Benefits of Aging

Everywhere we turn, everything we read, we are confronted with defeatist attitudes regarding the aging process. We have arrived at a period of time, where plastic surgery is so commonplace, that one’s peers think something is wrong if you don’t join in with the “nip and tuck” mindset. Most news concerning health and medicine, for the “adult” segment of society, concerns pharmacology breakthroughs, to supposedly help enhance the quality of life. Why don’t we stop the nonsense of buying into the pointless, negative brainwashing and degradation of anything and everything that concerns aging?

Luxury of Time

It’s time to celebrate, who we are as senior citizens, what its taken to get here, and why we should accentuate the positives. There are many benefits of being Old. The first major benefit of aging has to do with the “Luxury of Time.” True, time may be in shorter supply than ever before, but I do not address the quantity as much as the quality of time, or one’s deeper appreciation of how best to utilize it.

  1. In general, one’s priorities have shifted, ergo seniors have to do less rushing about, which means it has become easier to determine where one’s priorities are and where the focus is most necessary. Years of practice are paying off.
  2. Seniors take fewer things for granted and have learned the downside of procrastination. The simple fact is that there is less time available to attain the impossible dreams, so it’s best to do what one can, in the time available.
  3. Seniors develop a keener appreciation or enjoyment of nature and quiet times; their inner voices are not as loud and less confusing.
  4. There is more time to be creative and enjoy the creativity of others, which adds to the quality of living. Seniors have earned the right to be self-indulgent, without guilt.
  5. The time spent with family and friends is more tightly embraced, as the frequency of attending funerals has increased, over the years.
  6. If one is in good health, less sleep is needed, which means there is more time to be productive or available to pursue new avenues of productivity.

Easing of Social Graces

The second major benefit of aging concerns an “Easing of Social Graces.” True, age is just a number, though one’s appearance seems to take greater precedence. So let me ask you to look into the mirror; do you look older or younger when you smile?

  1. The neat thing about being old is that one doesn’t have to lie about one’s age any longer; and if one chooses to lie, then it is more logical to add years, rather than subtract them, IF the purpose of lying is to impress or satisfy one’s ego.
  2. Senior Citizen discounts are a small perk, but we’ll take what we get. I absolutely love getting the “senior citizen” discount at movie theaters. Here’s an interesting fact, I’ve noticed that no one ever asks a senior’s proof of age, so yes, I confess, I’ve cheated a little here and there. Feeling and being a bit naughty is also an earned right.
  3. In general, seniors are treated with more consideration and respect, which can be much abused at times. A word to the wise, don’t!
  4. Seniors, like my 82-year-old mother, can get away more with being silly, which her teenage grandchildren find delightfully amusing. Is this what is meant by “second childhood?” Enjoy the freedom!
  5. Seniors can speak with true authority, on a greater number of subjects, from true experience in “having been there and done that.”
  6. There are fewer and lower expectations of seniors, in general, performance areas, so it is much easier to surpass and surprise others, especially since we’ve learned the true meaning of “actions speak louder than words.”
  7. Based on the simple fact of longevity, seniors know who their true friends are.

Entering the Comfort Zone

The third area of aging benefits is categorized into what I call “Entering the Comfort Zone.” One now feels and knows what matters most, on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to the necessity of having to make time for matters of importance.

  1. The comfort of fitting into one’s skin is no small matter judging from the numbers rushing out for surgical enhancements; but if one looks at old picture’s of one’s self, the skin seems a bit too taut and the expressions are not as confident. This comfort zone means there is definitely less time taken up with maintaining the “body beautiful,” cosmetically or superficially speaking.
  2. One can truly reap and appreciate the benefits of good health maintenance efforts. If one’s efforts have been lacking, there is still time to make changes; the good news is that positive differences are noticeable a lot sooner, in terms of pain/discomfort management.
  3. The comfort zone should mean that there is less clutter in life and knowing that simplicity has many advantages. This means one has taken care of all business matters regarding one’s estate, financially, morally, and emotionally. One experiences true freedom when all loose ends are neatly tied in a bow.
  4. One is comfortable no longer rushing through life on his way to somewhere else. One knows where her heart is most at home.
  5. Early relationship conflicts have been put aside; there is no longer the power struggle, from insecurity. Couples, who finish one another’s sentences, know one another’s thoughts, without speaking, have attained nirvana, in terms of togetherness. This type of relationship is what all love songs, romance novels and epic love stories try to convey.
  6. You know that favorite, faded, old sweater or shirt you can’t help wearing as often as possible? Seniors are less affected by commercialism, in terms of shopping for unnecessary items or in excess. They simply don’t wear things out as fast because there is less wear and tear, and simply less need. There is nothing like wearing an old favorite piece of apparel that has a certain feel, a certain smell, and conveys the ultimate of luxury.

Freedom to Explore

The last area, which is the most fun, and includes a number of miscellaneous items, is what I see as the total “Freedom to Explore.” Who knew senior citizenship could be so much fun?

  1. The human brain improves with age and continues to grow stronger in understanding conceptual ideas, as long as it is exercised properly; pursuing any new area of interest or study is one way to keep sharp. One’s problem-solving ability improves and the joy of learning prevents stagnation.
  2. One’s ego has been somewhat tamed, youthful petulance becomes a thing of the past and one is less quick to anger or to participate in dramatics.
  3. Peer pressure is also a thing of the past; seniors care less about what others may think or say, in terms of one’s conduct or outward appearance.
  4. Gender issues and sexual politics are no longer bones of contention unless of course, one chooses to continue waging the battle.
  5. Golden Oldies are now considered classics, and many of our favorite musicians are still considered superstars, which makes grandparents walking history books for their grandkids.
  6. Speaking of grandkids, now seniors can enjoy the freedom of spoiling “the kids” as much as they please, without having to suffer the consequences.