Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis
Anti-aging products are everywhere: creams, make-up, medications, over-the-counter vitamins and minerals, exercise equipment, diets, brain games, spas, you name it. How strange is that? Anti-aging is such an oxymoron. Are we really against aging? I’m not anti-aging, I am pro-aging! The opposite is not what we want, nor do I think it is what the advertisers want. The term is so over-used, and quite frankly, it perpetuates this prejudice against the older population. In other cultures that honor their elders, this term would have no meaning. Do we really want to look or act like we are 20 for the rest of our lives? Aging is a privilege, and we need to embrace it.
Dr. Bill Thomas, in his new book, Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life, writes eloquently about three types of individuals: Denialists, Realists, and Enthusiasts. Those in denial simply refuse to think about aging. That is the ostrich, head-in-the-sand, attitude. The realist gets it, but they resist it. This is the target group for anti-aging advertising. And then there are the enthusiasts who acknowledge the difficulties but are eager to explore new opportunities that this time of life brings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world celebrated age? Enthusiasts believe the rest of life is going to be the best of life! Life is a full continuum. Our hope and desire is to engage the journey to the end. We certainly are not joining the call for anti-aging. Acceptance is the key to successful aging. That may include wrinkles, reduced mobility, and forgetfulness, but for sure, it includes the opportunity for a slower, more profound connection to the important things in life.