Aging Tenderly with Grace and Gentleness

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I had lunch out with friends and as I was paying my bill…I noticed the sign (above) on the wall adjacent to our booth. Immediately…my thoughts transferred  ‘tender steaks that have aged’  to a different direction and concept. What about us aging with tenderness and gentleness?

Andy Rooney nailed this universal aging paradox!

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.

(And as much as we like the idea of taking advantage of old age by saying what we think whenever we want to say it, or dressing crazy, or being the zany, feisty Aunt Lulu who can’t remember her name, much less where her car keys are…most of us also like the idea that aging gracefully can be a metamorphosis for  aging tenderly and gently in our snippets of wisdom we pass on…especially in dealing with others.)

To me…aging gracefully with dignity… is a belief in the goodness of what we are experiencing daily and then sharing. It is tender, gentle affirmations that honor our being, our amazing journey of  life thus far, the countless experiences, the “Ah-ha” moments, and especially our beautiful memories that are the essential fabric of our being.

We need to remember to pay homage to ourselves…to honor both our journey, and our being. .  We should pay reverence to the life we have lived and, most importantly, believe in the beauty that lies ahead for us.

The art of graceful dignified aging truly begins with affirmation.  We must honor ourselves, dismiss the foolish notions of physical aging put forth by society…instead replacing these societal notions with an inner conviction in the beauty of our journey…not our faces.

This will be the point at which we truly learn how to age with dignity, grace, and the kind of beauty that matters.

So until tomorrow… Dear Father…“Keep me reasonably gentle and tender. I do not have the ambition to become a saint –besides it is so hard to live with most of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.”

Margot Benary-Isbert (“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess”)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Vickie and I went over to help send off “the kids” (Luke and Chelsey) yesterday…I had the cutest picture of the couple but suddenly the rain started and the iPhone went all fuzzy. Chelsey has a new wonderful job that they are celebrating…and they are off to Belize for a few days.

Vickie is checking on Gertrude, the amazing hen, and Reese the cat…we got a tour of their new home and cottage – rental/ (Air B&B. ) Both the house and cottage look like something out of Southern Living…only cuter!

Here are a few snapshots I was able to get before the raindrops fell.

The last photo is a door that was built for the original home…so cute!






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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