Embracing, Not Just Accepting Ageing

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As my 36th birthday approaches, I feel happier and healthier than ever. I’ve gone from accepting ageing to actually embracing, heck even looking forward to it!

I mean, why should I succumb to the media-led, youth-obsessed culture we live in that seeks to only canonise the newest, latest and freshest? If I were to limit myself to that, I’d be consigning myself an un-winnable battle. Newness and freshness is only a moment. And moments, like life itself, passes. Moments get replaced by newer and fresher moments. That’s a completely unsustainable model for leading a fulfilling life.

The antidote to trying to freeze frame and preserve the last drops of youth, is to accept ageing. It’s unavoidable and no one can escape it. But accepting something happening is different from embracing it. You accept having a cold. You accept getting stuck in traffic. You shouldn’t have to accept a part of your life, that if looked at from a different perspective, is actually quite enriching, exciting and fun.

That’s why embracing ageing isn’t as ridiculous a term as it may first seem. The key is to reframe the way we look at it. If we see ageing as something that’s bad, that will result in us becoming less desirable and less relevant, clearly ageing would suck. While these concerns are all valid, they don’t represent the totality of getting older.


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Ageing is more than what you see on the surface. It’s about the transformations that take place inside of you. After acquiring 30, 40, 50, or 60+ years of lived experience on this planet, you start to become smarter in ways, and about things, that you didn’t even know about in your teens and twenties. You’ve been in and out of love, got promoted, been fired, travelled, been sick, scared, excited, nervous and lived through so many, many things.

Your lived experience starts to shape you and you start to shape yourself more too. You get to a certain age (an age that is different for everyone) and you ask yourself, ‘Who’s in control here?’ Is it things, people, circumstances outside of myself? Or is it me? Realising your own role in creating your life is powerful and liberating. It can happen at any age, but there’s something more authentic when it happens once you’ve confronted and dealt with certain fears and issues, especially those relating to ageing.

And while all of this is going on inside of you, you also begin to realise that you have a greater deal of control over your own physicality too. Sure, your body may be changing in ways that maybe initially you don’t like. You might not be able to lift as much as you used to, or your hair’s getting greyer, or thinner…But again, it comes back to – do you let these things define you, or do you take control (and power) back and say ‘Hey, I’m going to look and feel good – at any age.’


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But don’t just take my word for it. I recently reached out to two awesome, friendly and quite frankly, really inspiring guys to get their thoughts about ageing. Being in their 40s and 50s, I was curious to hear their thoughts on getting older, how they’re seen in the (gay) world and how they feel at this point in their lives. I’m happy to say they have both left me looking forward to getting older even more!

Check out our conversations below.

Rob – Lives in Chicago, 47

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One guy who is a great example of living well, looking good and being healthy is Boston-born Chicagoan Rob (above). A lover of fitness – hockey, cycling and gym – Rob’s zest for life is evident.

The youngest of three boys, Rob was born and raised in a hockey family in Boston. (Interesting fact – Rob learnt to walk and skate – at the same time!)

At the age of 39 – in a “things are not going to change unless I make a change” moment – Rob quit his job of 23 years, packed up his bulldogs and moved to Chicago, where he lives today.

Here’s my chat with Rob.

Little Gay Blog – You recently turned 47, how do you personally feel about ageing?

Rob – I have to say I was looking forward to being in my 40’s when I was in my 20’s. There was just always something sexy about an older man. I was 27 when I came out and my first boyfriend was 48.

For a long time I saw how the gay culture was youth obsessed, but I would say within the last 5 – 10 years, I see more of a focus on the mature or “daddy” community.

When I moved to Chicago, I started playing hockey with the Chicago Gay Hockey Association and everyone has a nickname. They started calling me “daddy: and I was fine with it.

You look great, and obviously fitness is a big part of your life. What role does keeping fit play in your life?

I was a tall skinny kid since I can remember. I think I might have even been 6’2 in the 5th grade. I weighed 159 lbs (72 kgs). My brother tried to get me to work out with him when we were teenagers but it never really stuck.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I started working out regularly. I remember how excited I was when I weighed in at 174 (79 kgs). Then once I hit 30, everything changed and I started to put on size. I maxed out at 225 (102 kgs) in my late 30’s.

Then when I hit my 40’s, I started doing triathlons and marathons and with a few injuries, it was impossible to maintain that size. I average 210 (95 kgs) and am happy with it.

Now I workout because I enjoy it and it is my alone time, not to try and gain size. I also listen to my body more than when I was younger so I guess that wisdom does come with age.

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People seem to view ageing as a process whereby you lose things (looks, appeal, relevance) as opposed to gaining things (experience, wisdom, acceptance). What do you feel you’re getting more of in your life in your 40s, than say in your 20s?

To be honest, I feel like I have gained more than I have lost.

I see young guys today and think if I had started doing things earlier in my life I would be in a better place. Then again, I look at my life now and I am right where I want to be.

If anyone tells you they don’t have any insecurities, they are lying to you. I felt the insecurities had more control when i was in my 20’s. Some of them are still there but I think I am better equipped to handle them.

And lastly, what advice would you give to guys who are dreading getting older to help them find a way of embracing it, not just accepting it?

I am not sure I have advice to give about getting older considering I had always wanted to be that older gentleman.

Even though I am 47, I don’t see myself that way. I am still the nerd that collects actions figures and watches cartoons and superhero movies.

Age is the one thing you can’t stop so you need to figure out how to embrace it.


For more on Rob, you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.


Jim – Aussie living in California, 55

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Jim grew up in Australia in the 1970’s. He moved to California in the early 90s and came out in his late 30s. Jim loves the progressiveness of California, where he says “being gay is virtually a non-issue.” While he’s not opposed to being in a relationship, he’s been single for 5 years.

Here’s what we chatted about.

Little Gay Blog – Given how youth obsessed the media culture, as well as the gay community are, as gay guy – how do you feel about ageing?

Jim – I was obsessed with ageing for many years. I was 39 online for way too long. Finally when I turned 50 I was able to embrace it. I was able to recognise that I was in good physical shape, but more importantly, I became satisfied that I had established a satisfying, fulfilling and interesting life.

In the past couple of years I believe that the gay community has thankfully lost some of its “ageism.” I fall into the Daddy/Bear category and, as awful as it sounds, I still feel quite “viable” in the scene.

Have you always been into fitness and what role does keeping fit play in your life?

I’ve been going to the gym 5 or 6 days a week since I was 30 years old. Of course it’s to keep in shape but the mental benefits are huge too. At the gym I get rid of the days frustrations and catch up with friends and acquaintances.

I’ve been able to build strong and lasting relationships at the gym, whereas the bar scene has never given me that kind of return.

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People seem to view ageing as a process whereby you lose things (looks, appeal, relevance) as opposed to gaining things (experience, wisdom, self-acceptance). What do you feel you’re getting more of in your life in your 50s, than say in your 20s?

Naturally, I’m wiser but the world has changed too. I have found that there isn’t necessarily a script or roadmap for “gay after 50” and I can forge my own way. It was scary at first but now it’s kind of exciting. I have real control and I like it.

And lastly, what advice would you give to guys who are dreading getting older to help them find a way of embracing it, not just accepting it?

I can only tell you that I feel hotter, sexier and more relevant than ever. I’m still learning things about myself every day and making progress to being that ultimate authentic and original self.


For more on Jim, you can follow him on Instagram.


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