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Is the Concept of “Aging Gracefully” Outdated?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 They are asking whether the idea of “aging gracefully” is an old fashioned and outdated concept.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!

Let's Have a Conversation!


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

  2. 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.

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

  4. Ilove this answer

  5. … getting older without feeling old…

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

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

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

  9. very outdated

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

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

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

  13. Quickly…lol….individually….uniquely

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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”

  17. Agelessly!

  18. W hat a great answer so true x

  19. Ferociously!!!

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

  21. 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’! :)

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

  23. 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….

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

  25. 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”!

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

  27. Haha Frankie Jury…someone should relocate? Lol

  28. 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! :)

  29. The only other thing is growing old disgracefully!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!!

  32. growing old disgracefully!!!

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

  34. 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!!

  35. I am ageing as disgracefully as I can!

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

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

  38. 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.

  39. rebelliously

  40. Lonely

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

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

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

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

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

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

  47. Un-regretfully, playfully, joyfully, gratefully

  48. Flawlessly;

  49. Fearlessly !

  50. Outrageously!

  51. Passionately!

  52. Courageously anf gratefully!

  53. Drunkenly!!!!

  54. Drunkelnly!!

  55. sustainably… that is the challenge…

  56. 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.)

  57. Disgracefully with a bit of luck lol.

  58. Tenaciously.

  59. Disgracefully

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

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

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

  63. Outrageously

  64. Naturally

  65. Spiritually

  66. Wonderfully

  67. Gently!

  68. Magically

  69. 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.

  70. Passionately :-)

  71. Patiently

  72. Mindfully

  73. Daily, thankfully x

  74. Disgracefully, Hurrah!!!

  75. Fully

  76. Gould say most of them…

  77. 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!

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

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

  80. Unavoidably.!

  81. Eventually!

  82. Like a sixteen year oldly

  83. … fully…

  84. Fully, curiously.

  85. poorly — didn’t expect that

  86. Magically!

  87. Uniquely

  88. oldf—-ly

  89. Curiously!

  90. Horribly

  91. Reluctantly – Ha!

  92. Happily

  93. Disappointedly !

  94. Fully xxxx

  95. Magnificently!

  96. Harmonously

  97. expectantly … excitedly … :)

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

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

  100. Naturally

  101. 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!!!

  102. wholeheartedly

  103. gratefully !!

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

  105. enthusiastically. :D

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

  107. attidually

  108. lovingly

  109. Silly

  110. optomistically

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

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

  113. NO

  114. 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.

  115. no

  116. 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….

  117. 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.

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

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

  120. No

  121. yes

  122. 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 ….

  123. i dont mind aging

  124. 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.

  125. … 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!!… :)

  126. 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.

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

  128. 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

  129. I’m ageing disgracefully !

  130. 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

  131. 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

  132. We have one life,so enjoy it,

  133. Fight it all the way lol

  134. 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

  135. 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”

  136. I am not graceful but working on it

  137. I am ageing DISgracefully!

  138. 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

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

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. Ellen, you are a perfect piture of graceful

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

  144. 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’,

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

  146. Hope not.

  147. Not at all.