What do you say when a young person asks you about aging? This morning my daughter asked me, ‘What are some of the good things about getting old mum?’ I asked her why she was asking and the response was so sad.
The ‘Stay Young Industry’
She said, ‘I am constantly reading all these things about how I have to stay looking young, put this on your skin, don’t put this on your skin, don’t drink through a straw because it gives you wrinkles around your mouth, sleep this way, eat this thing. There is a whole industry about staying young and looking young mum and I just wondered why getting old was so bad.’
What Are The Good Things About Getting Old?
What would you say to a young person in their 20s who asked you this question? What are the good things about getting old? Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of the aging process that are not fabulous, but there are also some that are really wonderful. Here is my list, please add yours below:
- If you are a female who has been through menopause, there are some things in life it is a sheer joy never to have to do again. You know what I am talking about. A whole layer of stress about, ‘What is it safe to wear?’, ‘What will I need to take with me?’, ‘Do I have anything in my bag?’ … never need cross your mind again.
- You love yourself more. I have had a few decades to work out I am not perfect and that is OK. What I am now is ‘perfectly me’ and that is messy, happy, sometimes untidy, smart and kind. All that is fine with me.
- You no longer seek the approval of others as often. I now know you cannot please all the people all the time … some days it is hard enough to please yourself. I understand not everyone will like me and that is OK. As long as I can hold my head high knowing I have behaved well in any situation, I don’t need the approval of others.
- Confidence! Because I have lived this rumble tumble journey of life for a few decades longer than those who are just starting their journey, I am confident I can survive most of what life throws at me (I already have!). Feeling confident you will survive and maybe even thrive despite what life throws at you, is an incredible freedom.
- There is more freedom to be yourself more peacefully and that I really love.
We are all going to age and if we can do it with grace, it is a happier process for us and apparently inspiring for those coming after us.
I love the curiosity that is brought to bear when we consider how we might answer a question like this. The reflection and acceptance and subsequent pride in self is so very powerful.