Good news for those struggling with the concept of getting older. There's much to look forward to!
Open a magazine or flip on the tv and you will notice a disturbing trend. Most of the people you’ll see are young and free of wrinkles. And tan. And in shape. And seemingly, endlessly happy. This of course, implicitly (and explicitly) sends the message that happiness lies in youth. And while we are all aware of the joys and benefits of being young (and even what’s scary about aging), how many are really in touch with the ADVANTAGES of getting older? Stay tuned and you might just look forward to what lies ahead.
1. You Make Fewer Emotional Mistakes – You’ve “Been there, done that,” learned your lessons and stopped repeating them.
2. You Get Comfortable in Your Skin – You’ve long since left the ‘awkward stage’ both physically and emotionally and you start to understand that worries of the past are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. With this knowledge you gain a greater sense of confidence and competence in who and what you are.
3. You Still Know Less Than You Hoped but More Than You Ever Imagined – You realize that the older you get, the less you know, however, you also begin to comprehend just how much your experiences have taught you. You are smarter and sharper than you ever thought possible.
4. You Have So Much Less to Prove – With your age, you’ve had time to fulfill and accomplish some or most of your dreams. You’ve brought them to fruition and can bask in your successes. You’ve put answers to your life question marks and now, you actually have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
5. You Get to Take Mental Notes – You’re old enough to truly learn from your parents, teachers, friends and foes and do better than they ever could. You examine what they did right (and replicate it) and banish what they did wrong. You’re the ramped up version of what they tried to be and didn’t have the opportunity to become. You are Person 2.0!
6. You Learn That Your Ego Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be – Yesterday you were stubborn and determined to prove that you were right at all costs. Today, you see that it’s far easier (and more enjoyable) when you focus on being “happy” instead of being “right.” Your joy soars and your stress sinks.
Need some celebrity proof? Check this out:
Jennifer Aniston - Just found the love of her life…at 43.
Madonna – Single mother of 4, music mogul, clothing designer, director & children’s author…at 53.
Helen Mirren – Voted “Body of the Year” in 2011, by an L.A. Fitness survey…at 66.
Sophia Loren - STILL one of the most enduring celebrity sex symbols…at 77.
Betty White – Currently enjoying the peak of a very long and successful career…at 88.
Not too shabby, don’t you think? Some may still argue that being young is where it’s at. And you know what? It is, to some extent. The point however, is that youth is fleeting. Those that make a choice to continue to take pleasure in what they’ve got, have a greater likelihood of maintaining their joy and fending off feelings of depression that loom when we focus more on what we’ve lost and less on what we’ve gained.
It’s about being present to the moment and mindful of the gifts we’ve been given as we’re ushered into the next and inevitable stage of life. Re-framing the negatives by understanding the positives is just one powerful way of taking control of your life and owing what you bring to the table. So next time you look in the mirror and frown over the grays emerging from the top of your head, remember that there are at least six great benefits from it. If you still aren’t convinced, go ahead and reach for the hair dye. After all, you’ve earned it!