Ageing with anger is a speciality of Irish poets, American novelists and aahhhhh maybe, Indian pilots. For the rest of us, ageing can be an absolute joy.
If we’re very lucky, a sense of grace falls over us and although enigmatic smiles sometimes betray indigestion or even secret flatulence, they can also suggest that we’ve come to terms with our lives, that we can live with our own histories, that we’re not competitive in our legacies and that the world is not only the place to be but by far the best.
Money could be a part of this but looking at poor villagers in any Asian country, the smile of peace is there, the sense of being a part of a family’s history and its endless future has brought watchful contentment.
Here are a few key reasons that ageing can be a blessing:
1. We enjoy life
Laughing at our own and others foibles leads to curious glances from others but it can really make an average day a good one.
My friend recently told me that sometimes while doing something very ordinary as cleaning her house, she stops and enjoys the fact that she feels really happy. We seldom felt this before if we ever did. We were so busy with living that we did not have time to pause and just feel our joy.
But now, we do have the time to savour whatever we feel and better still, whatever it is we are feeling, they no longer threaten us. Lfe has taught us that nothing really stays. The next moment, it’s going to be different. Everything turns for the good.
2. We celebrate what we have
We have climbed the mountains, we poked around in a few of the depths. and we can now relax and stop wrestling with missed promises.
We have nothing to prove. We’ve gone beyond that. If you still are trying to outdo your friends. you have not grown. By this time, your friends know you very well and accept you as you are, so, relax and accept yourself and enjoy life by just being you.
Some in our circle of Seniors have not yet reached this moment of self acceptance. They still try to prove they are somebody so they get stressed at little things which do not support their image of themselves. They do everything to prove that they are better than anyone else and pressure their kids to enhance their image. But because we really can’t control circumstances and people like our kids, we get frustrated and eventually depressed.
With depression comes poor health and sickness. It’s our way of manipulating people and events. Our Senior years must not be like this. It must be enjoyed and lived joyfully. Let the cares and concerns of our earlier lives go and embrace what is, enjoy it and cherish whatever you have.
Nothing like the breath of life felt every morning could compare to all these concerns. Enjoy every day. Remember, we have limited supply of these so enjoy every moment.
3. We accept our shortcomings
In our 40s and 50s, mirrors are a tragedy. As we age, and gently become self caricatures not just physically but emotionally, our weaknesses fit in nicely to the thing we’ve become.
No longer do we have shortcomings. We realize that shortcomings are part of life and will always be there. We know this from experience so we are now able to laugh when we look at them. We can’t deny the aching body, the stooping posture, the wrinkled face, the constant reminder of arthritis, the blurred vision. We do something about them but we don’t let these stop us from enjoying our lives.
Yes, what we have become is what we celebrate in our Senior years. When we look at ourselves, each one of us, there are so many things we can celebrate in our last 60, 70, 80 or 90 years of life. Just the fact that we have reached this age alive, we should be happy. This, alone, is reason to celebrate.
4. We have clearer priorities mainly because we don’t have so many of them.
We have time and space to focus on what is really important whether that’s learning or family or sports nostalgia or the craziness of politics. we can pick our spots. Besides, age has made us realize that only few things really matter. The many things we pursued when we were younger no longer have the same intensity in our Senior years.
5. We accept our grumpiness and go and hide when we feel it coming on.
The random savaging of children, grandchildren and trim adherents are at last controlled.
Age has taught us that most things can be managed. Also, we have less stress so very few things worry us. We have reached an age when we know we can no longer do much so we let go.
6. We embrace everything that we are
More searching for who we really are? We’ve stopped that. We have accepted who we are, knowing it or not.
I remember the angst of younger years when we were driven by getting to know what careers fit us, what will I do with my life, how can I make myself better, what job will really be fun for me and many more. Now, I laugh at the fact that at my age, I still don’t really know myself and will never fully know as it reveals more each time I think I have a handle to what I really am.
7. Most importantly, we can sit back and reflect on our lives and the age we’ve lived through.
Even if our own story is not filled with drama, the headlines and achievements and tragedies of the world that have been our companion can consume hours of review and end with some tentative conclusions or insights that if we’re really careful, we can sell to the young as wisdom.
So, ageing is not the only thing we have ahead of us. It may also be the best time of life.