How do you feel about getting older? Some days I love it, and some days I don’t. I think that’s normal! Just like any stage in life, there are things we’d rather not deal with (Hormones and declining health, anyone?), but there are also absolutely wonderful things about getting older. Just like so much in life, it’s all about the way you look at it. Today I’m sharing ten reasons to love getting older and embrace aging.
About six months ago, I was asked to appear on Morning Dose, the CW’s morning syndicated morning show to talk about the social media backlash over an Instagram photo of 64-year-old Christie Brinkley. To my surprise, when it aired, they referred to me as a “blogger on aging.” What? Hahahahaha!
1. You Care Less What Others Think
If the teenage years are the apex of peer pressure, the post-fifty years are the direct opposite of that. Some days I find myself caring so little about how I look that I have to remind myself that other people have to actually look at me when I leave the house! Hahahaha! 🙂 I find that I’m more confident about what I can pull off and what I can’t fashion-wise, and, although you know I love to keep up with the trends, I don’t feel bound by them.
2. You Can Continue Learning and Growing
When the kids were in the nest, there wasn’t a lot of time to focus on yourself. (Let’s face it, when you’re raising kids, it’s all about their education, not yours!) Aging brings with it the time to satisfy your curiosity by joining a book club, taking a class, or learning a new language. (My friend Isabel is learning French in her 60s and my 80+ mom is so committed to continuing to learn and grow in her faith that she’s in two Bible Studies a week! I love that.) Opportunities to learn and try new things abound. (But be forewarned! Know that it will take courage to put yourself in the position of being a “learner” once more.) The key is to stay curious! The more you question, try, and push yourself into uncomfortable places, the more you’re going to grow. And that’s awesome.
3. You Have the Perspective of Time
As you get older, you learn that every decision isn’t life or death, and the difference between right and wrong isn’t always black and white. You find that you’re not as afraid of making mistakes or making the “wrong” decision. Isn’t it freeing?
4. You Have a Greater Sense of Contentment
Getting older helps you appreciate your blessings and all you have to be grateful for, whatever your present circumstances. If you’re not already keeping a gratitude journal, it’s time to start! I feel so strongly about this that last year, in conjunction with Steph Weibring of Joy Creative Shop, I designed this “official” Empty Nest Blessed Gratitude Journal.j.
5. You Can Take Advantage of Opportunities That Come Your Way
Today, opportunities abound! Whether it’s a grand adventure overseas or camping in a nearby state park, travel is broadening and fun. As you get older, you’ll find lots of opportunities to serve others, make a difference in the world, and share your wisdom and experience with those who need your inspiration. Also, isn’t it great that we live in a time when you have a world of knowledge (quite literally) at your fingertips, even if you’re housebound?
6. You Appreciate the Slowness & Quietness
When the kids were in the nest, life was busy, fast, and loud. But as you get older, you’re grateful for the slower pace and the silence. You appreciate having the time to let your mind wander. When it’s quiet, you can actually hear your own thoughts. Try to resist the urge to talk on the phone or listen to a podcast sometimes. See if letting your mind wander sparks new ideas or gives you a fresh perspective on a challenging situation. What you can learn in the silence will amaze you.
7. You Have a Stronger Sense of Self
As you age, you get to know yourself better, and you become more comfortable with who you are. You know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. You understand your unique gifts and abilities. And along with that understanding, comes confidence, and a stronger sense of self-acceptance.
8. You Have a Sense of Urgency
If you’re over fifty, you understand that the days are long, but the years are short. Time goes by quickly! Life doesn’t stretch out before you quite the way it did when you were a twenty-something. You’re more focused on making a difference, leaving a legacy, and living life with a sense of purpose. And that’s a good thing, because it will change how you choose to spend your time.
9. You Can Give Your Relationships the Time They Deserve
With getting older comes a deeper understanding of the value of relationships. There is time to reinvigorate, improve, and enjoy your marriage. Bob and I felt kind of like we started a conversation thirty-two years ago, paused it while we raised the kids, and now we can pick up back where we left off—except that now there’s so much more to discuss! Even if you’re not married, you can strengthen your friendships, dip a toe back into the dating pool, or make new friends by volunteering. You can be proactive and intentional about being a better parent to your adult kids, or even being the best mother-in-law you possibly can.
10. You Have a Better Handle on Your Purpose
In a 2014 study published in The Lancet, researchers found that those with the highest sense of purpose were 30 percent less likely to die during the 8.5 year study period. In fact, doing something that mattered correlated with seven extra years of life! Still not sure what your purpose is? I’ve written quite a bit about figuring out what’s next in the empty nest in the past, but I know that some of you are still struggling in this area. I’m going to be writing about finding your life’s purpose in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. 🙂
Getting older can bring about its own set of issues. Dealing with things like aging parents, wayward kids, health struggles, or financial woes can be challenging and difficult. I’m not discounting or downplaying those issues and the hardships they bring, but I do believe that we can choose to look at the blessings and joys of aging, even in the midst of struggles. There’s a lot to appreciate about getting older!
Dressing for comfort and not being a slave to trendiness is one of my favorite things about getting older! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dressing up, but no longer will I wear things that are uncomfortable or fit poorly. In fact, I think the holy grail of fashion is a look that’s comfortable, classic, versatile, fits well, and is well-made. When I found this tunic dress, I knew I’d hit the style jackpot! I love that it’s a classic piece that I can wear with my beloved Spanx faux-leather leggings. I styled it with a pair of fun (and aging-foot-friendly) Sam Edelman leopard print ballet flats. I so appreciate the cushy insoles he puts in all of his shoes! You’ll see me style this tunic with bare legs and my favorite ruffle-back booties—or even with nice flip flops—as the weather turns warmer. I think the pretty gold hardware dresses it up a little, and the sleeve detailing shows it’s a quality piece. (Oh, and did you notice the pockets?!!!) #welovedresseswithpockets #ohyeswedo 🙂
As I put the finishing touches on this post, I’m in our condo on Sanibel Island! It’s so beautiful and peaceful here. It really is my happy place. Bob is working in Miami this week, and he’ll head over to join me for the weekend. I’m here for a couple of meetings and to spend time with my parents, who live on the mainland. Be sure to watch my Instastory and Facebook Story this week to see all of my adventures!
Photos by Megan Weaver.