Young children are often eager to grow older. They despise being treated as babies, and they yearn for the freedom and the power of adulthood: the ability to drive a car, to choose their own dinner, to adopt as many puppies as they want! But at a certain age, often as teenagers or young adults, many people begin to dread aging. Naively, they think they’ve reached the peak of life. In reality, as only seniors can attest, each decade of life presents its own joys and sorrows. What do you think is the best thing about getting older?
What’s the Best Thing About Getting Older?
I’m not sure it would be possible to get everyone in the world to agree on the best thing about getting older. However, if you ask seniors, most provide one of several answers – which we’ve compiled into the list below. So if you know someone who’s struggling to celebrate yet another birthday, show them this list to remind them of all the wonderful things that only come with age.
Experience & Wisdom
As Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” In your decades of life, you’ve learned a lot about all sorts of things. Some of this wisdom will reflect your particular interests, but a lot of it is general knowledge that anyone can benefit from – how to cook a solid meal, how to manage your finances, how to deal with unpleasant people, etc. Share this wisdom with the younger people in your life so that they can benefit from your experience, and relish the fact that you’re now a true sage.
The Ability to Ignore What Other People Think of You
During adolescence and beyond, many people are overly concerned with what their peers think of them. They might even change the way they dress, speak, look, and act because they’re worried about being popular or making sure that everyone likes them. As we grow older, we typically feel more free to be ourselves, and we don’t waste time wondering if everyone else approves. It’s a joy to be yourself unapologetically.
When you appreciate your own wisdom and ignore what other people think of you, you also gain a lot of confidence. You can look back on the things you’ve accomplished in life and pat yourself on the back for them. Most people find a newfound confidence in their sunset years, which is refreshing after decades of doubt.
In your senior years, you no longer have to worry about how things will turn out. All the uncertainties that used to trouble you (Will I love and be loved? Will I have children? Will I have a rewarding career? Will I travel the world?) will have been resolved. Whether you accomplished what you wished to or not, you no longer have to make so many significant decisions, leaving you free to relax and appreciate your everyday life.
Without a 40-hour workweek, children to raise, and major life goals to worry about, seniors can enjoy more free time in retirement. And you can use this time however you wish! You’ll likely want to spend a lot of your free time relaxing, but remember that a lot of people accomplish amazing things in their retirement. It’s not too late to take up a new hobby, start volunteering, write a memoir, or learn a coveted skill.
Appreciating Family & Friends
Not only will you have more time to spend with friends and family in your senior years, but you’ll also have more high-quality relationships. The fickle friends of your younger years have long since faded away, and you’re left with only true friends from your past and new friends in your newfound community. And if you have children or grandchildren, you can delight in their company and watch them grow older.
The next time you’re sitting around with some of your older friends, pose the question to the group: What is the best thing about getting older? Not only will you learn something new about each person who answers, but also you’ll likely find that you agree with many of the answers. So when the conversation ends, you can all revel in the fact that there are many wonderful things about aging.
If you’re looking for a new home where you can enjoy your golden years, check out The Shores of Lake Phalen in Maplewood, Minnesota. Our facility is surrounded by a wooded setting near two lakes, and our community offers apartment-style housing with the atmosphere and elegance of a resort. Thanks to the team of dedicated staff members, residents enjoy a carefree lifestyle without the common worries of running a household. Schedule a tour to explore our community or give us a call at 651-777-7784. We look forward to hearing from you!