46%—That’s how much more we spent in 2011, versus 2006– on drugs for wrinkles, sexual dysfunction, menopause symptoms and other natural conditions of the aging process. Am I the only one who finds this very disturbing?

Have we, as a society, really become that vain and fearful of a natural process that we become obsessed and are willing to spend more money on these processes than on heart disease and hypertension meds? Evidently so…and, no it’s not because the cases of heart disease and hypertension have decreased. It’s because we associate getting older with getting uglier.

We, as a society, have difficulty with aging gracefully. On any given day, I can, too, fall into this category. Some days I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see new lines that I had never seen before. Or, I twist my arm a certain way and see the elasticity of my skin has decreased.

To a degree, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it—I will never be 22 again. And, actually, I wouldn’t want to be. Mentally, I could be angry at the world because the clock keeps ticking. Or, I could get on with it, put a smile on my face and accept that that ship has sailed and that life moves in one direction. At 22, I cared WAY TOO MUCH what other people thought. Today, I realize that they probably aren’t thinking nearly as much about me as I believed they were. I can’t be better or worse than anyone if I’m not competing or comparing myself to them.

I can, however, strive to be my very best self, which includes regular exercise, eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and getting massages and facials as often as possible.

My choice today is to approach life and the aging process with pizzaz–a conscious effort to stay on the path of owning every moment, staking a claim in the “right now” and, with gratitude, embracing the age that I am—I just recently turned 59. Happy Birthday to me—I’m looking forward to the next step of the journey and I hope you are, too! We are all in this together!

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