ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Getting Older Should Be Embraced Instead of Feared

Updated on October 16, 2016

The Wisest People I Know and Admire are All Older Than I Am

Source

The Stigma of Aging

Growing up, I couldn't wait for my next birthday. First I was five, then ten, then fifteen years old! At eighteen I got my license and at twenty-one I could legally drink!

(Ironically, that is also when I got sober, but that is another story for another time.)

After twenty-one, I started getting that same looming feeling that I have heard all my life, "it's all downhill from here."

Not only has that been proven untrue, but I have found that life is quite the opposite, at least for me.

Why do so many people fear a thing which should be embraced fully? Growing up is the journey of life, not a death sentence. If you spend all of your time fighting the invevitable, you may just miss the time of your life.

I find it ironic that I spent years and years running from the person I truly was, the person I was meant to be, in some vain attempt to "fit in with the cool kids" because now that I am older and no longer have the strength to run from myself, I have found out that I am a pretty cool chick.

This Clip from the Movie Up Captures the Beauty of Being Able to Grow Old with Those You Love

Do you lie about your age?

See results

Watch 'The Bucketlist' - A Movie that Captures the Essence of Seizing the Moment and Enjoying All Life Has to Offer

Myths About Getting Older

Here are some common misconceptions associated with aging:

  • Getting old hurts (in a 2009 Pew Research Study, participants ranging in age from 18 to 60 reported feeling a larger number of years younger than their actual age the older they got)
  • Getting old makes you forget things (verbal and math abilities and spatial and abstract reasoning all improve in middle age)
  • Getting old is depressing (a number of studies have all found that while happiness dips in the 40s, people start to feel more content with life after the age of 50)
  • Getting older means getting lonelier (there are numerous studies that have concluded that an empty nest actually allows for increased marital satisfaction)
  • As you age you have less and less control over your destiny ("One may have greater personal control over one's biopsychosocial health after retirement than previously recognized," concluded a study conducted over a 60-year period, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.)

Age is Just a Number - To Grow Up You Don't Need to Get Old

Source

Health Benefits Associated with Growing Older

The old adage "with age comes wisdom" isn't just something people say - it's a phrase based on significant scientific evidence. Of course there are always those exceptions, the ones who never grow up, but for most of us, with time comes a stronger mind, a healthier brain, and yes, more wisdom.

Although many people feel like they get increasingly forgetful with age, studies have shown that problem solving skills, your capabilities to understand and comprehend information, as well as your judgement skills all improve as we age.

Not only do you become wiser as you get older, you also become healthier physically in many ways!

Research is still exploring this medical mystery, but those who suffer from chronic migraines seem to recover completely by their late 50s and early 60s. People who have struggled with insomnia throughout their life report less trouble sleeping once they hit their 60s and by their 70s, most sleep soundly every night.

Remember when you turned 40 and felt 80? Well research shows that those in their 60s, 70s and 80s report feeling anywhere from 5 to 20 years younger than they actually are! A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of the study’s participants age 65+ said they felt 10-19 years younger than their age.


A CBS News Story on the Benefits of Getting Older

What is your outlook on aging?

See results

Why You Should Embrace the Aging Process

Aging is the process of life. If growing old isn't our purpose on this planet, then what is it? Sure, some say it is to leave a positive footprint on the world, to make a difference, etc., etc., but we can't do any of that the second we pop out of the womb.

With every year that passes, we get the gift of one year of experiences, one year of lessons learned, and one year to become a better person, to be who we want to be; even every day!

I look forward to the future, because although there have been times in my life where I feared getting older, today I embrace it. The people who I look up to the most are wise individuals with a plethora of life experience.

Yes, I have made many mistakes (some larger than others), but today I realize that mistakes are not mistakes - they are obstacles, they are lessons. The more we know, the more we can grow - the caveat is that we must be open to change.

When life can't seem to cut you a break, know that there is nothing you can't tackle (including the pain that comes with realizing something is not able to be accomplished at this particular moment).

We set our own limitations. We define how high we rise, and how fast we can soar. We can choose to fear growth, fear change, and risk never becoming wiser for taking the risk, or we can embrace the journey of life, a life that includes growing old.

For those older than me, odds are you are chuckling at the thought that I even think I have anything figured out yet, and you are probably right. For those younger than I am, you are probably thinking that I wrote this just to comfort myself as I, indeed, get older.


Don't Get Fogged by Empty Nest Syndrome - Take this Time to Tackle That Bucket List!

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 23 months ago

      You are most welcome.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 23 months ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks Julie!

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 23 months ago

      Bravo. I agree with many of your thoughts in this article. I've many friends who are significantly older than I am, and I appreciate their wisdom and ability to laugh at themselves when needed. Voted up.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Ageism is one of the last forms of prejudice acceptable in American society. In reality, people reach their endurance peak at 40. Case in point; Sirs Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay were the first people to successfully climb Mt. Everest. Edmund Hillary was 25, and returned all emaciated; Tensing Norgay was 39, and was in the same good condition he was in before the ascent.

      People who fall apart at age 40 (or earlier) tend to make unwise decisions in their younger years, like getting into drugs. I've noticed a lot of the worst ageists are also those who promote unhealthy lifestyles the most.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Thanks for setting the record straight. When I turned 40, I discovered on my own that it is when people reach their endurance peak. I could do all sorts of things I couldn't do in my 20s, like work 80 hours a week. And it's not just me; Sirs Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay, the first people to successfully summit Mt. Everest, are a prime example. Edmund Hillary, who was 25 at the time, returned all emaciated; Tensing Norgay, who was 39, looked perfectly fine.

      Ageism is one of the last forms of prejudice that is accepted in American society. We need to look at the facts instead of stereotypes. People who fall apart at age 40 do so because of poor choice of lifestyles in their younger years (i.e., drugs). If you live a halfway decently healthy lifestyle, you reach your peak at 40, and can maintain it for several decades afterwards. You have people in their 80s running the Iron Man marathon!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Hey, not feeling older than 20 years ago is quite a feet! Thanks for commenting Jodah :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great article Kathleen. Getting older has it's good and bad points but each year is full of new experiences so you can always look forward to the surprises ahead. In my mind I don't feel any older than I did 20 years ago, though maybe little wiser. I would like to go back and have another go at things knowing what I do now and maybe make a few different decisions, but hey over all I can't complain...and I'm the same age as Shauna, so that can't be bad. :)

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Right? I finally have reached that point where each year is just a little bit better than the last, and it is a wonderful feeling, and a great journey!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Every year gets better. I wouldn't go back to 40. I certainly wouldn't go back to 30. And there is nothing in this world that would make me even consider going back to 20! Life is awesome and only getting better. Great article. Thanks for the nod to those of us longer in the tooth than thou. :) Voted up!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Laughing at the fools who keep thinking they are wright all the time ;)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL...Sha...you crack me up, Girlfriend.....but you sure are right! If we're measuring by life EXPERIENCES.....I'd have to ask...what the hell are we doin still hangin around???!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Im up there with ya, so you got company!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I will do no such thing! I love them both equally!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Well, if that's the case, I'm 157! Ha ha!!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oops......I thought I had LOST one comment......so I wrote another.....feel free to delete one, Kathleen.....Never say I'm not determined to get a comment to you!! LOL.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I think age should be measured in life experiences, not days on this earth! I can't wait to see what the future holds :-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, at age 57 I can't complain about aging. I've had a blast getting here! I'm much more grounded now than I was when I was young. I was pretty wild and loved every minute of it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's interesting to look at myself then compared with now. I've grown and learned and become more secure with who I am. Sometimes I can't believe I'm 57. That sounds so much older than I feel!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      K.O. Love this article, & I sure hope you have no serious concerns of "aging"......This is a compliment: You are a fresh new Baby with so much of life ahead of you. I'm happy you are aware that Myths needn't be taken as fact.

      My light bulb moment came when I realized that I had aches & pains and moments of forgetfulness in my 30's & 40's......they're not new to me at 66.

      I wrote a hub on aging and how so much of it is, "Attitude." Our chronological age is a gauge. It tells us how long we have lived upon this earth. What else it tells us is for each of us to decide as we go from year to year.

      Personally, I would not trade my experiences, my wisdom and inner peace for any reduction in age......nor do I wish to go back & go through it all again. Once is enough if we do it to the best of our ability. That's all we should expect of ourselves......and the regrets will be few.

      That's a cute picture of you and your friends....you have changed very little! I'd have known you even if I saw this photo by itself...rather than in your hub!.....Smile. Up++++

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      K.O. Maybe "aging," is not exactly a current concern of yours....I HOPE? Becoming a year older might enter in and I vaguely recall the feelings I had way back when... The truth is (and this is a COMPLIMENT)....you are a "Baby" with so much of life ahead of you...

      Gosh Kathleen, I'm glad you are keenly aware that "myths" are not blanket facts. Some of the myths may be realistic to some who are "aging" now and then. ...and a whole lot of it is fodder for humor and joking about an inevitable event. " It is what it is.".....is a loud & clear comment in terms of growing older.

      I wrote a hub on "aging" as well, in which I stress the fact that so much of it is "Attitude."

      My light bulb moment was a wonderful thing. I realized that I had aches & pains and forgetfulness when I was in my 30's, 40's and on......they are nothing NEW now that I'm 66.

      This is what I sincerely believe and my hope is that YOU and everyone else might be able to embrace this to some degree......Chronological age is a gauge. It tells us how long we have lived on this earth. What else does it tell us? That's up to each of us to determine.

      Great read as always my very young friend!.......Up++++

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well my YOUNG friend, I'm 65 and loving life and embracing each day....there really is life after thirty.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      Nice article, it's something I've really been dealing with lately, voted up.

    Click to Rate This Article