We have a lot of control over the way in which we age. Aging well doesn't necessarily mean looking younger than our chronological age, but it often means challenging the cultural norms about what it means to be a certain age.
I find many of the stereotypes that exist in regards to aging, in particular in regards to aging women, negatively impact our thoughts about aging and cause us to "buy into" certain ideas about aging that do not serve us.
How many articles are there out there telling us "50 Things We Should NEVER Wear after 50"? Too many! And not one of them is anything other than someone's opinion about how we should live our lives.
I saw a TV commercial the other day in which a family looked aghast as "grandma" held up the pink bikini she was knitting to wear on vacation. Grandma can rock that bikini! What's it to cousin Jimmy anyway?
I've witnessed body shaming and hateful comments on social media when an "older" woman dares to dress in something deemed age-inappropriate. But who are we allowing to determine what is appropriate for us?
You don't have any obligation to fit into a mold that has been assigned to you. Society's expectations are a moving target and you can never win this battle by trying to play by the ever-shifting rules.
What you can do is refuse to play the game.
I don't know about you, but I don't dress to please other people. I dress to please myself. Some days (most days, actually) it's all about comfort; other days I may want to express an entirely different side of myself.
I don't work out in order to look good for other people. I work out because I enjoy having the strength and endurance of a high-functioning body. It just feels GOOD to me.
Those voices that you hear criticizing you for being "too old", "too bold", "too strong", "too skinny", "too big", "too much"...let them be. Those are someone else's fears about not being enough and honestly, as personal as they may feel, they're not about you.
The bottom line is that we need to be confident enough in who we are that we can let go of those external expectations. We need to be able to practice self-compassion, self-love, and even body love while living in a culture that doesn't nurture these attributes.
Being at peace with yourself, with your body, and with your choices is so amazingly liberating. You do you.