In my twenties and thirties I viewed the prospect of turning forty with dread. Surely, it was the end of things. My beauty and usefulness would enter a rapid decline, and I would be on an express train to irrelevance.
A bit hyperbolic, but our fears can be like that. Quietly poking around in our subconscious, nudging us towards erroneous conclusions. Sapping our optimism.
Instead, I entered the happiest and most productive years of my life. I got in shape, and set about the work of tending to my emotional self. I dismantled the barriers to trying new things, and gave myself permission to look like an ass in the pursuit of interesting endeavors. I told people how important they were to me, and worked to be more vulnerable.
The other aspect to joyful aging is my understanding of the world continues to deepen. What once seemed murky (people’s reactions, failure, how to make good decisions), is increasingly clear. The article below by the Airbnb executive nails why that is.
I wish more people talked about the joys of getting older. That won’t sell a lot of products, but it would help the next generation look forward to the inevitable.
It’s true my back hurts a good bit of the time, and I see the deep wrinkles coming on. My solution is to stretch a lot and quit reading magazines. I don’t consume media that does its best to convince me I am at a deficit.
Besides, in my mind I am still young and hot. Maybe a little fooling oneself is part of happy aging? 🙈