We are all caught up in being young. The media constantly pushes messages to us about being youthful and energetic. Messages around us are peddling the advantages of remaining young constantly. Be it anti-aging creams or energy drinks, in the pursuit of preserving youthfulness, we deny the good things that also come with age.
Every stage of our lives is characterized by its own advantages if we choose to accept where we are and lean into it. Becoming older and mature has advantages that are freeing and fulfilling if we can just take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come. Experience brings confidence, stability, and true self-love. If things go as planned, we become wiser, have more financial security, and a solid foundation of family and friends who have stood by us for decades.
In the words of Olaf the snowman from Disney’s Frozen:
A lot of things make sense when we are older. We are also perfectly comfortable learning life lessons from Disney movies :) But without further ado, here are some other things to look forward to when we are older.
We stop seeking external validation
As we become older, we learn to become comfortable with our decisions. We realize what it means to truly live with our choices, and we are okay choosing our own path, despite disapproval from others. We stop trying to please others and live the life we’ve always wanted. We are not afraid about what others will think if we do something or make certain decisions. We deeply understand that we are all different and what is right for us, may not be so for others. And that’s okay.
We become less judgmental
Because we respect our own individuality, we respect others as well. We understand that sometimes life just puts us all in situations that change us. We make mistakes and falter – after all, we are only human. We stop judging people who are different or who’ve made mistakes. We are able to forgive what would have been unforgivable in the eyes of our younger selves. Our experiences make us more empathetic. We accept people for who they are instead of judging them by our ideals or trying to change them.
We overcome the need to be perfect
We seek wholeness instead. We learn that life is not perfect, and neither are we. We make the most of what we’ve got and appreciate it rather than trying to fight ourselves. We accept who we are and who others are as well.
We lean on others
We’ve had time and experience to foster deep connections and develop strong bonds over the years. We’ve been there for our near and dear ones, and they have done the same for us. As we grow older, we appreciate our support group and lean on them when we need them. We realize that we are stronger together and that we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. Besides, it’s a lot more fun and assuring to have people who we can count on, as we go through life.
We know we can't help everyone
Part of being non-judgmental means knowing that we are all on our unique journeys. We cannot save and help everyone. With age, we realize that sometimes, we must put our needs before anyone else’s, to maintain our sanity and self-respect. We also understand that some people just don’t want to be helped and it is not our destiny to help others.
We stop playing the blame game
As we develop a better understanding of the world, we begin to realize that we can either look for culprits to blame our issues on or focus on improvement and start looking for solutions. We are not interested in punishment but rather in the outcomes we are seeking. With age, we realize that there is no point in blaming our problems on the situation or the people because that will not change the outcome of the situation.
We learn to let go
Be it jobs, or relationships, we learn to let go of things that do not serve us or support us. We realize that each experience comes our way for a reason and there is no point trying to hold on to it. We learn the same thing about our past wrongs and childhood traumas. As our perspective widens, it becomes clearer that holding on to pain and suffering from the past is hurting us deeply. Our experiences and self-understanding encourage us to let it all go. We come to realize that we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our reactions to it. We become more willing to even forgive the unforgivable deeds – wrongs others have done to us and even the ones we’ve done to others. Instead of bitter, hurtful feelings, we make room for compassion, forgiveness, and kindness.
We become early risers
We spend so much of our youth trying to get up early, fighting the alarm clock for years. And just when we give up trying, we find ourselves getting up early. As we grow older, our hormones and routines change too. We get up earlier to get kids to school or get a head start to work before the morning rush. We also cherish a few hours of uninterrupted “me-time” to get us through the day.