Vintage rocker Mick Jagger once said, “I’d rather be dead than singing ‘Satisfaction’ when I’m forty-five.” Now at 73 Jagger shows little sign of slowing down. Not only his Rolling Stones still rocking the world one arena at a time but Jagger is a new father to his eighth child. Could it be that he discovered what many seniors today already know, That the golden years can be surprising — satisfying?
“If there is a secret to living a good life, it’s loving the life you have and making the most of it every day,” said Jim Morrison, executive director at Redmond Care & Rehabilitation Center. Before you groan because of the advancing gray hair and creaking joints, remember that getting older offers unique advantages that make it cooler than you think. Here are some of them.
- Senior discounts
There are a plethora of special deals extended and available to seniors, from skiing and travel to dining and shopping. It’s no secret that retailers are celebratory of the senior population as consumers.
“You can go skiing for half the cost. Free, if you’re 85 or older,” wrote Bart Astor. “Movie theaters offer senior rates. And there are thousands of discounts available to those who are over 65. AARP membership brings with it, even more, benefits.” National Parks extend free admission with a golden pass for seniors and car rental agencies offer discounts for older travelers.
2. As we age, we become better listeners
For many seniors, canceling out unnecessary noise is essential to getting through the day. So, when they sit to listen, they choose to listen. If you have something to say, you invariably have their full attention.
3. Seniors see a broader perspective on what matters in life
Blame it on decreased energy levels and the need to choose one’s battles rather than fight for every victory, but older adults carry a deeper understanding of what requires attention and what can be allowed to pass by. Life is no longer driven by perfectionism; Instead, seniors cultivate meaningful relationships, maintain good health and pursue interests that make them happy. Everything else simply doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.
4. Seniors control their time
Whether they choose to squander it or stretch it thin, seniors usually control their time better. “Too much time proves to be just as daunting as too little,” wrote Julia Cameron in her book, It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. “Ultimately, time is ours to shape and use.”
5. The pain from past experiences fades and the life lessons remain
In a life filled with struggles, regret, pain, and loss, old age represents the later chapters in life. They illustrate how humans can endure and learn from any experience. Our elders teach us the importance of patience, perseverance, faith, and love.
6. Seniors don’t sweat the small stuff
Did you just embarrass yourself in public? Are you upset because the boss didn’t agree with your project ideas? “Not all decisions turn out well,” said Donald P. Nielsen, a member of Harvard Business School’s graduation class of 1963. “Be prepared to deal with problems over which you have no control.” Seniors live with the reality that their body is changing, their mind isn’t as sharp as it was and society isn’t quite sure how to treat them. None of these circumstances can be controlled, so why worry about them? There’s no need to delay happiness any longer. The time is right to be happy where you are and to focus on the things you can control.
7. Seniors eat dessert first
One never knows when the next meal will be the final one. “Often we act as though we are going to live forever,” wrote Richard Carlson, Ph.D., author of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, and it’s all small stuff. “Live each day as if it were your last on this earth. This will remind you how precious life really is.” Older adults learn not to take life too seriously. So, when the opportunity presents itself order dessert first.
8. Seniors don’t have to defend their afternoon naps
After spending most of their adult life providing for a family, sustaining financial security, raising children, achieving personal goals and mentoring others while working toward their goals and other things, seniors earn the right to a cozy afternoon nap. In fact, studies show the younger population would benefit from taking an afternoon nap, too.
9. When you’re old, nobody questions the belly dancing class
The secret to a full, value-laden life is to continue learning new things. But, when you have reached an age where you have seen and done most things, it’s time to dig deep for new experiences. Whether it’s a computer class or ballroom dancing, the process of learning something new is intensely gratifying — at any age.
10. Younger people are quick to do the heavy lifting for them
It’s nice to know that reaching for food cans on a grocery store’s high shelf or carrying heavy bags while traveling can be a thing of the past. “It’s amazing to see the number of people who will come forward to lend a hand,” said Astor. Seniors spent their younger years doing the heavy lifting for others; it’s nice to see their efforts reciprocated.
There’s no need to dread the inevitable transition into the golden years. Instead, why not celebrate it? These ten reasons showing why getting older can be a positive and enriching phase in one’s life are enlightening — even if you have to put on your reading glasses to see them.
By J’Nel Wright Of www.39forlife.com
39 for Life is committed to providing information and resources that promote good health in all areas of our lives. By enhancing wellness in our spirit, relationships, our body, and our financial well-being, we are encompassing good health that lasts a lifetime. We believe good health and wellness is something we never outgrow.