I’ve spent the past month looking up synonyms, antonyms, colloquial phrases and general descriptions to find a way to express this concept in a more positive light, with less baggage and a brighter outlook. 

The thesaurus is of little help. When I look up synonyms for aging I’m met with such words as crumbling, fading, fermenting, waning and declining. I don’t even want to include stale and slumping, yet they’re there too. 

But a few other words are hopeful, empowering and true. There are maturing, developing and mellowing, each of which brings with it another rabbit’s-hole-search that somehow gets even brighter. 

Maturing leads us to blossoming, evolving and sweetening. 

Developing includes flourishing, expanding and prospering. 

Mellowing is perhaps the loveliest of all, with words like soothing, cultured and seasoned among the synonyms.

I can get behind the idea that as I continue on this journey of life, I am sweetening, flourishing and growing ever-more cultured with the passing years. Life is, in many ways, sweeter in this stage, certainly soothing in its own right. As we grow seasoned and expand our horizons, we can choose to evolve and grow rather than wither and fade. 

This month we view the new face of aging from this perspective, redefining what aging means in a day when 50 is the new 20, when adventure awaits us all (regardless of mileage) and when society is embracing all shapes, colors, sizes and ages as beautiful, empowered and relevant. We explore the issue of navigating clinical trials from a reader who has been there, done that (p. 42), how the modeling/marketing world is shifting to embrace models of all ages (p. 36), how functional and corrective exercise can help us make the most of our second half (p. 32), and how a local woman from Moore County hasn’t let age define what she can or can’t do (p. 52). We also dip into The Bakehouse and Cafe in Aberdeen for a lesson in proper bread baking and buttercream (p. 46). 

Gone is the notion that we are invisible because we have graying hair, lined faces or an extra bit of padding for the long winter. 

I’ll take heed of Coco Chanel’s famous words: “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”

Merit we shall.