Have you noticed the decades cruising by at an uncomfortable rate of speed? Did you stop counting birthdays a long time ago? Do you dread growing old?
Many Boomers are uptight about getting old. They are like over ripe fruit: squishy and moldy. In a moment I want to share with you 7 reasons why you should celebrate getting old. But before I get to the main part of today’s article I invite you to watch this Tim Hawkins clip about how aging Boomer rock stars will need to change their songs. (I promise it will put you in a better frame of mind.)
Cheer up. Take courage. Margaret Manning is right, “The truth is that getting older is nothing to be feared. In fact, there are many reasons [to] believe that life in your 60s and 70s can be the best time of your life.”
Not many people would say they are happy about growing old. Aging is the unofficial curse of mankind. Over 500 years ago Ponce de Leon started searching for the fabled Fountain of Youth. Today the scientific community is filled with researchers spending millions of dollars trying to discover a biological Fountain of Youth.
The implications are clear. Growing old is the ultimate enemy.
Many of my friends remind each other, “Getting old is not for wimps.” True. When your body has walked the planet for over 50 years some things begin to fall apart. Mystery pains appear. You see the doctor so often you start calling him by his first name.
But in spite of all this, I celebrate growing old. At the age of 62 these are the best days of my life as I launch my speaking and writing career.
I’m no Superman. I’ve not discovered what Ponce de Leon could not. I’m not injecting myself with secret hormone shots in an effort to confuse the aging gods. I have my share of aches and pains. I’m starting to think naps are a good thing.
So why do I embrace growing old while wearing a smile?
I celebrate growing old because I’m nearing the top of a mountain which gives me perspective.
As the years increase you gain a perspective not found in younger years. Mysteries of why things happened years ago start to clear up. You are able to see how the pieces of life fit together. Using thoughtful retrospection, the older you become, the more life makes sense.
I celebrate growing old because I care less and less about what people think.
Do you remember the days when the opinion of others became the primary influence on the decisions you made? The clothes you wore, the college you attended, how you cut your hair, and what kind of car you drove all depended on what others thought. Not any more. Growing older rescues you from that kind of thinking.
I celebrate growing old because I’m learning what’s really important.
In the formative years, life centered on building a career. I found myself putting career above family. With every passing year I learn more about what is really important. I am discovering life is all about relationships. Nothing is more important.
I celebrate growing old because I’m realizing the need to make every day count.
In a weird moment of self-discovery, while trying to decide what book to read next, I realized my reading days were limited. If I read one book a month for the rest of my life there might be only 250 more books to conquer. Time is running out. Every day must be lived to the fullest. Every choice counts.
I celebrate growing old because I am morphing into the role of a Sage.
In most cultures older people are held in high esteem for good reason. Life is the ultimate educational institution. The older you get the more you learn. As time goes by you accumulate many life lessons to pass on to the next generation. People begin to seek you out for wisdom and guidance.
I celebrate growing old because I get to see my kids and grandkids grow up.
One of the joys of aging is to watch the next generations grow into adulthood. They face and conquer the challenges of life. And once in a while I am privileged to be part of their journey. The older I become the sweeter it is to have moments when my life intersects with theirs.
I celebrate growing old because I have opportunity to work on my legacy.
At the close of every year you’ve written another chapter in your autobiography. When you die your legacy is the life you’ve lived. Now is the time to work on your legacy. Live being aware of the legacy you are creating.
I’m not happy with wrinkles and thinning hair. But I love growing old. It is a sweet time in life. Celebrate it. Go ahead. I dare you. Fall in love with growing old.
Some people get old and get bitter. Other get better. The ReFIRE principles help you get better.