Older: Grandmas, Tattoos, and Relevance {Five Minute Friday}

Today’s Five Minute Friday prompt from Gypsy Mama: Older

“I didn’t want to grow old gracefully.” 

Tattoos are on the rise with women who are 50+. This week, NBC did a cover story about the growing prevalence of body art within the grandma crowd. One interviewed grandma explained her reason for getting her tattoos, “I didn’t want to grow old gracefully.”  (You can watch the NBC segment here.)   Demonstrating that growing older is a part of life we can’t escape, however how we grow old is our choice. 

I understand that growing older requires we face with courage big questions about our life’s purpose and our meaningfulness. It’s so easy for “growing older” to equate with uselessness, being forgotten, and unfortunately for many, feelings of regretfulness for opportunities missed when younger.  Deep in all of us there is a small voice of fear whispering that we have outlasted our relevance.

But since when did gracefulness become an expired virtue?  

I want to grow old gracefully. Growing softer, not harder. Growing kinder, more selfless, wise. Tattoos don’t preclude gracefulness, I know. Grandma Tattoo got this wrong.  She seemed to think that if she didn’t do something drastic, she’d just end up being one those boring, passed up, irrelevant old people. However, no one wakes up one morning discovering they are covered with tattoos–instead they seek them out…and pay good money for them. Likewise, no one will just happen into gracefulness–they will have to practice and refine its art in all the little choices of everyday life. 

The truth of the matter is we all choose how we will grow old.  What will you choose to be relevant?

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious {& relevant}  in the sight of God. ~I Peter 3:3-4

Do you have some thoughts on growing older? You can share them in the comments or join the conversation over at Gypsy Mama’s.   Here’s the rules from her site for Five Minute Friday:

Let’s write, shall we? Without wondering if it’s right or not.

Take five minutes and remember what it feels like to weave words together for the simple pleasure of how they sound. Without worrying about how they’re edited or perfected.

      1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

15 thoughts on “Older: Grandmas, Tattoos, and Relevance {Five Minute Friday}

  1. I love this! (Even the title grabbed me). My fave lines: “I want to grow old gracefully. Growing softer, not harder. Growing kinder, more selfless, wise.” I do too. Thanks for the encouragement today. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for visiting. It is a delight to meet you.
    I have finally learned just to be thankful for each season of life and the special things it holds. This is a wonderful season – grandchildren, an empty nest, the time to pursue things I couldn’t with a busy household. Every day is a gift.

  3. Such good thoughts. I have been saying since my early twenties when my hair started going gray that I would just grow old gracefully. Now in my mid thirties I understand this so much more. While I still want to feel young I can accept aging with more grace and confidence.

    • I think it’s the embracing the “so much more” (as you put it) that helps us feel young. However, I confess, I color the gray hairs…aren’t we all allowed one “visual deception” to help keep us from sitting on a sad park bench singing along “As Tears Go By” with the Rolling Stones?

      • LOL! When you go grey as young as I did (in my EARLY 30s) coloring your hair is just about the only option. However, I think it’s the only part of growing older I’m not yet ready to embrace. I love where I am in life and hope that I am growing old gracefully.

        I have to say, though, that one of the best parts of life right now is my little ones, who assure me that I”m not old. “6 year olds don’t have old moms, so you’re not old!” they say…. Love their logic!!

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