From ageing blues to ageing with grace and gratitude

There was a time when I was disturbed by the appearance of fine lines. Appearance of stray whites on my crowning glory was enough to rob me of my peace of mind. Threading needle and reading fine print became a problem, but the thought of wearing reading glasses was a big blow to my youthful pride. Not only did I avoid wearing spectacles so long as I could, but also kept dreading the milestone fifty.

That was years ago in my 40s, when the telltale signs of ageing began to appear giving me ageing blues. All along during my 40s and 50s, I was trying hard to hide signs of ageing but retirement bared it all, making it a public proclamation of my age.

Superannuation came with the ‘senior citizen tag’, not really flattering. However, a positive  outcome of retirement has been the realization that it is a privilege to reach the landmark sixty, not everyone is fortunate. I must be grateful to the Almighty that I survived and thrived. No more ageing blues, I have come to accept the changes that come with age. I realise that fine lines, crowfeet, sagging skin, wrinkles, thinning and greying hair are a part of ageing, and have to be embraced. Today, reading glasses sit comfortably on my nose-bridge as I read and write, without giving me any complex.

Of course, retired I am, but certainly not tired. Now, senior citizen status neither bothers me nor stops me from leading a life full of zest. Though the body has started giving signals, I try to keep myself physically, mentally and socially active. I engage myself in meaningful activities and hobbies. I know that I can’t reverse or stop the process of ageing but I can remain fit and young at heart with healthy diet, regular exercise and a positive attitude.

I have reconciled with my sagging skin, but will love to have twinkle in my wrinkles. At this stage in life, I am not overly concerned about ageing, but that doesn’t stop me from looking good and presentable. I still want to ‘look good’ and ‘feel good’, and love to dress up gracefully.

The superstars of yesteryears looking glamorous in their 60s and 70s not only amaze me but also inspire me.  Rekha is a stunning beauty at the age of sixty-eight. Hema Malini continues to look gorgeous at seventy-five. I look up to the veteran actress Sharmila Tagore who, to me, is an epitome of elegance and grace at the age of seventy-eight. Of course, they are big film stars spending lakhs on their face-lift and anti -aging treatments but it is not exactly their beauty that fascinates me. What I admire most is their age-defying agility and enthusiasm.

Physically staying young forever is a wishful thinking. Anti-ageing creams and lotions, treatments and therapies are not of much help. Layers of foundation make you look dowdy. I believe young is the one who is young at heart. In the words of Fran Kafka, “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” Absolutely, for feeling young one must appreciate little things in life. One should be enthusiastic about life, ready to learn and do something new every day.  The fact is grey cells begin to decay if not used. Anyone, whether at twenty or eighty, who stops learning, becomes old.

I cannot remain in a denial mode. I have to accept my age and embrace the changes and challenges that come with it but won’t be let these bog me down. I would like to stay young at heart while ageing with grace and gratitude.

‘Getting old is inevitable, but feeling old is optional.’

(Published in Woman’s era October issue2023)


20 Replies to “From ageing blues to ageing with grace and gratitude”

  1. Yes Rama I fully agree with the thought that getting old is natural process but feeling old is choice and luckily we are blessed teachers who not only still enjoy the administration of our young students but feel fresh and young at heart aswell. Consistently remaining in touch with friends also rejuvinates our spirit and we are really really blessed to live a meaningful life.

    1. Thanks Neelam for reading and leaving your valuable comment. I also believe that we can’t do much about the physical changes that come with age but ‘feeling young’ is a choice. Of course, it depends upon our circumstances too.
      Yes Neelam , we are lucky . God has really been kind to us. We had been in a profession that we loved and are blessed with good friends and family .. leading a meaningful life .
      In gratitude 🙏

  2. Rama you are ever young. You look the same as you looked in 40s. Always enthusiastic, I always admire your energy. A beautiful write up once again. Keep writing, keep shining, keep young

    1. Alka, Dil behlane ke liye khyaal achcha hai, though the reality is quite different.Age does show the only thing is we have learnt the art of ‘ feeling good ‘ and ‘looking good’ and vice-versa . And most importantly God has really been very kind.

      And Alka, you are so energetic and enthusiastic, always bubbling with positivity. The fact is I don’t have to look for inspiration in film stars and elsewhere. In fact , there is so much to learn from my friends and seniors .

      In gratitude!

  3. Beauty n ageing.. Are they corelated..??

    Still pain of d moment alives.. It was 1966..Faridabad…

    Two of aunties of d colony were talking of d beautiful features of girls around… Like her nose is sharp.. D other has impressive eyes… Or very fair.. My name was not mentioned anywhere..
    When they realized my listening to them n kind of comensated me saying.. U also look good…

    Still feel that pain of crushed bones… Insult.. Felt very ugly.. Sad.. Unlucky..

    Beauty came with rewarding.. Appreciating moments.. Inside got blissed slowly..

    My younger sister would always got comments like how beautiful is she… I loved it but felt ignored as well…

    But as life permitted me good books.. Meditation… Witnessing..
    Becoming my assistant head girl of clg.. Winning debates.. Standing first in Uni. Exams.. Got groomed..

    Good colleagues.. Hard working students.. God rewarding days… All blessed organised meself.. Most important my teachers at both school n clg levels.. I bow to them… 🙏🙏

    Age limits mobility but showers security.. Struggling down d lane memories.. Music.. Movies.. Hills.. Fine dinning n blessings of good good..

    Life sharpens n sweetens n pacifies d soul..
    Big gratitude to God. 🔥🔥

    🖊️ Anjana bhatia

    1. I am speechless. The caption, your vivid recollections and the underneath message- just awesome!!
      Anjana di, touched by your childhood memory.. certain things that trouble remain etched in memory.

      I bow before for the way you turned your negative into positive.
      Yes , real beauty is not physical . If your inside is beautiful you look beautiful. True , real beauty is not to do with age .
      Grateful to you Anjana di for sharing your thoughts on the subject .

  4. So TRUE Ma’am….well said….you are an inspiration for us who are grappling with the feeling of entering the 50’s. More than the looks, the degenerating body is bothersome. Definitely, a positive attitude helps overcome the hurdles…., it’s all in the mind they say.

    1. At a time when sixty is being called the new age forty , you are young my girl Navpreet.
      Of course, there is no denying the fact that ageing is inevitable. All we can do is to have a healthy lifestyle and a positive mindset so as to have the best possible life under the circumstances. May God‘s grace be always with you. Stay happy, healthy and young at heart always.

    1. Thanks Rubi for your kind words. I agree with age comes maturity.. Let’s focus on positive and forget about the ageing blues.

  5. Rama dear your ever smiling face with a twinkle in your eye is the secret of your never aging, charming persona….a beautiful heart throbbing inside and positive mindset dispels all aging symptoms . …very well written article! Stay blessed….keep regaling us with your interesting and meaningful creations..

    1. Thanks dear Mrs Dhawan for your kind words . In fact , you are an epitome of simplicity and grace that touches every heart . All I can say is that a beautiful person finds beauty in others.
      Loving regards

    2. Ma’am ,this is an excellent blog with humorous touch.When I joined college,I was impressed by your looks, dressing sense.Now I remember you for your affectionate / loving nature, way of teaching , punctuality, discipline and above all no partiality.Thinking changes as one becomes older.

      1. Thank you Garima for your sweet remembrance, don’t know if I truly deserve. The fact is beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.
        All love and blessings..🤗🥰

  6. Dear Rama it was a pleasure reading your article . Beautifully weaved thoughts and concerns as they come with 40s, 50s and 60s . The best part of write up is the suggestion of remaining active physically, mentally, socially , taking care of our diet and having engaging hobby . We have been mentally active for such a long time that engaging the brain positively can give us the adrenaline rush much needed by all intellectuals ! well done Rama . Keep writing 👍👍👍

    1. Thanks dear Vini for reading and leaving your thoughtful comments. Absolutely! I can’t agree more with you on the need to engage ourselves into activities that keep us mentally engaged.
      I know how busy you keep yourself in learning new things.. In fact, we learn a lot from each other .

  7. Retired but not tired is the right Tag Rama !
    Age factor is physically there but if you are in right mindset then you are always young ! 😎

    1. Thanks bhai for reading and leaving your valuable comment. .. feel honoured.
      And we have a very healthy tradition of ageing with grace and gratitude in our family – your mom, my Gyaan buaji, my father , Bhim chachaji, Narsing Chachaji. The way respected Khorana uncle leads his life with discipline and devotion to the almighty is exemplary . 🙏

  8. Dear Rama
    It has given me extreme pleasure to read this article.It is beautifully written,so close to heart.I still find you so graceful. You are sufficient for me as source of inspiration.I lost your mobile number and hence did not get any article crom you.By chance, i found it It is amazing Have a creative New Year

    1. Ma’am , feel great to connect with you . I don’t have words to thank you for your words of encouragement.Feel motivated.
      Let us continue to inspire each other and lead a fulfilling life.

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