Guerrilla Aging: It Starts With Owning Our Age

Posted on July 4, 2014


100107GRUEN- Grace Gruen skydives in a provided photo


When we are very young, we want to be older. We want to run with the big boys. When we are teens, we want to look older, as well. We see the world of adulthood as intoxicating in its freedom of choice. Yet, when we actually do become adults and can appreciate the responsibility that comes with adulthood, we being to fear the inexorable aging process. Looking older is no longer a goal. As the decades pass, the prospect takes on avoidance and fear.

I was one of those people, until shortly before age 50, I lost one of my closest friends to breast cancer. When Miki died, my notion of age shifted from one of burden to one of joy. Each year, each moment, became a gift. Each of my birthdays was a birthday Miki would not have. I decided to celebrate all of my future birthdays for both of us.

At that moment came the commitment to own my age, whatever that age might be. I would embrace aging, rather then flee it. It was up to me to create whatever meaning my age had. It would be my way to honor Miki.

I stopped thanking people who told be how young I looked. I stopped wanting to be an imitation of someone else’s age. Instead, I simply borrow Gloria Steinem’s famous line and say “This is what (insert age) looks like.”

If I stop trying to look like someone else’s age, I can make my age, whatever that may be, fabulous. I can set new standards for whatever age I am. I can raise the bar as I raise the numbers. I can change the world as well as my hair color.

I choose to present to the world the power and sex appeal of whatever age I am. My age, whatever that age is, doesn’t look like anything other than who and what I am and the unlimited potential I have. Right now. At this moment. That’s the true definition of being ageless. I, alone, create the meaning of my age.


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