PERSONAL ESSAY | AGING

I’m Using Positive Messages to Combat Aging

Our perception has the power to change the way we feel

Kim Kelly Stamp
Thirty over Fifty
Published in
5 min readJun 5, 2024

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An older woman in a shimmery green dress looking happy
Photo by Oneinchpunchtext via Canva Pro

I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, do a double take, and then move a little closer for a better look. I shake my head as if to free my eyes of the image of my aging face. I like the image of the person inside of me rather than the one in the mirror, but it isn’t practical to rid the place of mirrors, is it?

Aging is a strange reality and one we must navigate our way through. I refuse to gripe about my age or spout negative comments about how my body feels as I grow older. But damn, sometimes the reality is not enjoyable to deal with.

To be clear, I don’t have a problem with my age (65) and I don’t try to look younger than I am. I don’t dye my hair or go to a plastic surgeon to shore up the sags that increase yearly.

My problem is with the physical degrading that comes in small increments, almost without me realizing it. If I had to come up with a name for it, I’d call it micro-degrading. Because we’ve been living bicoastally, it’s become crystal clear that my youth has slowly withered away. That’s what I am struggling to reconcile. Let me explain.

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Kim Kelly Stamp
Thirty over Fifty

Writer. Publisher. Editor. Essayist. Espresso Enthusiast. LGBTQ+. PNW Native. Traveler. Gigi Extraordinaire. Pieces in: NYT, HuffPost, Next Avenue & elsewhere.