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Aging Gracefully: Adapt to the Present

We asked women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s to write short personal essays answering the question, What does aging gracefully mean to you? Each one is a window into the mental and physical lives of women as they grow older. This essay is by London-based blogger and model Silvina Neder, who wants you to follow your dreams. Watch for more submissions all this month and submit your own to allison@thefinelinemag.com.


I prefer “living gracefully” to “aging gracefully.” We can’t separate aging from living. No matter our age, we are always living and aging. 

At 50, I am not young anymore, but I am feeling better emotionally and physically than ever before. I have a calm lifestyle with my partner, I am feeling good about how I look, and I am doing what I love for a living. In a few words: I am enjoying who I am and what I have.  

A couple of years ago, in my late 40s, tired of spending fortunes and hours at salons, I stopped coloring my hair. This had an immediate practical effect: I got rid of the biweekly compulsory visits to the salon and I could spend that money on more rewarding things. But more importantly, I really loved my new silver look. I felt — and feel — happy with how I look, and growing my white hair was a way to say, “Here I am! And aging is great!”

I am very often stopped on the streets by people exclaiming, “I love your hair!” I think this has as much to do with people realizing that I am at peace with aging as much as the popular aesthetic. I can feel a kind of energy from women, as if they are saying, “I would love to embrace my gray, stop hiding my age, and be free.” From men, I feel something like, “Wow! How sexy a natural, confident woman looks, even she is not young.”


Embracing my gray made me aware of the benefits that come with age: wisdom, experience that leads to empathy, and a pride in the life I have created. I have a conscious awareness that all I have was by own design.


Embracing my gray made me aware of the benefits that come with age: wisdom, experience that leads to empathy, and a pride in the life I have created. I have a conscious awareness that all I have was by own design.

Of course, I have had to adapt my lifestyle to my 50-year-old body. I used to run around 30 miles per week, which I can’t do anymore due to an injury. Looking for something to replace my jogs, I discovered yoga. I now practice almost every day, and I feel stronger than ever. Also my sight has weakened, and I have to remember to take my glasses everywhere, but I love using cool glasses. I also enjoy an early bedtime with a book over a night out. The thing is, all these adaptations have brought me enjoyment. Aging gracefully is being aware that we have to adapt and enjoying our new lifestyle. Hopefully, there will be more adaptations to do at 60, 70, 80 — and why not 90!

In ancient times, the oldest individuals were considered the wisest, and they were the most respected in society. Luckily, those who make the trends are returning to a point of view that values older people, realizing that we spend, have fun, play, create, fall in love, discover, change, and continue learning. The world is beginning to understand that our behavior has more to do with attitude than with how many birthdays we have celebrated. 

The truth is inside us. We need to embrace the moment and the possibilities (and licenses) we have now, instead of longing for what’s in the past. We have to be creative and find joy in the adaptations in every stage of our lives. Aging is living, and so aging is a gift.

Learn more about Silvina Neder at silvinaneder.com and follow her on Instagram.

Photo: Micky Modo

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