I’ve had some major milestones in the last few years…the loss of my dad on Christmas Day several years back, followed by my mom’s death in December 2015, becoming an orphan and the matriarch of the family all at the same time. Plus being in the job market at age 64 and turning 65 plus, plus, plus…
If you’ve been around for a while, you get it. If you’re a youngster, you’ll find out…if you’re lucky.
It’s called “life.”
The good news: I’m still here. The better news: My sense of humor is still intact. And I might even have a nugget or two of wisdom to share, AKA why you get better as you get older.
The benefits of aging
- You are not “over-qualified” for most jobs, but rather “uniquely qualified.” Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- You’ve learned that giving well-intentioned advice without permission is dumb. You keep your lip zipped unless someone asks. The exception: When someone has broccoli caught in their teeth or their clothes tucked into their underwear.
- You pay much closer attention to your own health. Better late than never, right?
- You’re less inclined to put up with people’s crap.
- You saw the great bands before they became famous.
- You get a senior’s discount (but it’s better to have it offered than to have others assume you’re an old fart).
- You can start collecting Social Security and, if you’re lucky enough to have one, a pension, too.
- Your dearest, most treasured friends tell you how amazingly young you look and ask for your secret.
- You realize that if people have a problem with you, that’s exactly what it is – their problem. Not yours.
- You don’t give a fig what most other people think about you.
- You’re likely to scandalize your younger relatives by what you say or do because…hey. What the hell. Why not? They’ll deal. Or not.
- You have a first-person perspective on what younger people call “history.” If they even know what that is.
- You know it’s not the end of the world. Whatever it is. Cowboy up, for God’s sake, and deal with it. This, too, shall pass.
- Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something else happens. Life is still a surprise and worth treasuring.
- You do less stupid stuff, because you did most of it before.
- Women are still hot – it just comes in flashes.
- You look back at your 20s and say, “Thank God THAT’S over!”
- You recognize how smart your parents were.
- You woke up. Yay! Any day above the dirt is a good day.
- There are just some things that are not worth getting worked up about. Make that “most things.”
- You owned classic cars before they were classics. And wish you still had them now. (My 1965 Mustang fastback, shown here, is the only car I sold for more money than I paid for it.)
- You’ve gotten really good at spotting manipulators.
- You can more easily release the things – and people – that no longer serve you.
- You have learned the hard way that you never loan money to relatives. Call it a gift and let it go.
- You have a much clearer vision of what’s important in your life.
- Your definition of success has migrated from the outer trappings of life to what makes you happy.
- You refuse to get sucked into other people’s drama.
- You matter to yourself – you’ve moved up on your own list of important people in your life.
- You realize you’re not perfect and you never will be. You’re OK with that. It’s the imperfections that make you unique…and memorable (hopefully in a good way. But if not – hey, what the hell).
- You’re better at recognizing your own value and that you know a lot of stuff. More than you thought you did.
- You’ve given up trying to change other people because you know (a) it’s not your business and (b) it’s hard enough to change yourself.
- You understand that some people are always going to be negative and whiny and the sooner you bounce them from your life, the better off you’ll be.
- You FINALLY understand that worry will never change the outcome, that it only steals your present joy.
- You’re more comfortable in your own (sagging and wrinkled) skin.
- When you wake up in the morning, you recognize that it’s totally in your power to have a good day or a bad day.
- And speaking of bad days: You have already survived 100% of the worst days of your life. Think about that…and celebrate, whatever your age.
And the secret to staying young?
Tell people you’re 10 years older than your real age and bask in the compliments of how young you look.
What’s one thing you’ve learned as you improved with age? Please share.