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Is the Concept of “Aging Gracefully” Outdated? – Interview with Carol Orsborn

Margaret Manning

Women are redefining life in their sixties. They are asking whether the idea of “aging gracefully” is an old fashioned and outdated concept. If you want to live life in your sixties with passion and verve, being true to yourself while challenging stereotypes of aging, this video is one that you will enjoy.

In this episode of the Sixty and Me show, I speak with the articulate and gutsy Carol Orsborn. Carol is the author of 21 books including “Fierce with Age.” We talk about her journey to disengage from the expectations of society. She shares how breaking free into the “post affirmation” stage of her life was liberating. For her, this time of life should be when women don’t have to worry about anyone’s judgment. It is a time to find one’s true self and age positively and independently, not serenely and quietly.

Carol talks about how society’s concept of “graceful” aging encourages women to into the background. Marginalized, this woman does not upset the status quo and never expresses her point of view. She says this is what society expects of older women.  We talk about how women can respond. We discuss how grace and serenity are actually over-rated concepts and how they over romanticize the experience of aging.

Join Carol and I as we discuss the following topics: 

  • Should older women be expected to age gracefully?
  • Why does society encourage women to try to stay young forever?
  • How do perceptions of beauty change as women get older?
  • Why Carol says that midlife women have an opportunity to experience a “wild space”



I encourage you to check out Carol Orsborn’s website and many inspirational books and articles:

Fierce with Age, Book by Carol Orsborn

The Art of Resilience, Book by Carol Orsborn

The Year I Saved My (downsized) Soul, Book by Carol Orsborn

Carol Orsborn’s Website

I hope that you enjoy the Show! Please remember to leave your comments and share with your friends!

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  1. Not at all.

  2. Hope not.

  3. Age is just a number! But us that are 65 and older try to be as graceful as we possibly can!

  4. I see that we Baby Boomers are more concerned, with aging in a more educated way, we just don’t sit down and say “well i’m getting old it’s life’,

  5. By graceful did they mean sit in the corner, act your age and fall apart.

  6. Ellen, you are a perfect piture of graceful

  7. I think the “gracefully” part just means “acceptance” at least that’s what it means to me. I take pride in my age………..I try to look my best with what nature gave me and I do care about what I look like but I have no desire to alter it in any way. I actually love my silver/gray hair and wear it proudly. For me……I really am much better at 62 then I was at 42.

  8. I think it depends on the person. I have no problem aging gracefully, but I don’t think the same thing applies to many celebrities.

  9. Don’t worry just enjoy each day as it comes.

  10. I’m going to live live and live spent all my teens and twenties and thirties bringing up a family now it’s my time x

  11. I am ageing DISgracefully!

  12. I am not graceful but working on it

  13. I no age is just a number,but im really not likeing getting older,it seems to be holding me back,i look in the mirror and say out loud god you do look old,i will be 67 in may.please would someone give me some advice as how do deal with this.” Im not aging gracefully”

  14. Age is inevitable (unless of course you die young) how you cope with ageing is important. Enjoy every day but in a reasonably dignified way. Remember we oldies set examples

  15. Fight it all the way lol

  16. We have one life,so enjoy it,

  17. I am not sure what it means actually. If it means giving up and letting yourself go cause you are going to get older then yes it is out dated. You have to take care of yourself

  18. I am not sure what it means actually. If it means giving up and letting yourself go cause you are going to get older then yes it is out dated. You have to take care of yourself

  19. I’m ageing disgracefully !

  20. Growing old gracefuly, no way,why the hell should we, Age is a state of mind.When you reach 60 you do not become a different person overnight, you are still you.Personally ive no intention of growing old “gracefully” but very

  21. Sweating at the gym is not graceful! I would like to be graceful and elegant , however, whatever age. Not going to happen!

  22. I ♡ being older. Age is just a journey through precious life.
    I always think life passes so fast so make the most of every second.
    Good life my friends.

  23. … I do not think ‘aging gracefully’ belongs to ladies who are in their 60s and 70s or even 80s… I witnessed my mom who is passed and now my aunt aging gracefully in their 90s… that is accepting with grace the fact that they both had to be at the mercy of the decline of their mobility and precarious health… however, both before their 90s have shown a great resilience toward ‘giving in’ to the old stigma of old age… both remained very active and independent… my mom and now my aunt never lost their mental capacity one iota… so… I will accept to age gracefully when I reach 90… but never, no never, will I cease to be inspired!!… :)

  24. I don’t think so. Your attitude has a lot to do with it, and it should be that way, however, if “graceful” includes things that happen with control of resources, that is a different story, since older people often do not have that much or enough.

  25. i dont mind aging

  26. Just do whatever you can …while you still can…once you stop …you can’t go back……dance while you can …sing whenever you feel like it and find friends you can laugh with ….

  27. yes

  28. No

  29. Aging gracefully makes me envision an older woman, nicely coifed, sitting silently in a very pretty chair. Heaven help us!

  30. Grace combined with age will never go out of style! <3

  31. It doesn’t mean just because one is in her 60’s that we count the days when we can no longer move about. Getting older means getting wiser, I don’t let my age beat me. I still do my gardening, do my usual house chores, I go out with my friends, we love karaoke, eating and dancing. Damn the arthritis.

  32. Oh yes my son thinks i should be wearing the pleated skirt and sit at home and knit. LOL No way!!!!! I intend to enjoy every moment i have left. Fashion, colour, Singing, Dancing Yoga, Walking and many more….

  33. no

  34. To me aging gracefully means continuing to nourish your way to vibrant living. You have to choose a zest for life and cultivate a sense of purpose or passion. Otherwise, I think we can wither and willingly accept that our age is bring us downhill. I am writing a book about Flourish at 50 & Beyond so I find this topic & thread very interesting.

  35. NO

  36. there’s fun to be had being disgracefully 60 lol, but then again I’m a teenager in my 60’s ;-)

  37. Yes, there’s no way I’m ageing gracefully, I’m with John Hemingway lol. :)

  38. optomistically

  39. Silly

  40. lovingly

  41. attidually

  42. It is what it is-ly. :-)

  43. enthusiastically. :D

  44. I would have to say adventurously. Moved my myself from Canada to Mexico…. and love it.

  45. gratefully !!

  46. wholeheartedly

  47. Gratefully: I appreciate my life more than ever, grateful for all I have. Or adventurously: investing in Panama and planning a move. Or happily: I know myself and love who I am!!!

  48. Naturally

  49. How about passively. ?.hopefully…sexually. .naively. .expensively…thoughtfully..and intellectually.

  50. For me, the ly word would be, “Adroitly”!

  51. expectantly … excitedly … :)

  52. Harmonously

  53. Magnificently!

  54. Fully xxxx

  55. Disappointedly !

  56. Happily

  57. Reluctantly – Ha!

  58. Horribly

  59. Curiously!

  60. oldf—-ly

  61. Uniquely

  62. Magically!

  63. poorly — didn’t expect that

  64. Fully, curiously.

  65. … fully…

  66. Like a sixteen year oldly

  67. Eventually!

  68. Unavoidably.!

  69. Very difficultLY. It’s been a tough old journey.

  70. Maybe you could spell ageing correctly as you are giving me frown lines whenever I see it! Lol!

  71. Good info….I’m 62…my younger sister (by 2 yrs) is always telling me to cut my hair…that I don’t look good in long hair—older women look better with short hair…..Now I keep it colored…highlighted & shaped…my fiance is younger than me, he likes it long….so I am enjoying my hair that is midway down my back! I will cut it when I want to….but it is annoying to listen to her!

  72. Gould say most of them…

  73. Fully

  74. Disgracefully, Hurrah!!!

  75. Daily, thankfully x

  76. Mindfully

  77. Patiently

  78. Passionately :-)

  79. Julia Evans, the World English Dictionary says either spelling is correct, though in the States, aging without the “e” is considered correct and is how our spell check corrects it.

  80. Magically

  81. Gently!

  82. Wonderfully

  83. Spiritually

  84. Naturally

  85. Outrageously

  86. is “stumblingly” a word? :) But certainly “lovingly”…

  87. Fully, loudly. Yep that’s as good as it gets.

  88. Gracefully or did I mean disgracefully !!!!!

  89. Disgracefully

  90. Tenaciously.

  91. Disgracefully with a bit of luck lol.

  92. Sadly, I’ve never been graceful: I doubt it will occur now. So…badass-ly. In a good way. ;-) (Julia Evans, in American English, “aging” is correct.)

  93. sustainably… that is the challenge…

  94. Drunkelnly!!

  95. Drunkenly!!!!

  96. Courageously anf gratefully!

  97. Passionately!

  98. Outrageously!

  99. Fearlessly !

  100. Flawlessly;

  101. Un-regretfully, playfully, joyfully, gratefully

  102. I agree with Maria – sustainably has become the challenge.

  103. Happily, embrace the familiar and the new…especially lovingly ….with fun. !

  104. Adventurously. Even I don’t know what is coming next!

  105. Disgracefully and lovingly you only have one go at it so enjoy it lifes short.

  106. I accept the whole lot and yes life has to catch me now enjoy ladies

  107. Compassionately, I care about animal welfare more than ever.

  108. Lonely

  109. rebelliously

  110. Aging disgracefully sounds better. Aging gracefully always sounds to me you suddenly become a little white haired old lady who wants to knit, and crochet wear dreary clothes and whose idea of fun is a lunch club! Id much rather age disgracefully but sadly in my neck of woods not easy. as people seem to expect women over 60 to age gracefully, especially if they single., not have a job and not go want to go out in evenings. I really thought baby boomers would be a different type of over 60 but i now im not so sure.

  111. I swim, bike, run, lift weights, color my hair and laugh a lot so I guess I’m aging disgracefully, haha!

  112. You are going to age regardless so just relax and enjoy it. As long as you are healthy and enjoying life go with it!!! ;)

  113. I am ageing as disgracefully as I can!

  114. Let’s by real, aging gracefully has always been a stereotype implanted by society. Whether grey or dying your hair, that’s not the real meaning of aging gracefully. Aging gracefully is trying to stay within touch of the current events and providing wisdom, help, guidance, etc to our future generations. Having fun and keeping a young heart is also aging gracefully, but most of all, it’s keeping a kind heart and looking at the world with love and care from your own experienced life. Share it, continue to live and give yourself to all. It’s the only thing we can continue to do…. Age gracefully!!

  115. Is it disgraceful to dance (I mean Boogie as opposed to waltzing around) If so I am disgraceful in my 70’s !! ;)

  116. growing old disgracefully!!!

  117. Jif your heart is young ..your mind active and you take pride in your appearance. .then the ageing process is enjoyable.We know what we like..we know our limits..we have our values.We can go whatever without the restrictions and uncertainty of youth. Pity you dont live nearby June Muskett…we could have a night out..I agree thats the hardest part..a single over 60 going out is frowned on!!

  118. I do not deal very much with ‘ageing’, so I cannot really answer. I live every day with joy – that’s better than reflecting on my age!

  119. The only other thing is growing old disgracefully!

  120. Yes, I liked the video, and would love to be able to meet Carol and blab and blab and blab about, oh, everything. At first I was hesitant because I fight listening to “experts” who have nothing to do but tell me what to do and how to do it, but then realized she’s the same. So — Good going, Carol! Let’s keep on truckin’, as we have been since the sixties! :)

  121. Haha Frankie Jury…someone should relocate? Lol

  122. As a member of the Red Hats “disgracefully” is the only way

  123. There is absolutely nothing wrong with knitting, crocheting or doing some other things of that nature. We all can grow old gracefully without becoming that little white haired old lady. There is nothing more pathetic that to look at an older woman (or man, for that matter) dressing and acting at her 60s or 70s as if she were in her 20s. Some look ridiculous! I like to knit, I also do crochet and tatting I also work a full time schedule at my 66 years of age, I wrote a book, recently published. I go to the gym and have fun and I do not consider myself “a little old lady”!

  124. Then June Muskett..come up and visit Blackpool..your most welcome if you fancy a break.We can see the sights and compare notes!!

  125. I think its a matter of being content on how your life turned out.. And at peace with what ever you did to get where you are at….

  126. “Embracing all the good things life has on its amazing planet” people,places,food and drink”

  127. I think that a lot of people are able to age ‘gracefully’, and they are fortunate in deed! for me, I’m feeling ‘baggy’, at present, and rather like an old car that has reached the point where it is in need of constant repair, but of, still has the potential to be lovingly restored and continue for many years as a ‘veteran’! :)

  128. Never mind ageing; carry on living, doing what you enjoy

  129. Ferociously!!!

  130. W hat a great answer so true x

  131. Agelessly!

  132. Yes, of course it is! Yet, that’s a beautiful part of “aging gracefully”! LOL.
    We all “age” in different ways. Aging means many different things, too.
    So, may we all “age” as effortlessly as we can, and keep in mind, we must do so “our way”

  133. how about aging purposefully – I would like to be able to give more to others when retired. I will have time to devote to issues that I am passionate about.

  134. Minha idade cronológica sim está passando…meu físico sim está se modificando com o tempo…mas minha alma continua vibrante, alegre feliz e em paz…

  135. Quickly…lol….individually….uniquely

  136. I don’t want to age grecefully – I want to get older with a kick-butt attitude.

  137. Me! I am recycled teenager, with attitude! !!!.

  138. not day by day, MINUTE by MINUTE LOL Page

  139. very outdated

  140. By simply ‘being’ comfortable with who you are.

  141. Who the hell wants to age gracefully, sounds very boring to me.age with attitude i say.

  142. Aging Gracefully – remembering that we age from Day 1 and His Grace is the most precious gift.

  143. … getting older without feeling old…

  144. Ilove this answer

  145. I’m aging disgracefully with joy in my heart :)

  146. I don’t notice aging so much. I’m busy working part time and getting the basics done with the house and bills, just like when I was in my 40’s, maybe I do things slower now at age 67, but I don’t notice it.

  147. No not a thing of the past… But there is a real lack of respect for seniors I have observed!