The stereotype for aging is not always very complimentary. Articles, advertising, cartoons and jokes often paint a dismal picture of what it is like to get older. It is as if people have perfect lives, and then wake up on their 60th birthday (insert the age you think is “over the hill”) to discover they are old and unhappy.
People age differently. Some will reach a ripe old age with their bodies and minds more or less intact. Others won’t. But what usually changes the most when a person gets older is that their mirror no longer reflects the person that their mind remembers. And society starts to treat them differently. Sometimes it is good differently, but often not, I’ve found.
So, what is good about getting older? I’ve looked at dozens of websites, and this is what people are saying:
- Freedom to do what you want to do; time to ‘smell the roses’.
- Probably don’t have to worry about how your career is going to turn out.
- Earlier bed times.
- Dressing for comfort.
- Fewer hormonal driven, emotional decisions.
- A lifetime of good stories to tell.
- A long personal history of experience to draw upon.
- Better at imagining different points of view, thinking of multiple resolutions and suggesting compromises.
- Probably know the meaning of life and don’t need to look for it anymore.
- Stress isn’t so stressful.
- Seasonal allergies generally lessen.
- Smaller, closer group of friends because the need to be ‘popular’ is no longer important.
- Skin doesn’t break out when you eat things that used to cause zits.
- More outspoken and assertive about things.
- Wear my slippers to the supermarket to buy bourbon and cat food if I want to.
- Enjoying old or new hobbies.
- Giving up the quest for perfection.
- Usually get fewer colds.
- Sweat glands shrink, so we sweat less.
- Senior discounts.
- Age lets you be the person you would have been, if you hadn’t been so busy being the person you were.