Is aging a dirty word to you? Do you wish that you could stay young forever and enjoy your youth indefinitely?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, if the cosmetics industry is anything to go by, everyone is in the same boat. We all want to avoid the specter of old-age and frailty.
Aging, though, doesn’t have to be negative. For one, it is a sign of success. If your skin is wrinkled and your hair grey, it shows you’re a survivor – you made it through.
Growing old also provides you with decades of insight you don’t get when you’re younger. It takes time to understand how the whole show works.
There’s a tendency to see aging as something negative – and in many ways, it is. But there are also positive aspects to it we shouldn’t overlook.
You Have More Time For Others
At the start of life, you spend the vast majority of your time working like a maniac, trying to accumulate the resources you need to have a decent quality of life. The problem, though, with working fifty hours a week, is that it takes you away from the things that matter – your friends and family.
Getting older, however, helps to reverse this process. When you retire, you suddenly have more time to do all the things you never could in your working life. And that means you can invest more time in your relationships – the most motivating aspect of existence for many people.
You Develop Better Social Skills
Learning how to navigate the social environment is a massive challenge. Other people are complicated, and so are you. So it takes time to learn the game.
Once you have several decades under your belt, though, you can gain worldly wisdom. Eventually, you see how the landscape works and are able to run with it confidently. You’re much better able to deal with difficult situations and know precisely what the other person needs to hear. Over time, you become known in your local community for your sensitive, empathic abilities.
Achieving A Sense Of Accomplishment
Feeling a sense that you’ve accomplished something in your life is difficult when aged twenty. When you hit sixty, though, you’ve had way more time to get done what you needed to do.
Achieving a sense of accomplishment is something you only get once you pass a certain age. You can watch your children grow up and take on the world, just like you did when you were young. And you can see the effects of your work in the world all over the place.
You Get Discounts
Despite the fact that you probably have a large pension pot in the bank, you get various privileged discounts when you become a senior. There are discounts all over the place, from medicine to dining to entertainment and transportation.
All these perks are a way for society to express its collective admiration for people who’ve committed their lives to the good of the people around them. Well – that’s the hope, at least.
You Have More Time For Civics And Volunteering
When you get older, you no longer have to pursue a career if you don’t want to. Instead, you can change how you use your time, focusing more on civics and volunteering.
Many in-home senior care providers actively make this a part of their service offering. Being able to dedicate your time to people in need gives your life a strong sense of purpose and fill the days, which can sometimes seem a little empty.
You Have A Happier Outlook
Over the decades, research has shown that happiness peaks at age twenty and then declines in our thirties and forties, before bouncing back later in life. If you are old, therefore, you are much more likely to feel happy too.
Why this happens isn’t entirely clear. You would have thought that the younger generation would be the most content since they have their health and vigor. But psychologists believe the reason has to do with an improved ability to deal with hardship. Over the course of their lives, older people develop the skills they need to thrive emotionally, even in situations of adversity. People in their thirties and forties facing issues like unemployment and divorce don’t have the benefit of hindsight. They must go through these things first.
The perks of getting older, therefore, do exist. Often, it is a question of being grateful for what we have, not angry about things we don’t.
A blog by Rachel Bustin that you might be interested in.