I was a guest on a podcast the other day where we were talking about aging.
I recently turned 60 (!!) and I do believe it has been one of the best birthdays I have ever had. I feel as though I have somehow arrived, and while I once saw the number 60 as unnerving, it actually feels pretty darn good. And I wonder what I was once so worried about.
A read a statistic that people these days are on average living around 10 years longer than their grandparents. People are not only living longer but the quality of their lives have improved as well. We are having to re-do and re-think the entire process of aging and what is abundantly clear is that there is no predictable way to do it.
Yet there is a lag time between people’s attitudes and expectations towards an older generation and the reality of what it now looks like. All around us there are examples of people creating and contributing on a high level well into a time in their life that we once believed they should be toothless in their rockers at the old age home.
There is a narrative about what we should be doing and what we should be experiencing that needs to change. But it is not just society that must change. It is us that needs to own the process and create our version of what it means. There is no one way to age. We all have a different experience. But when we allow the experience to be there without the expectations of what others think we should and shouldn’t be doing and experiencing, we take back the power to drive our own bus.
I have a pet peeve with the companies who try to get us to buy into the need for products touted as anti-aging. The assumption is that we all must somehow want to turn back the hands of time. As if there is something wrong with aging. I personally would never want to go back to my 20s or 30s or even 40s for that matter. I have no regret and I have no desire for a do-over, even though I made a ton of mistakes. And sure my body has aches right now that it didn’t have before but truthfully, I dealt with a ton of body pain starting when I was around 16 or 17 as a result of what I did for a living. This is just different.
My question is, why do we have a problem with getting older? Why do we feel stuck?
What we don’t often realize is that this might just be the best phase of our lives. Our futures are once again in our hands, to do with as we choose. We have done our part towards populating the world and for many of us, those offspring are off creating lives of their own. (amen)
It’s our turn.
Enough with the idea of feeling old. What does that really mean anyways? How you feel about being older is up to you. I choose to feel good about it.
It’s your life – make it a great one!