Speaking as an old(er) person, there is no denying that there are a few downsides to the aging process. However, there are lots of positives which get overlooked all too often, and they are worth celebrating. In order to help get the celebrating started, I offer five advantages of growing old(er) that come to mind – in no particular order – based on personal experience.
1. You are no longer (as) concerned about meeting the expectations of others (aka you don’t care so much what other people think of you). This is extremely liberating.
2. You’ve done everything you were supposed to do (finish school, make a living, find a mate, maybe have kids, etc.). All that stress is gone. The rest is gravy … and you get to choose what kind of gravy you like!
3. Your perspective is broader than it used to be. You consider events and problems through the eyes and experiences of quite a swath of history, stretching from stories told by your grandparents and parents … to reflecting on your own experiences spanning decades … to observing the current challenges of your adult children and even grandchildren. You realize that you’re a small part of a very long continuum. I love this revelation.
4. You no longer need to focus on acquiring more “things”, especially to keep up “with the Jones”. Quite the contrary, you can start focusing on getting rid of things and just keeping what you like best. Of course, if you want to keep acquiring things, that’s fine too! 😉
5. Every time you pass a new 5-year or decade milestone, you enter a new age division at races. Being at the beginning of a new (older) age division brings new opportunities. For example, this year I move into the Women’s 70+ division. It so happens that I’m planning on running in our local Fall Classic 10K race this Sunday. I checked last year’s results; last year there were NO women in that age division. If that holds this year then I am guaranteed a first place finish regardless of how long I take. How good is that!!
I’ll be back with more advantages to aging. Does anyone have any favourites to add to the list?