Have you noticed the decades cruising by at an uncomfortable rate of speed? Did you stop counting birthdays a long time ago? Do you dread getting older?
Cheer up. Take courage. Margaret Manning is right, “The truth is that getting older is nothing to be feared. In fact, there are many reasons to believe that life in your 60s and 70s can be the best time of your life.”
Not many people would say they are happy about getting older. In fact, aging is the unofficial curse of mankind.
Over 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon started searching for the fabled Fountain of Youth. Today the scientific community is filled with researchers spending millions of dollars trying to discover a biological Fountain of Youth.
The implications are clear. Getting old is the ultimate enemy.
No one would argue getting older is a reason to do a 24-hour happy dance.
Many of my friends remind each other, “Getting old is not for wimps.” True. When your body has walked the planet for over 50 years, some things begin to fall apart. Mystery pains appear. You see the doctor so often you start calling him by his first name.
But in spite of all this, I celebrate getting older. At the age of 62 these are the best days of my life as I launch my coaching and writing career.
Let’s get this straight. I’m no Superman. I’ve not discovered what Ponce de Leon could not. I’m not injecting myself with secret hormone shots in an effort to confuse the aging gods. I have my share of aches and pains. I’m starting to think naps are a good thing.
Why do I embrace getting older while wearing a smile?
As the years go by, you gain a perspective not found in younger years. Mysteries of why things happened years ago start to clear up. You are able to see how the pieces of life fit together. Using thoughtful retrospection, the older you become, the more life makes sense.
Do you remember the days when the opinion of others became the primary influence on the decisions you made? The clothes you wore, the college you attended, how you cut your hair, and what kind of car you drove all depended on what others thought. Not any more. Growing older rescues you from that kind of thinking.
In the formative years, life centered on building a career. I found myself putting career above family. With every passing year I learn more about what is really important. I am discovering life is all about relationships. Nothing is more important.
In a weird moment of self-discovery, while trying to decide what book to read next, I realized my reading days were limited. If I read one book a month for the rest of my life there might be only 250 more books to conquer. Time is running out. Every day must be lived to the fullest. Every choice counts.
In most cultures, older people are held in high esteem for good reason. Life is the ultimate educational institution. The older you get the more you learn.
As time goes by you accumulate many life lessons to pass on to the next generation. People begin to seek you out for wisdom and guidance.
One of the joys of aging is to watch the next generations grow into adulthood. They face and conquer the challenges of life. And, once in a while, I am privileged to be part of their journey. The older I become the sweeter it is to have moments when my life intersects with theirs.
At the close of every year, you’ve written another chapter in your autobiography. When you die, your legacy is the life you’ve lived. Now is the time to work on your legacy. Live being aware of the legacy you are creating.
I’m not happy with wrinkles and thinning hair. But I love getting older. It is a sweet time in life. Embrace it. Go ahead. I dare you. Fall in love with getting older.
What do you celebrate about getting older? How do you celebrate the years that you put behind? What new perspectives about life have you gained in the years after 60? Please join the conversation below.
Tags Getting Older