“Whining is not only graceless, but it can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood" - Maya Angelou
Why do I care about aging gracefully? Because I’ve found for myself that I have more fun when I approach all things with grace. Coming from a place of grace gives me a strong sense of gratitude and allows for the pause that refreshes, so to speak. When I’m being in grace, I’m not in that ‘bull in a china shop’ space where I never slow down long enough to really enjoy the process. And don’t you agree that, as older adults, the process needs to be just as worthwhile as the end result? I want to have fun along the way. The end result can be the icing on the cake, the cherry on top or the cat’s meow, etc. Ok, enough metaphors for this week!
Perhaps it’s best to define grace as what it isn’t rather than what it is. It’s definitely a subjective word. To me, grace isn’t about money, or where you went to school or if you have friends in high places. It isn’t about the car you drive or the clothes you wear. And, yes, you can still live in grace even if you know nothing about wine, or art, or fine dining. To me living a graceful life is all about an attitude.
A graceful life is characterized by a cornerstone of gratitude. All things in my life spring forth from a strong sense of appreciation. I don’t take for granted my freedom, or my health or my friends or the ability to read and write. I am thankful to be surrounded by beautiful things to look at, free things that change throughout the seasons.
These are the ways I remind myself to be grateful for as I age:
In order for gratitude to be fully incorporated into my life I do the following things every day:
- Acknowledge, either when I first awake or right before
going to sleep, that my life is full and fun and that I
am blessed with an abundance of love
- Share the resources I have available to me be they time,
money, energy or knowledge
Second most important in a graceful life is patience, and I’ve got to admit I’m still working on this one. Through patience one can truly allow all the senses to take in and digest that which surrounds us, the tastes, the sights and the sounds, whether we live in the heart of a bustling city or the quiet calm of the countryside. I like letting those things slowly wash over my senses rather than being slapped rudely by them and then shuffled along. I want to luxuriate and savor and, ideally, share these feelings with others.
I can focus on being gracefully patient in my senior years by:
- Taking the time to put the needs and desires of another ahead of my own,
to assist them in achieving their goals before mine are realized and
- Stopping to pause before reacting in either positive or negative situations.
Grace in My Life and in Yours
Grace used to be something we said before meals and, while it may still be that, it is so much more. Today I smell the flowers with a smile. I am able to laugh at myself and feel compassion for all my foibles. These things are grace showing up in my life. Grace is accepting what is without complaint and writing a new personal history every day. Finally, for me, grace is a softness, a comfort, a supportive gleam in my eye whether I’m trying to solve a problem or just enjoying the simplicity of my day.
I don't know about you, but I'm just thrilled to have survived my youth unscathed. Does grace have a place in your life? What does it look like for you?
You might also enjoy:
Gratitude: Your Most Valuable Ally
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