The Advantages of Getting Older

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By Terry Arzt

Let’s face it we are all getting older. We can’t change that.  What we can change is our attitude about it. 

I have been thinking about the fringe benefits of aging.

I then came across this quote by Agatha Christie.

“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you."

No matter how we got here, we can all look back on our lives and see periods that were fulfilling and happy, but there were others times that were very difficult and challenging. That is true for all of us.

What bothers me is this notion that as we age we look back and think that somehow our best years are behind us.

There is this belief that our lives have somehow reached their peak and we are on the decline as we get older.  If you listen to the news, we can expect a loss in every aspect of our lives, mentally and physically.  We expect poorer health, less mental acuity, less drive and less energy.

Sigh!

We shouldn’t think this way.  It will hurt us for two reasons.

First of all – it will give us terrible expectations for our lives as we age and we won’t take on the challenges and live with the zest that we once did.

And

Second – it isn’t true.  

As we age I believe we share this in common:

·         We have acquired wisdom. 

·         We have all had life changing experiences. 

·         We have survived and learned from all of our life’s choices – good and bad. 

·         We have gained insight and depth from every experience that has been a part of our lives. 

·         We have learned acceptance of our past. Because of this we become more and more ourselves.

And – I believe this to be true:

We are about to enter the most fulfilling part of our lives. 

We have learned from our experiences and gained wisdom from our past.  We are no longer the same people who we were when we were young. 

We are better off now because we were there. We have greater intensity and capacity because we have lived.

As we get older we no longer invite the drama into our lives the way we used to.  Our emotional attachment to things that used to upset us, no longer bother us.  There is a great deal of freedom in letting go.

The best is yet to be

Our future is there – like it or not.  We are all older, wiser and more complicated and capable than ever to create something. 

We are more capable because we know more.

We are more capable – because we know what we can do.

The best is yet to be.  It is a beautiful life.  Live it to the fullest.  Create something new.  Be very brave.  Be very bold and enjoy your life.

So why do we worry about aging?  No reason

"I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had and I'm not sad because I no longer have it."  Colette

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