There is Some Positive in Aging
On the day we are born, we began the aging process. And although the first 30 or so years seem to be all positive as we matured and developed into adults, few, if any of us, can say we were happy to turn 30, or 40, or 50, or even 60. It seems that we in this country view aging as primarily negative.
We notice little wrinkles as we gaze into the mirror in the morning, our muscles take longer to recovery from those gardening chores, reading the fine print now requires glasses, staying up too late requires three days of recovery, and we all start to think of our mortality, our legacy, and unanswerable question: Have I done all that I can do with my life?
Yet, don’t be mistaken, there is a positive to the aging process, and just maybe it is time we sit back and reflected a bit on what is “good” about getting older.
- We have developed into our own person. In other words, we generally are no longer searching for “who we are,” as we did when we were in our teens, 20’s, and 30’s. We know what we like and don’t like, what works for us and what doesn’t, and no more identity crisis.
- We now have a level of confidence in what we can offer the world. We have accomplished something through our work, our social involvements, and our families; and these accomplishments help to define who we are and offer us confidence in our daily
- We can live in the present and not worry as much about what the future will bring. We have planned and struggled so that our “present” is set and taken care of with as few worries as possible. We are all grown up and don’t have that burden anymore.
- Fewer events trigger outrageous reactions in us. We are calmer and less prone to over react. For example, the grandkids spilling milk on the living room carpet is no longer a big deal – just wipe it up and move on for we have seen it all before.
- We are more focused on what we want to accomplish, and, as a result, are more motivated to complete certain tasks.
- Our legacy becomes more apparent and more of an issue. This is good because we now have the time to straighten up any relationships that may have gone astray in the past, complete any unresolved goals, and put our houses in order.
- Although our health issues seem to be getting more numerous and more serious as we age, we are more equipped at handling doctors tell us.
- We are also a healthier generation than our parents were: we pay more attention to what we eat, staying in shape, and are, generally, more proactive about staying as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
- We are wise old sages after all. Even though the advent of the Internet has made us all feel lacking in knowledge as we can so readily find a piece of elusive information in seconds, it also boosts the fact that we really do know much more than we thought we did. And if you doubt that, just watch the mistakes your kids make, even after you tell them not to do something.
- And, we have all had an incredible impact on the world. The James Stewart movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” clearly shows how terrible the world he knows might have been if he had not been around to influence others. Well, the same is true for you – just play the mind game where you pretend you had not been born and see where all those you now know may have ended up – you have done much more good than bad, had very positives influences on many, many people, and clearly the world is now a better place because of you having been in it!
In short, aging is the end of life on this planet. It doesn’t always end the way we want, but the aging process most often does afford us the ability to reflect and consider how great life has been, and how wonderful the remaining years will be. Be positive and enjoy your life!