10 Reasons Getting Older Is Awesome
Most of us spend a good chunk of our lives fighting against the prospect of aging. We apply anti-wrinkle creams, we light up when someone tells us we look 10 years younger than we are, and we love it when the waiter asks us for our ID – even if it’s just to get a bigger tip.
But in reality, getting older can be pretty awesome. We’ve talked to a number of folks who have hit retirement age, and to quote Mike Spohr at Buzzfeed, “Your entire life is basically just killing time until you're a senior citizen.”
1. For starters, no more meetings!
Rumor has it that 98% of people hate meetings. OK, so we just made that up, but think about it. The idea of a 4-hour-long staff meeting doesn't exactly make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
Most meetings are long, uneventful, and seemingly unnecessary. But when you’re retired? You can say goodbye to meetings and hello to productivity.
Florence, a commenter on the blog “Time Goes By,” says:
“Meetings. Oh how thankful I am that I am old and retired and will never have to go to those inane, interminable meetings again. And getting my CE units done every year. And office games and politics. Age is such a blessing!!”
2. Senior discounts
You didn’t think we’d gloss over senior discounts, did you?
Some of the best senior discounts include:
- Restaurant discounts
- Movie theater discounts
- Phone company discounts
- Hair salon/Barber shop discounts
- Hotel discounts
- Walgreens discounts
- Free gym memberships with SilverSneakers
There are discounts all over the place – all you have to do is ask, and before you know it, you’re saving 10% here, 20% there, and a free dessert there just for getting older!
3. You get to do the fun parts of your job now
For a lot of individuals, they enjoy what they do for a living, but the fact that it has to be profit-oriented sort of takes the joy of the work.
For example, a retired teacher explains that the part of her job she loved the most – writing – was the thing that often got pushed aside in lieu of teaching, advising, and meetings. She explains, “No one is hanging around to remind me that I need to do more in order to get a raise and/or to proceed up the ladder to higher positions. [...] I am writing what I want, how I want, when I want, and money is not an issue. I can manage.”
A retired artist shares a similar point of view, explaining that the business part of being an artist made the entire career difficult and oftentimes frustrating: “I'd still love to be in the studio at midnight working away in a parallel universe, doing shows and receptions, having people stop by at an appointed time. But then, all the business of being an artist [...] no thanks, that was hard [...].”
Now, she’s able to express her creativity when she wants, but she doesn’t have to deal with deadlines, unhappy customers, and all the other unpleasantries that come with running a business.
4. You stop caring about what everyone else thinks
During our teenage years and perhaps even well into adulthood, we’re quite fixated on what other people think of us.
Especially with the advent of social media, younger individuals find themselves hyper-focused on how many “likes” they’re getting on Facebook, how many followers they have on Instagram, and how many retweets they have on Twitter.
It’s quite tiring.
But after speaking with a number of individuals ages 60+, one thing became quite clear – as you age, you slowly stop caring about what everyone thinks of you.
Eddie Basham, age 64, explains, “When you’re younger, you worry about people judging you and looking at you expectantly. When you get older, you just don’t care as much. We all just want to be healthy and stay as youthful as possible."
And that is definitely something to look forward to.
5. You get to sleep in
If you lived a life that involved early workdays, raising children, and maybe even housebreaking a puppy or two, it’s safe to say you haven’t been able to actually sleep in for quite some time.
Nothing beats the joy of going to bed at night with absolutely nothing calling for your attention in the morning.
Darlene, who has been retired for many years, explains that even after all this time, there’s still one thing that she absolutely loves about being retired: “I [...] enjoy getting to sleep in instead of rushing to fight the traffic to get to work on time.”
6. No need to “work your way up” anymore
While aging will be different for everyone, and there will definitely be exceptions to this, there are generally fewer seniors who have to start from the bottom (for lack of a better phrase).
When we’re young, we spend years getting our education, working low-income jobs, trying to save up enough to go to college, and still probably dealing with student loans, trying to get promotions, and so on.
It’s all worth it in the end, but come on – do you really want to go through all of that again?
You’ve made it. All that hard work is behind you, and that is most definitely an enviable situation to be in.
7. You’ve never been more interesting than you are now
After living for so many decades, you have experiences and stories to tell. You’ve quite literally never been more interesting than you are right now.
Gone are the days when social functions were awkward and silent – you have so many stories tucked away now that starting up a meaningful conversation is rather effortless.
Not only do you have more experiences, but you’ve simply learned more. There may have been a time when you didn’t know anything about certain topics, but chances are you now know a little bit about everything.
Which also makes you awesome at trivia.
8. The desire for money – and things – tends to decrease
As you get older, the important things in life start to stand out, and the more meaningless things tend to fall away.
Money and stuff just don’t matter as much anymore. Doug Noll, 68 years old, explains, “When I was a trial lawyer, I made a lot of money. But now, I realize that financial security is important, but having a ton of money is sort of stupid. It just doesn't mean much. I mean, I have a comfortable life, and I live modestly. But the real satisfaction in life comes from serving people, not your bank account.”
Many other 60+ individuals report the only thing that really matters in life is people – your family and friends. Everything else? Who cares.
9. Your life is no longer measured by your ability to generate income
If you spent most of your adult life working, you know that your ability to generate income pretty much ruled your life. Your week was set up to accommodate work, and all the daily tasks you did were there to generate revenue for either your company or the company you worked for.
But when you’re retired? You can spend your week any way you like and do whatever tasks you want to without worrying about someone’s bottom line.
Ronni Bennett writes on his blog:
“There was a time in my life when I had to weigh everything that went into a website I worked on or a television show I produced in relation to ratings which, of course, translated into revenue.
It was important to be able to do that back then, to balance creativity with business. But I never ever liked the business part – still don't – and it is such a relief to have left that behind. I can't be the only one who is happy to be old enough to give up the pressures of business and to measure success by something other than numbers of dollars.”
10. The big picture is much clearer
When we’re young, very meaningless events can seem extraordinarily important. But as you age, everything starts to make a bit more sense. We see the big picture of life, and we’re able to tell what’s worth our time and attention, and what’s no big deal at all.
Even more than that, we start to recognize the cycles of life. Doug Noll explains, “Stock market cycles, inflationary cycles, political cycles – you see the good and the bad over a long period of time, and you realize that right now is just part of a cycle.”
In broader terms, with age comes wisdom. And while that sounds annoyingly cliche, it’s totally awesome.
What do you love about getting older? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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