At what age do we stop referring to birthdays as a celebration and start shrugging them off and hoping people don’t make a fuss? This isn’t because we’re suddenly too mature to celebrate the day we were born, it’s because we have been conditioned by society to see aging as a bad thing. The truth is, though, that we all age. Like death, it is one of the greatest inevitabilities of humankind.
Celebrating another year of life should be considered a joyous occasion, considering the death that often surrounds us. Okay, so the aging process has probably provided you with a few wrinkles, a bit of weight gain, and very probably, some extra aches and pains in parts of your body you didn’t know could feel pain. Let’s not focus on those aspects of aging, instead, let’s consider the many things we can be grateful for in aging.
1. Wisdom & Experience
With every year of age comes another year of living. That year may have brought extreme joy or tinges of sadness. Regardless, you will have gained a deeper understanding of the people that you know and love, you will have had another year of experiences, and you will be all the wiser for it. That puts you in an excellent position to share some of that knowledge with the younger generation.
2. Deeper Friendships & New Faces
The year has given you more time with your friends (and family) and the opportunity to get to know them better, to solidify your relationships. Even better, you’ve had the opportunity to get to know new people and make new friends.
3. Dismissing Judgment
You don’t just learn to ignore the judgments of others; you also learn not to judge others. We are so caught up in the material things in life that we often push others aside to get what we want. When others have the material things we want… we experience jealousy and annoyance at their success and happiness. Yet, as you lean into aging you start to see how unimportant those things are and instead of judging you can accept people for who they are.
In your youth, you probably struggled to make big decisions, whether it was because you needed to make a list of every possible outcome or because you just hated to let people down. As you age, you start to realize that your decisions are yours to make and you even feel confident about making them. You have more wisdom now than you did then and you feel confident enough about it to harness its power efficiently.
5. New Found Appreciation
When you were a kid you adored your parents, thought they could do no wrong, and then you hit an age where they constantly make your eyes roll. It comes back around because at some point you start to realize what they are experiencing as they approach their twilight years, not to mention the fact that they made your life possible and probably put up with a lot of your nonsense throughout the years. This provides another thing to be grateful for in aging if you have children you can rest easy knowing that they’ll go through the same realization.
6. Wrinkles Are A Badge Of Honor
You don’t need to feel a sense of grief over the wrinkles that are slowly appearing at the corner of your eyes or around your mouth. It’s a sign of a life well lived, of happiness, laughter, and joy. A reminder of your greatest moments and even the tears you have experienced along the way. Your wrinkles are simply a testimony of the experiences that you have been through and aging is something to be proud of because you made it.