- We stop seeking external validation
- We become less judgmental
- We overcome the need to be perfect
- We lean on others
- We know we can't help everyone
- We stop playing the blame game
- We learn to let go
- We become early risers
- We make better decisions
- We are connected to ourselves
- We no longer fight time
- We are not obsessed with the future
- Our health finally comes first
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.
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.
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 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’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.
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.
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.
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 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.
And they come to us naturally! As we grow up, we tend to spend lesser time mulling things over and more time dedicating ourselves to the decisions we’ve made. We learn to stick to our commitments and make the most of them. The myriad of bad decisions in our youth makes it easier to make better ones in our present. They teach us that nothing ever lasts forever and that we need to own our choices to move forward. With age, we become stronger and wiser from our mistakes and sail through life with a clarity that eluded us in the passion of our youth.
Age brings with it a deeper understanding of who we truly are as people and teaches us to be comfortable with who we’ve become. We’ve played the part of being ourselves for a while now and it comes to us more naturally. We start to enjoy it and cherish the ups and downs that come with it. Instead of trying to be like someone else, we feel okay being uniquely us. As a result, we exude confidence, any self-doubt takes a backseat, and we drive our lives ahead with comfort and courage.
When we are young, we want to do a lot of things. And there is rarely time to do them all. When we’ve spent a few decades living our lives, we’ve experienced many things that we always wanted to do. We no longer feel the need to constantly fight time to stay standing. We become more responsible and better at getting things done – be it chores around the house, following our passion, or just getting work done. We know how to do things more efficiently and become better at gauging the time & effort for a task. Plus, with age, we know what truly requires our attention- and our focus moves from long work hours or clubbing to quality time with family or ourselves. As a result, we often have time on our hands to do things that we truly cherish.
One of the best gifts of age is the realization that the only way we can improve our future or get something done in the future is to do it now. We no longer procrastinate things to tomorrow, take charge and start working on our passions/ responsibilities today. Instead of worrying about what might happen tomorrow, we embrace the present moment and put in the effort to make the most of it.
We realize the importance of our health as we get older. We respect our bodies and give it what it needs. For some of us, it is because certain chronic conditions have forced us to take better care of ourselves. For others, it is because we’ve learned to appreciate our bodies and take care of them over the years. Our life experiences finally allow us to make time for our health. We practice better diets and exercise habits and do more things that make us feel happier. All-nighters now seem to lose their charm and a timely sleep schedule excites us more.
It’s true, becoming older comes with its own challenges. But so does youth. If we are willing to accept ourselves, no matter the age, we can realize the advantages that come with it. We can live our lives being who we are instead of just spending our time in the futility of becoming younger.
In the end, age is just a number. While we could shy away from accepting this truth, we really should embrace the golden years and all that they bring with them- emotional and financial stability, an unprejudiced approach to relationships, the willingness to let go of the past, and a wider perspective to life – also, don’t forget the senior discounts, playtime with grandchildren, and countless memories of a life well-lived :)
So rather than worrying about grey hair and wrinkles, let’s talk about how lucky we truly are to still be alive, surrounded by people we adore, and embrace life with open arms.
And to end with some more wisdom from Disney’s Frozen II, some things never change.