? You are a better woman than me, my friend. That huge pile of logs is a nice symbol of your strong self, and I wish you would have taken that picture – I know what we (the royal) tend to hyperfocus on our (perceived) flaws, but I guarantee you, all that everyone else would have seen would have been a powerful, ageless woman.

  4. I think aging gracefully means to accept that you are aging and not fight against it, but embrace it with honor. I think you are doing exactly that!! 🙂

  5. It’s automatic for me to think of a beautiful body moving gracefully.

    Then I extend the thought to think aging gracefully is applying those attributes to our mind, attitudes as well as our bodies. I just do not think gracefulness is dependent on how we look or our abilities … think a graceful person crippled and in a wheelchair.

    I also see aging gracefully as accepting limitations yet always pushing boundaries, being open minded and adventurous.

    I cannot think of anything more gracious than splitting that huge pile of wood because it reflects who you are right now.

    That’s just a hint of what aging gracefully is in my mind.


  6. Ooh, what Jill and Margie Anne said!

    In a weird coincidence, I was thinking about the phrase ‘aging gracefully’ and what it means to me, considering I don’t have a graceful bone in my body. I finally redefined it for myself as aging fearlessly.

    When the lumberjack song pops in my head now, I’ll think of you. 🙂

  7. Don’t know how this post got by me without a comment. I think I actually DID comment, but must’ve gotten in a hurry and didn’t hit post because I even remember what I wrote. It went something like this…I wish you had taken that picture and posted it because that represents what is YOU aging gracefully. You were working hard at something that gave you satisfaction both physically and emotionally. You accomplished something of which you were proud. Bet when you were sitting in that hospital holding those babies, you never pictured a log splitter and yard full of wood split BY YOU as something you’d be doing in retirement. All of those things my friend, are what aging gracefully is all about. Still learning, still growing, still accomplishing new things. Keep it up!

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