How to avoid becoming a fossil

Are you in danger of fossilization? Harboring negative aging attitudes that hold you back from healthy change?

I’m on the planning committee for our 50th high school reunion, and guess what! Everyone posting on our reunion Facebook group looks OLD.

I still remember all my classmates as their 18-year-old-selves, except for Tom and me, of course.

So meeting old classmates will be an adventure. Will I recognize them?

Each has either grown from their struggles or become a fossil. (A fossil is something that failed to make the change.)

Fifty years of stories have swirled through their lives to create who they are now. They each hold a history unknown to me.

I’m looking forward to hearing those stories, at least the ones they’d like to share.

I’ll bet your aging attitudes have changed since your younger years. Unless an older person was someone you loved, like your grandmother, you probably viewed people over 50 as shriveled-up and uninteresting

You think differently now—because you’re over the hill yourself. You know that your attitude says more about your age than the lines in your face or the sag in your bounce.

Aging attitudes that prevent fossilization

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV).

There is a saying that with age, you look outside what you are inside. If you are someone who never smiles, your face gets saggy. If you are a person who smiles a lot, you will have more smile lines. Your wrinkles reflect the roads you have taken; they form the map of your life. … My face carries all my memories. – Diane von Furstenberg in The Woman I Wanted to Be.

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness (Proverbs 16:31 NIV).

When you’ve had children, your body changes; there’s history to it. I like the evelotion of that history; I’m fortunate to be with somebody who likes the evolution of that history. I think it’s important to not eradicate it. I look at someone’s face and I see the work before I see the person. – Cate Blanchett, Vanity Fair, February 2009

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him (Psalm 92:12-15 ESV).

When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-life anyday. – Marty Buccella

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent… that is to triumph over old age. – Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Aging isn’t about getting old; it’s about living. Let’s start celebrating and living an engaged life, and stop punishing ourselves for not looking a certain way, and instead holding ourselves accountable for actually taking care of ourselves inside first, knowing the results on the exterior will be a shining side effect. – Cameron Diaz

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread (Psalm 37:25 ESV).

Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. The last of life, for which the first was made. – Robert Browning

So, what “mind-lift” do you need to give yourself today to avoid fossilization?

Hugs,

Susan

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