Hillary Chybinski: Aging Gracefully

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Aging Gracefully

Tips for Aging Gracefully

In February, I turned 40-something . . . what I consider to be "middle aged". Truth be told, in my mind, I am 32.

So what does it mean to me, to age gracefully? Does it mean I should let my wrinkles show, my hair turn grey, and accept life as it comes? I don't think so. . .

Thoughts and Musings on Aging Gracefully

Let's start with appearance. Because honestly, by the time you've hit middle age, you have realized, benefited from and come to terms with the fact that women are almost always judged on their looks first. But the great part of aging, is that you don't have be "cute" or even "pretty"to look good. Plenty of my friends have a great skin care routine, take regular yoga classes and treat themselves to a facial, mani or pedi once in a while. It shows. They radiate beauty from the inside out. And the aging gracefully part, is the confidence to let that beauty show.

To grey or not to grey? I have never been a big hair coloring advocate. . .I am blessed with good hair. While many a day I wish I had the strawberry-blonde hair of my youth, when the sun hits it these days, it still makes me feel pretty. I highlight maybe once a year, though I am noticing more of a dullness lately. I think aging gracefully is making the choice that's right for you. It's not really about whether your hair is blonde, grey or even pink. . .it's that it's cut to a flattering style for your face and lifestyle. So I say worry less about the color, and more about the style.

How about aging gracefully in the fashion arena? That one can be tough. . . it means admitting that you are not, in fact, 25 and that means no more mini skirts. It also means that only 20% of your wardrobe should come from somewhere hip and trendy like Forever 21 (it's not called forever 40) or H & M. Now having said that, I am not recommending giving up your flair for fashion or love of style. FAR FROM IT.

As a woman ages, I believe she grows into her personal style. You know what works for you and what is appropriate so embrace it. No mom jeans necessary - we are too smart for that! And if you ever see me in a nylon jogging suit . . .

The biggest factor in aging gracefully to me, is attitude. A comfort with the choices you've made, where you are, and what the future may hold. I made a big career change at 42 . . .it's been scary. . .but I'm so happy (even if I'm poorer) and I embrace what may be coming along.  I like to look at my life as there is still half to go. . .rather than half over. I will return to having time to spend with John, my children will grow and start their lives separate from mine. Those first 45 years were training. And sometimes they were tough. . .but they were necessary to get me here - to today.

What do you think "aging gracefully" means?

catch you soon -


  1. I agree that it's all about attitude!

  2. Well done--I agree, it's all about finding what works for you, and being self-aware and confident enough to wear it well.

  3. Not to sound patronizing, but at your age I wasen't really focused too much on aging. I hit a hard spot at 30 (baby blues) but then I moved on to a more confident place. The best jobs I had were in my 40's, so here I am looking at 62 and having to compete in a very tough job market. I would love to go grey, but would it be financial suicide? Because I am the only one that can keep my ship from sinking. And, it looks like this baby boomer will have to keep working into my retirement years. So be it. The only thing I can change about aging is my attitude.

  4. Yes! Embracing your own style and seeing the first half as a warm-up act. Who knew? I thought it would be all downhill by 50? But I'm still growing as a person. A good declaration of the advantages of midlife.

    1. I love this reply!! gives lots of hope to us 30's

  5. Soooo much about attitude, and I LOVE this part: "As a woman ages, I believe she grows into her personal style. You know what works for you and what is appropriate so embrace it. No mom jeans necessary - we are too smart for that!" Such a big benefit of midlife is FINALLY being comfortable in our own skin!

  6. Fabulous! I'm 44 and feel the same way. All about the "tude".

  7. Red hair is so fickle. Indoors, mine is blah, not red, not brown, just blah. Outside in the sun, I'm still a ginger. Even if the lady at the DMV doesn't agree.

  8. Totally agree that attitude is key. My favorite lines here: "They radiate beauty from the inside out. And the aging gracefully part, is the confidence to let that beauty show." Perfect!

  9. I definitely think growing into your own personal style is a key. Thanks for expressing it better than I would have!

  10. Great post. You look great. wish I had great hair cursed with thin grey hair.

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  12. I've never even been INSIDE a Forever 21 - I figured it would trigger a security alarm or something. Woop-woop, intruder alert, intruder alert, woop-woop.

    I do admit to going trendy with my hair, getting a color streak in it. Liking this time of life immensely.

  13. I write a fashion and style blog for women over 40 and we have very lively discussions about midlife fashion. Actually F21 is a great place for fun accessories that are...well, cheap! I went shopping there with my daughter...she got clothes and I got a couple of great $6 scarves. Fashion for me has been more fun over 50..and just keeps getting better! Enjoyed your post!!

  14. Attitude is so the most important ingredient. And it's something we can do something about without the need for a surgeon's scalpel or a large bank account. Attitude is the one thing we have almost complete control over in this life. We can't control anything else, but how we react and act are totally under our control. And I agree with you that our attitude will make or break us as we grow older. We can't control getting older, but we sure as heck can control how we live our lives while we do.

  15. HA!! "It's not called forever 40." HA!!! That made me laugh right out loud! Thank you for a good read and a late afternoon giggle!