Aging Gracefully or How to Embrace Aging


Aging - Tonya at Sixteen

Aging Gracefully – I’m not sixteen anymore

I’m much more positive about aging in my fifties than I was in my thirties, when I first began to experience the second law of thermodynamics – and noticed that my body was indeed degenerating into a more disordered state.

When I turned 30, I dug through a box of my modeling pictures and came up with a picture of myself—in a swimsuit. The picture showed a thin, tanned and cellulite free 16-year-old. I showed the picture to my husband, Ron.

“So?” He asked, as I held the picture in front of him.

“Look at this picture, Ron, Look at how I looked. I don’t look like this anymore.”

I expected some insightful advice from my pastor husband—my ever-wise counselor. I expected him to comfort me, to reaffirm my beauty, and acknowledge the fact that I looked that way only because I had given birth to his four precious children.

Without pausing he asked,

“What do you expect? You’re not sixteen anymore.”

He slept on the couch for a week.

What DID I expect? For the years to have passed without any effect on my body? To be the only person on earth to stop the aging process? When would I ever wake up to the reality that beauty is fleeting?

The Learning Channel had a documentary on the The Human Face. The host John Cleese reported, “Somebody once said that beauty is the passport to success, but it’s not a passport, it’s a visa—it expires.”

Eileen Ford, my former agent, was interviewed in the documentary Scratch The Surface—The Making Of A Teen Super Model. On the topic of aging models she said,

“Twenty-eight—that’s, I’m sorry to say, when the bloom starts to fall off the rose.”

Is a teenage model the yardstick you are measuring yourself by? Even if a model looks great on a magazine cover at 16, EVENTUALLY she is going to age. I know this firsthand. What is wrong with looking our age? European legend told of the Water of Life that ran where the Garden of Eden once was. Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, went in search of the marvelous fountain that could restore youth. He never found it.

There is no magic way to stop aging, so I suggest we embrace it.

In Isaiah 28:1 the Bible compares beauty to a fading flower. As we get more mature, this verse comes alive to us—so to speak. Youthful splendor eventually turns into a withering blossom—accept it. Get over yourself and get on with the rest of the years the Lord has blessed you with. There is a beauty to aging gracefully.

Let us wear our crows-feet, furrows and stretch marks as well earned medals of honor.

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