The french language is abundant with expressions about living life to the fullest. Living full out is important to the French and so their language is liberally sprinkled with beautiful, even inspirational phrases, we might want to adopt as mantras for living well. These mantras, so to speak, can assist us to view life and aging with exuberance and wisdom like the French do. With such an attitude, we're bound to not only get happier, but younger-looking as well!
Along with commentary on each, what follows are a number of french phrases on aging and agelessness complete with audio files so you can practice your french!
La beauté n’a pas d’âge. Beauty has no age.
How many times have we been irresistibly and genuinely attracted to someone quite advanced in years? He or she had that je ne sais quoi, that certain something that can’t be qualified or quantified. These gorgeous people are truly greater than the mere sum of their parts. They have attitude, savoir faire, confidence, an airabout them. And it’s not achieved with cosmetics or even plastic surgery. It’s a result of lifestyle, attitude and manner of thinking.
bien dans sa peau; comfortable in one’s skin
It’s a fact that most people tend to be less happy in their younger years. (Read more about how young people tend to be less happy than their older counterparts in this previous blog post.) Many younger people attempt to become something they are not according to social norms and thus create for themselves stress and unhappiness. The ravages of stress can literally show up in our countenance and overall appearance!
Les plus âgés (older people) can more easily become bien dans leur peau, largely because they’ve learned it just isn’t worth it to march to the beat of another drummer. We learn that we just feel better when we follow our own hearts and listen to the voice of our experience.
Sois belle à ta façon. Be beautiful in your own way.
Each of us has developed quirks, idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that work for us. Whether it’s our style of dress, our signature shade of red lipstick or nail polish, our hairstyle, or insistence on going au naturel all the way, if we own it and embrace it all the way down to the core of our being, everyone else will too! That total embracing of what makes each of us unique is beautiful and makes the world more beautiful as well.
satisfait (the masculine form of the adjective)/satisfaite (the feminine form of the adjective); a milder form of “happy” the French prefer to show
Let’s face it. For many of us, just to feel content and satisfied a great deal of the time is a welcome feeling. Moreover, just one more step or two and we’ve entered the realm of happiness and joy!
l’art et la joie de vivre; the art and joy of living
The pursuit of the art and joy of living is the pursuit that will keep us constantly growing and learning, discovering and expanding our lives and vitality. Practicing the art and joy of living is an antidote to sickness.
à chaque âge ses plaisirs; Every age has its pleasures.
Popsicles and pinwheels during childhood; lip balm, rings and scarves for teen girls and; yoga, hot sauce and tattoos and piercings for millennials; and gourmet cooking, traveling and sports and leisure events for the little bit older folks… every age has its pleasures.
La vie est belle. Life is beautiful.
[Je vois] la vie en rose. (Edith Piaf made this phrase famous in her iconic song about attitude toward life.) [I see] life through rose-colored glasses.
If we can’t see that this is true, just begin with one little thing find beautiful. Open your heart. Let another little beautiful thing show itself to you and appreciate it. Soon you will be appreciating and loving so much, you can genuinely say, “La vie est belle!”
Si la personne est âgée, son coeur ne l'est pas. We may grow older but our heart is not.
Not only is love timeless, it is boundless and it grows over time if we allow it. It just keeps getting better and better. The more advanced in age one is, the more potential for all the greatest virtues in life: serenity, wisdom, joy and LOVE.
Guiliano, Mireille. French Women Don't Get Facelifts: the Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude. Center Point Large Print, 2014.