The best things about aging

 

The boomers are coming!

Look out world! The boomers are coming — with or without walking aids, medications and endearing behaviors.

Today I have pulled together the “best of” aging. Yes, there are some positive aspects of the process. Obviously not all of it is great but that is true of youth too.

Many people may wish they looked like they are twenty but few really want to go back to those days. It’s the maturity we value and that comes with aging. There are no shortcuts.

Here are my thoughts.

First and foremost it beats the alternative. Then again, does it? My mother had one of those “near-death” experiences about a year before she died. It was complete with the bright light at the end of the tunnel and a sense of happiness and peace. From that moment on she did not fear death. During her last months when she was very ill, she would often pray for that Angel of Death to come visit. As for me, until that Angel visits I will hang on to what I know.

My favorite part of aging is that I don’t care what people think. At least mostly. Everyone is different. Living up to other’s expectations can be exhausting. You can’t please everyone so why not please yourself. It’s so freeing. Really, you must try it.

You have seen the cycles so you know the endings. I noticed this when I was working. Someone came up with a “new” idea or way of doing things. (I can do a whole post on this one alone!) It wasn’t new. Nothing is new except for those spectacular inventions like the internet. There may be a twist but it’s the same old, same old. It’s like fashion. The same styles return. Maybe the lapels are wider or narrower or higher or lower but it’s the same style. (I am sure I donated it to Goodwill just last year.)

You don’t need as much makeup. Older faces don’t wear makeup as well as younger ones. It gets caked in those cracks so you have a free ticket to skip all but the basic. That frees up the medicine cabinet for the added medications you will need.

You slow up. There is no doubt about this. I can’t beat the contestants on Jeopardy anymore. The synapses are just not snapping as fast. (Personally I never take the blame. I am convinced that Jeopardy is harder than it used to be.) There is an upside. This starts to happen when you have more time available. Of course, you won’t win in Jeopardy but for most other things, it doesn’t matter.

You don’t sweat the small stuff. I know you’ve heard this before but unless your life is in danger, it’s all small stuff. Older people understand this better than anyone.

I could go on but maybe I’ll save that for part 2.

What do you think the best things about aging are? You don’t have to be over 60 to contribute. Everyone is aging.

 

27 thoughts on “The best things about aging

  1. The A word…yes…and to think I always thought it stood for apple.
    I might want to be 20 again with a good money manager…being the clueless model I was.
    And I too only wear make-up when I have to..work, an occasional outing.
    I still care what people think since I get so much crap about my weight loss dodging the inappropriate comments on a daily basis.
    Will work on that though probably till the day the angel of death comes to get me.
    I wonder what she’ll be wearing.
    Great essay Kate.

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  2. How odd that I was just sitting and waiting for my son to arrive for a visit – and I was thinking about aging. I made his favorite meal to be at the ready and got hot and tired in the process. So I sat. And I remembered earlier visits when I would cook the same meal, clean the house, fix a snack platter and another platter of sandwiches, vacuum, clear the leaves off the deck, etc. Where did I get all that energy and how important was it? I suppose I will find out soon – when our son arrives. Do you think he will notice? Oddly enough, I don’t think he will and I’m glad age has taught me this lesson. Another thoughtful post Kate and I thank you.

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  3. Yes, I have slowed down, although I never was very fast–didn’t win foot races or think of snappy comebacks. and I’ve always been the last one to finish eating.

    I think one reason we no longer sweat the small stuff is that we’ve seen how things often get worked out somehow. We’ve seen that even big expected catastrophes didn’t happen–nuclear attacks from the USSR, the “dominoes” around Vietnam that were supposed to fall, Y2K.

    I wear lipstick, but I never did get used to wearing eye makeup and powder, etc. except on special occasions. So no change.

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    • So true about the small stuff. I remember the days when people didn’t want to use the same glasses as cancer patients for fear of catching it. I remember the scare of AIDS, bird flu and several other catastrophes that didn’t annihilate us. I had a friend who pulled out thousands of dollars prior to Y2K. I had $40 in my wallet.
      I stopped wearing a lot of eye makeup. The dust stuff irritates my eyes although for special occasions I will dab on the mascara.

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  4. There are a lot of positives about growing older; everything on your list are on my list too. I will test the second item (don’t care as much about what others think) on my upcoming vacation. I bought a bathing suit (yikes! I haven’t had one for years) because I’ll be damned if I will miss snorkeling among the tropical fish because I’m worried that my thighs aren’t as firm as they once were.

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    • I haven’t worn a bathing suit in decades! When we do the beach I don’t go in deeper than my ankles and I can do that in shorts. I still wear shorts when it’s hot enough. The vacation will be awesome and once you are in the water you won’t even think about it.

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  5. You’ve pretty much nailed the biggies. I might add that I so much appreciate being on my own clock — meaning I don’t have to put in face time anywhere anymore. I can get up when I please, retire when I please (because I don’t have to get up early to go to work to get the work done to get the very nice pay that kept me getting up early to go to work to get the work done), and I can do what I want in between. Do I sometimes miss the daily company at the coffee station of all those colleagues with “too much on their plates” (just like me), who I used to work with? Less and less, to tell the truth. Much of it turned out to be just body heat. I feel like an adventuress, discovering a new uncharted territory step by step, all by myself!

    P.S. Also thanks so much for discovering my blog and deciding to follow it, despite its name.:-)

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  6. Aging is good…’specially the big discount days. I’m much more relaxed these days but I admit I still care what people think. And I continue to use all the cosmetics…in a rut? Perhaps, but they do a great job. I’m proud of my age and not paranoid about it…aging is a good thing and as they say, it’s better than the alternative. I am so happy to still have my awesome partner along side and we’re lovin’ every minute of it. Good post…thanks.

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  7. For me the best things are free days and discounts. It is really helpful to those of us who are not exactly well-off. I also enjoy the freedom to decide what to do on a daily basis. Walk? Bike? Bus? Tim Horton’s? Starbucks? Shopping? Library? Well, you get the drift!

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