9 Reasons to Look Forward to Getting Older
In America, age is often denounced as the devil incarnate. Women spend countless dollars and hours investing in the myth that they can stretch youth forever. But why? Why don’t we celebrate the wisdom, femininity, and confidence that come with age? In an effort to shed light on the beautiful gifts that come with age, we sat down with Janet Gunn of The Grateful Gardenia. After years working as an actress, Gunn married and had her son at age 40. She started blogging as a way of practicing gratitude, reinventing herself post-50, and celebrating the beautiful life she created. Scroll through to read about some of the priceless wonders of getting older.
Gunn's morning ritual includes 15 minutes of silence, during which she focuses on what she is grateful for each day. When you're older, gratitude comes more easily. You are able to truly live in the moment and appreciate the gift of each day. Look forward to feeling what real happiness is.
Every year seems to pass more quickly than the previous one. When you're older, because time feels more precious than ever, you are extremely selective with what and who fills your time. That means that you shed relationships that don't embellish your life and you decline invitations that are more of an obligation than an enjoyable event. Being older means having every moment of your life matter.
Call it our innate sense of altruism. Once you've lived more than a few decades and experienced the wonders of what the world has to offer, you feel compelled to give back. And that doesn't mean just opening your checkbook. It means you feel an intense urge to dedicate your time to helping others. There is no greater joy than the joy that comes from a selfless act.
When you're young, it's easy to think that you know everything. But as you age, you learn just how much knowledge you don't have. You appreciate learning in a whole new way. Gunn dedicates 15 minutes every morning to reading, she spends time learning Italian, and she is always eager to ask questions and research topics that she's less familiar with. This passion for learning is a gift of maturity.
We all have gut instinct, whether we're 20-something or 70-something, but when you're older, listening to that gut instinct becomes much easier. You don't need to confer with dozens of friends, family members, or colleagues. You know what's right and, more importantly, what's best for you, and you find it easier to do that. External pressures fall to the wayside with age.
Being right becomes boring and exhausting. Two things happen when you age: You no longer feel the need to have others confirm when you are right (you know when you are and that is good enough), and if you aren't right, you relish in the opportunity to learn something new.
There is a very distinct difference between saying you don't need validation, like we often do in our 20s, and actually not needing validation. One of the gifts of getting older is that the only validation that really matters is self-validation. You don't need your peers to condone your actions or laud you. You honestly and sincerely validate yourself.
Everyone, especially type-A women, is hyper–self-critical. As you mature, that acute criticism withers and you become more accepting of others and, more notably, yourself. Whenever you're feeling like you need a healthy does of self-love, Gunn recommends going through old baby photos. They quickly remind you just how lovable you are.
We all make decisions, but when we're younger, it's quite easy to second-guess big ones after we make them. When we age, we become more and more confident in the decisions we make. You don't need anyone else to confirm that you made the right choice. You know that you did, and that becomes all that matters.
Learn more about the gifts of aging with one of our favorite books below.
What are you most looking forward to about getting older? What are you most scared of? Share with us in the comments.