A lot of people fear growing older but, if you ask us, the ageing process brings some great benefits, too – as Vicar of Dibley actress Dawn French knows. She says it’s a privilege to get older.
“It’s not for wusses. Things go a bit wrong …,” the 63-year-old added. “Your teeth are a bit yellower, your chin has sagged, you’re fatter, you’re greyer. But ultimately, it ain’t so bad.”
And did you know studies often show senior citizens are among the happiest people in society, and that they are significantly happier than those in middle age?
Here are some great reasons to look forward to growing older.
1. The relationships you have are ones you’ve honed over years
Fear of missing out and spreading yourself too thin can hamper friendships in youth, when making lots of new friends whenever possible, and navigating fallouts, are the order of the day. But in later life, things are often calmer and your tolerance levels sharper. You don’t have the time, energy or patience for friends who treat you like a free therapist, or don’t show up when you need them.
Instead, with more decades under your belt, it’s possible to invest time in select relationships that feed your soul, make you feel happy and that really matter.
2. You generally have more money at your disposal
While money isn’t the route to all happiness, with increased years often comes the comfort of increased financial security (and a paid-off mortgage). Plus, with experience, you’re also likely to be savvier with your money than you were in your 20s.
3. There’s less emphasis on the importance of looks
In adolescence it’s easy to be your own harshest critic, and relatively normal to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to disguise ‘imperfections’ with layers of make-up and hairspray.
Being older and wiser can really improve body confidence, because at 60, 70, 80, who really gives a fig if a stranger in the supermarket sees you bare-faced?!
4. There’s more chance to gain perspective
In the latter half of life, in all probability, you’ve had your fair share of break-ups, bereavements, health issues, and family dramas and, as a result, sweating the small stuff is way down on the emotional to-do list.
At this stage, your strengths and weaknesses are clearer, as is your self-awareness, and you have more emotional tools to deal with whatever life decides to throw at you.
5. Comparison culture has loosened its grip
Life is finite – a fact that becomes clearer as you grow older, and one that really erodes any worries you used to harbour around what other people are doing with their lives. You’ve got your own to focus on after all, and that’s what’s important. Who has time for jealousy and envy?
6. You’re not afraid to say ‘no’
One of the best things about growing older is that you seemingly have more licence to say exactly what you think, and that includes saying no to things you don’t want to do.
Spending your time on the things you love, and keeping your sanity in check, is way more important than burning yourself out for other people.
7. It can be easier to find the joy in small things
Simple things like enjoying a cup of coffee with friends, taking a long walk in nature and seeing the grandkids can take on greater significance than material things, the rat race of trying to get ahead at work, climbing the property ladder and the pressure to track down a life partner.
With age – if you’re lucky – comes the time and space to appreciate the little everyday things that much more.
Do you fear getting older? What reasons have you found to embrace and enjoy it?
– With PA
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