Successful aging begins in our minds

successful aging

Do you hear the Beatles playing?  “They say it’s your birthday….”  Well, as I face my final year in my sixties, I would like to share how successful aging begins in our minds.

I am pointing to the word CHAMPIONS on the Minion backdrop today…because I want to be a champion in successful aging.

In recent months, I began to allow aging to get to me….

Maybe it was…my little grandson touching my face and then saying, “Gigi, you are old.” I replied, “Why do you say that, Beck?”   Then he said, “Because your chin feels old.” 

Hmmm….Yes, I ran to the mirror shortly after and looked at my chin!

Maybe it was….when a guy on Instagram looked at one of my videos and said…”You are too old to be in this space.”

Maybe it was….the dermatologist saying…”Sorry, these age spots are going to get worse and worse…you just have that in your genes”

Maybe it was… the new wrinkles that popped out

Maybe it was….my hammertoes curling even more

Maybe it was…the lady who told me I wasn’t real if I didn’t go gray now…then told me shortly after she gets regular Botox treatments….Real?

Maybe it was….watching my rather large backside run out the front door on the Ring Video when I was attacked…later that video horrified me for more than one reason.

 Maybe it was……simply the thought of turning 69!

SUCCESSFUL AGING BEGINS IN OUR MINDS

successful aging

  During this time, I decided to clean out an old box of my mother’s things and there were pictures inside. 

She did not age successfully…anything but…however it was due to her thinking…the self-pity messages she played over and over again in her mind.

I know it is hard to see pictures taken of really old pictures, but I so hope you can see the woman I see.

Perhaps for the first time, I was struck with how beautiful and stylish she was.

Below, on Christmas Day she is wearing white high neck silk pajamas with large earrings on Christmas Day.

Successful aging

I never remember that side of her…only the depressed, disappointed and angry side.

As I have written before, she did have reasons to be upset, but allowed those reasons to consume her to the point of making everyone around her miserable. 

She chose to own the role of a victim…rather than the role of an overcomer.

These pictures were exactly what I needed to shake me back into my joyful, hopeful thinking.

SUCCESSFUL AGING POINTS

successful aging

Aging happens…wrinkles happen…toes curl…spots come….

So, it is a choice to experience successful aging in our minds.

Of course, I understand that as we age, the mental part becomes even more of a challenge.

However, we can choose to live one day at a time with optimism no matter what we face.

My successful aging points begin with just that…

  1. Taking life one day at time
  2. Focusing on the blessings…not the problems
  3. Believe that all challenges can be faced with hope
  4. Learning to laugh at myself
  5. Doing my best not to compare myself to others or internalize negative comments
  6. Have fun with what I enjoy
  7. Practice thankfulness
  8. Pray without ceasing

A woman I greatly admire, Elizabeth Elliot, wrote: “Refuse self-pity.  Refuse it absolutely.  It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you.”

I know this first -hand…it destroyed my mother.

I choose to have successful aging as my mantra in this year at 69!

A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ABOUT SUCCESSFUL AGING

successful aging

Because my birthday is on a week/work night, Mr. B and I celebrated last weekend.

The Minions are at the movie theater.

He kindly submitted himself to a delightful movie where he was the only male in the theater…Mrs. Harris goes to Paris.

Here is a wonderful re-make set in the 1950s of a woman who had every reason to live in self-pity…yet she fell for an original Christian Dior gown and it takes her on a journey. 

I am trying not to share too much story, because I hope you will attend or see the movie at some point…you will love it.

A story of hope wrapped in a designer gown.  For more about the lovely, classic fashion in the movie read: Mrs. Harris goes to Paris re-creates Dior couture

Mrs. Harris is aging successfully with the mental acumen that reflects joy, kindness, grace, thankfulness, hope…and she is rewarded for these attributes.

Such a great message for all of us seeking successful aging during such a time as this.

successful aging

Afterwards we had a delicious grilled Alaskan salmon dinner….for San Antonians…try Embers!

successful aging

The only dessert I wanted for my birthday was ice cream…I haven’t had any in months since I began my healthy eating plan.

Thankfully, the Weight Watchers App helped me to identify which of my favorite ice creams would fit into my points.

Another favorite is at Cold Stone called Cake Batter and it was off the charts not within my points!  So sad….

successful aging

The winner was…..Baskin & Robbins Praline’s & Cream…this has been a favorite for years.

Better than a birthday cake for me….I do believe successful aging includes a treat now and then!

Oh yes…and I am in one of those dresses again.  I do not lie when I say this excessive heat wave has kept me in dresses!

SUCCESSFUL AGING WITH A SMILE

successful aging

Here is the big finish….a picture of me as a ballerina!  I took lessons for years, but it was toe shoes that sent me to tap!

The good news is that I am still smiling as I was then and as I enter that last year in my sixties.  

Of course there have been tough times…many…but today I choose to leave them in the past and enjoy each and every minute I have here with family, friends…and YOU!

I hope you will join me as we go through successful aging together!!

KEEP SMILING…NO MATTER YOUR AGE!!

By Pamela Lutrell

Good news for those looking for fall colors.  Eileen Fisher has introduced new garments in fall colors…here are a few to watch…love Cinnabar!

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successful aging

110 Comments

  1. Have a wonderful birthday! I so appreciate you and your messages. The world needs more positivity and joy, especially when we’re surrounded by so much that is the opposite. Thank you for all you do.

    1. Pam, you are a very special lady. Your optimism and positivity shines through, and you are an inspiration to all of us. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your special day! Every birthday is a blessing.

      1. What a powerful message today, one that speaks to my heart. I think I’ll just sit here on the back porch and sip my coffee for a while.
        Have a Happy Birthday, Pam!! 😊

        1. Enjoy your time on the back porch…I look forward to more mornings there the heat lifts. Thanks Cindy!

  2. Congrats on your birthday! I have been struggling with many of the issues about aging that you brought up after I turned 70 last year! I still feel young, published a plant based cookbook 2 years ago, am active and involved in life. I like your attitude and hope we can all keep feeling vibrant and young at heart although we will continue to age. FYI -I returned to WW after reading your previous post – so thank you!

    1. Thank you, Judee! That is so cool that you published a cookbook! Good for you…and welcome to the WW side!

  3. What a wonderful post!! The happiest of birthdays Pam!! I’m going to read this over again and send it to my sister. I’m 69 and she’s 71. And our mom, like yours, hasn’t aged well for lots of reasons. I’ll say this, in that Christmas picture and the one in the dance attire (? I’m guessing), you already had your bright smile in place!! Someone on Instagram really said that??? I’m sorry, but I had to smile at your grandson’s words…we must seem ancient to these kids!! Have a wonderful birthday! Looks like you had a great celebration!!

  4. Thank you Pam for this timely message for me! I’m going through some serious health issues and your words of positivity and not having self pity are so helpful!

    I took a screenshot of your list and will print it out as a reminder 😊
    Happy Birthday!

    1. I hope you are better soon, Patti! I do believe the list will help you go forward! I promise to say a prayer for you

  5. I believe you are amazing and I wish you a happy, fulfilling end-of-a-decade birthday and a very special year!!! God bless you, dear Pam!

  6. A very happy and joyful birthday wish for you Pam. My heart broke a little when I read the horrible comments that people feel free to express to you. Good for you for turning them around and finding joy in life. Personally, I think it would take me a bit longer to get them out of my head. That ice cream looks so good and perfect that you could fit it into your system. A lovely birthday treat all around, movie, dinner and dessert.. yes. Make the best of your 69 year, you are on the right track.

  7. The world needs you Pam! Your positive attitude and Joy filled outlook will keep you young! Sitting down with your blog and posts brings me out of self-pity so often! When I go to a party and can’t eat (celiac disease among other things) all the goodies I know I can have ice cream! (Most flavors anyway) !
    I can have fruit and cheese (no crackers) at these parties abd find the blessings beyond the table- the great friends there around me.
    Thank you for being here ! You are young!

  8. Watching Ivana’s funeral yesterday I was reminded how unexpected our deaths will be. Enjoy every day because we don’t know God’s plan for us. Happy Birthday Pam!

  9. Happiest of birthdays to you, Pam, and thanks as always for your joyful and honest reflections on aging. I’ll be 68 soon, and am there with you in contemplating the next decade. I’m finding that, in the clothing world, structure and simplicity suit me more and more. However, I am contemplating new frames for my glasses in a deep blue – that would be my only creative touch!

  10. A most Happy Birthday to you! I so admire your wonderful, uplifting attitude daily. I remember your discussions of your mother’s sad attitude and how you have been determined to not be like she was. The Christmas picture of your Mother reminded me of my Mama who was always dressed just so , coordinated, often in high heels and earrings. Fortunately, she too was usually uplifting, cheerful, and comforting, and I learned much from her. I think you do not look 69…in spite of those comments and thoughts you included. However, the older we get, the more our bodies let us know it. But mind over matter has its place too, and I’d say you are succeeding in that regard! 💕

  11. Boy, did your comments about your mother resonate with me! My sister and I are caring for our mother now. I am also 69, but feel that the last 5 years have been pure misery. My mom, 90yo, is very spoiled, demanding and critical of us, despite the fact that we’ve given up so much of our lives to make sure she is safe, cared for during the day by a loyal caregiver and able to remain in her home. We spend nights at her house in case she tries to get out of bed because she’s in a wheelchair now and probably would fall. We also took care of our grandparents because mom wouldn’t. As much as I would like to blame it on dementia, it only gets worse with dementia. Your remarks today remind me that I need to find whatever positives I can find in the day, be grateful for having a very patient husband and a sister who’s willing to share equally in our responsibilities for our mother. Thank you for the reminder!

    1. I have been where you are, Janet. Praying for strength, grace and patience. I know it is difficult.

  12. Wishing you a wonderful birthday, Pamela!
    Thank you for sharing your personal feelings with us. You are an inspiration!
    Keep up your positive attitude!
    I enjoy your emails.

  13. Happy Birthday 🎉 Pam. Here’s to many more. I am 75 and my 7 year old grandson said basically the same thing. I told him I was so happy to be this old because I have more time with him. He smiled! That rude person on Instagram will be where you are some day and his perspective will change. Thank you for sharing how stylish and happy one can be as we grow older. I was lucky my mom aged beautifully, not just physically but mentally so I had a great example. As she said, celebrate and be thankful for each day you get up it is a gift denied to many. I hope your day is spectacular! You set a great example.

  14. Pam,
    I enjoyed this post so much and I appreciated you sharing your truth about your mother…My Mother was a very nervous , complicated woman , who also did not age gracefully….We had a Love/Hate relationship that I have frequently mentioned on my blog….I love your attitude about aging..I , myself, am embracing it because now that i am retired, I get to do what I wanted to do and have wanted to do for the last 40+ years but had little time to do so…I also feel better than I have in the last 8 years because i had my knee replacement surgery and the 7 years of pain I had are now over and I can move so much better…Thanks for sharing and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

  15. Happy, happy birthday to you! The “other side of 70” is not so bad. Although there are always aging problems, there is lots of time to relax and enjoy family and friends. My wish for you is for a wonderful year and the ability to totally ignore those comments that are negative. Have a wonderful celebration.

  16. A very Happy Birthday, Pam! With only positive comments! Like: you have one of the best smiles on the internet! My chin has started to go soft too! It reminds me that good posture helps!

  17. YOU are one of the kindest people I know. Of course, not personally but you have a positive outlook and show a genuine joy of the world. Those negative comments can be hard not to absorb but ‘sticks and stones’, right?

    1. Yes! They can be, but are also part of the job. Which is sad that it is that way…but it is. Some days they roll right off…others it takes awhile. But I always move on eventually!

  18. I wish you the very happiest of birthdays, and a most spectacular year ahead! My 59th is next Friday, so I also have been giving some thought to being on the cusp of a momentous birthday next year. I am grateful to have you and your lovely work here on the blog as a shining example of what it is to live a vibrant and joy-filled life as we step forward with grace.

  19. Thanks, Pam for this upbeat post! I turn the big “7” “0” on Monday! Like you I am thankful for life. The best part of aging is grandkids! Happy, happy birthday!

  20. I needed this post today! I’m getting over Covid and I feel so old and I was just giving myself permission this morning to “be old”—it’s time! I then I read your post and it hit home! Thank you! “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it”

  21. Happy birthday! I don’t often comment but read your blog every day. I am a decade ahead of you but retired only three years ago. I have recently felt neglected that the makeup and fashion industry overlooks older vibrant women who still want to look nice. We are not all in wheelchairs in the nursing home! You keep fashion and style alive for us, and I really appreciate it. I know most of the people marketing fashion and makeup are very young and have no idea that older people still want to look great. Going gray is a personal choice. When I discovered my white hair underneath the color, I quit coloring it and have not looked back. That was only about 10 years ago, though.

    1. Thanks Cheryll! I have written about Laura Geller makeup…you might look into the line. I am very impressed! Thank you for being here!

  22. Happy birthday, Pam. I hope the year ahead is filled with blessings. I so enjoy your blog and your joyful approach to life. Please keep bringing us your classy, savvy and uplifting posts.

  23. First time commenting and wanted to wish to you a very Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for your positivity and genuineness. My mom passed away a few years ago at age 93. A few years prior to that we were at her Dr.’s office who wanted to prescribe a certain medication. Mom said, “isn’t that something they give to old people?” Her Dr. and I shared a chuckle! I want to be that spunky when I grow up!!! Have a lovely day!

  24. I remember my great-grandmother, with her long white hair neatly arranged in a bun, always wearing a house dress. She had many wrinkles, but what a smile, and how soft and delicate she was when she gave me a hug. Into her mid-90s, she baked goodies for us every time we visited.

    The love is what children sense. The aging doesn’t matter to them, speaking from my own memories as a child. Your grandson noticed your age, but did not judge. That little boy is making sense of his world, and your place in it. What a gift it is to have a loving, caring grandmother.

    1. I really laughed at his comment. He is so full of joy! Though I never expected one of them to speak my age because of my chin! How funny! Thank you for your wonderful shared memory!!

  25. Happy Birthday Pam. Yes, I’ve seen and heard the negatives of aging too. Sometimes those negatives take too much of an internal focus. I am saving this blog to read again and again with my coffee and heck, a glass of wine too!

  26. Just wanted to add my wishes for a happy birthday, Pamela! I’m three years older than you and you are so right about it being a mind game – age is just a state of mind! I love being older because I can do exactly what I want to do – usually cruising or traveling to new or favorite destinations. Don’t ever change as you are very special! Love the ballerina photo and Beck is an adorable treasure. This is a little off-topic but I’m somehow reminded of when my granddaughter was about three and loved to look at my large jewelry collection. I told her that one day when I went to my glory I would leave it all to her. She smiled and asked, “How soon will that be?!” Oh, the innocence of youth.

  27. Thank you, Pamela, that one reasonated with me. First, happy birthday! Secondly, between the blog and the comments I do not feel so alone with my “mom “ issues, the woman seemed to choose to wallow in misery, but looking back, I wish I had suggested therapy, because maybe it was depression and could have been helped, certainly me throwing attention and money at the problem never seemed to work. On the aging, I will just try to keep up the maintenance as long as I can, I have role models around me of women who aren’t sitting still and waiting for the end and I appreciate them. Also, I love the minions, they just dissolve me in giggles for whatever reason.

    1. My mom would never have gone to counseling. She would have been insulted if I suggested it! So glad the minions made you laugh!

  28. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Pamela! Your positive attitude is wonderful. My husband comes from a long line of negative thinkers, so when health issues hit, he has focused on what he can’t do instead of what he can do. It only makes things worse. I saw this somewhere but don’t know the author “Aging is privilege that is denied to many.” You are indeed a champion!

  29. Happy Birthday!! This was a wonderful thoughtful post. I completely agree about feeling old and where that can come from. I have to remember that because I find myself going down the road of negative self talk. Your steps are to thinking positive everyday are a must to be remembered.
    Have a great day.

  30. Happy Birthday, Pam. What a joyous column despite the comments. You are fortunate in your family, faith, and community. A couple of thoughts: you are in the space because we need you in this space; it’s as simple as that. I went to a new dermatologist recently and she referred to age spots as “maturity” spots. What a hoot. Personally, I prefer maturity marks b/c they, like our chins, tell us we’ve had experience and are now entering the wisdom years – haha.. Enjoy today, and we look forward to sharing another year with you.

  31. Wow, what a birthday gift … to US! I read this twice. Thank you. And happy B-day! Yes, there are things I fear about aging, but each stage of life has fears. Fortunately, I’ve finally learned the value and empowerment of gratitude. Now I’m working on living in the moment vs planning/worrying about tomorrow. You rock, and I’m glad you are part of my day. I think the instagram commenter is too young to be on this space lol.

  32. Happy birthday, Pam. I am 69 until September. It has been a great year. Your blog is the first that I want to open in the morning. I know your optimism and attitude will give me thoughts to ponder throughout the day. Your smile has not changed; the precious ballet photo says it all. My 5 year old granddaughter, Sydney, asked me why my arms were so soft. She was kneading them like dough. I said because I am your Grammie. Then she asked what all the spots were and I said they represent all the constellations in the sky. I am just waiting for her to ask about my softening chin. Trying to think of an answer to that! Thank you so much for touching my life.

  33. Happy Birthday, Pam! You share this special day with my two year old grand daughter! I wish you both many blessings. I am five years older than you and can relate to the changes you list but although the outer shell is looking a bit tarnished and spotted, I find that I am much more content inside. The critical voice in my head for so many years just left the party a while ago. Gratitude makes everything better and you really good at finding and expressing it so you will be fine on the other side of 70.

    1. Happy Birthday to your granddaughter!! I am much more content now…right there with you. Thanks so much!

  34. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Pam and welcome to the 70’s!!! I love this post because you are real and authentic in your description of your mother. I think that many women who grew up in the 40’s felt similarly-having to hide their own true emotions of being a wife and mother.
    Our friends just went to the Embers and said it was great so we will take your advice soon!
    BTW-you look great!

  35. Happy birthday, Pam! I’m a long-time follower and you a truly one of the most positive people I’ve encountered! We received some unfortunate financial news recently which sure threw me into the pits. I’m trying to focus on the positive and your post reminded me to be thankful and grateful for the good stuff!

    1. I know that can be tough and frightening, Beth. Take it one day at a time. Thank you for being here!

  36. Wishing you “pure joy” on your birthday.

    It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful birthday celebration last weekend. Your hubby is a gem, and such a good sport.

    🎉💗🎉

    1. He was a good sport! But I just recently went to Top Gun with him! He is a gem…had roses waiting for me this morning.

  37. Happy Birthday, Pamela! You are a delight and your joy is contagious. May the Lord give you many more years to enjoy life and bless those around you. Thank you, too, for the Elisabeth Elliot quote. She is one of my favorites. I am so glad you got the treat of ice cream for your birthday. I have admired your dieting journey and wish you all success. I have been having some lower back problems with pain and, yes, have been feeling kind of sorry for myself. Enough! I am going to try to implement your joy in trials attitude today.

  38. Pam, your anecdote about your grandson sounded SO familiar! Many years ago my mom said that my son was sitting on her lap, looked up and said “Grandma, you’re old.” She said, “Oh no, sweetie, Grandma’s not old!” Dear grandson then looked up from her lap and said “Then why do you got an old NECK?”

    She was laughing when she told me, but I’ll bet she wasn’t that amused when he said it, because it was actually true. And now I’ve inherited that same very wrinkly neck. I just try to be positive and think about all of the positive traits I’ve inherited from her as well!

  39. What a truly beautiful message that you have written today! The story of your Mom resonates with me as mine was also negative and unhappy. Unfortunately she only lived to 75, not much older than I am. I try every day to be just the opposite. You are blessed in so many ways, Pam, and in my opinion, don’t look a day over 55. I wish you a very happy birthday!

  40. Happy Wonderful Birthday!🧁
    I don’t know about those grand babies…😂
    But I do know what a wonderful blessing you are, and I think you’re precious. 😎
    Elizabeth Elliot is my all time favorite person to go to, thank you. 🕊

    Hugs and prayers to keep shining! 🌼🤗🌼

  41. This is a wonderful post, it certainly resonates with me. Thank you for sharing. I hope your birthday is AWESOME!! Happy Birthday!!

  42. Wonderful post, Pam! Happy Birthday and welcome to 69! I got there just a few months before you. I’ll be turning 70 in October and rather than feeling depressed about it, I’m excited! We can’t choose our age and many of our circumstances are also out of our control, but we can certainly choose our mindset!

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