Thursday, 13 June 2019

Older and wiser?

I expect most younger people dread getting old. As far as they can see, it means only getting more decrepit, getting confused by anything new or complicated, and hankering after "the good old days". But that's a rather jaundiced picture. Getting old also brings plenty of benefits. Such as:

1) You no longer want to drive so fast or so recklessly.
2) It's okay to talk to yourself.
3) You have much clearer priorities.
4) You don't care as much what others think.
5) You can nap whenever you feel like it.
6) You can enjoy rereading old books - or watching TV shows or movies - because you've forgotten the ending and most of the plot.
7) It's easier to manage your emotions.
8) Your secrets are safe because your friends' memories are no better than your own.
9) Almost all the major, difficult decisions in life are behind you.
10) You have a higher sense of self-worth.
11) Much less stress - no more jobs, children now independent.
12) You seldom need to wear formal, uncomfortable clothing.
13) You find it easier to ask for help.

I'm not entirely sure about number four. I still care a lot about what others think - what they think about me, or about other people, or about themselves, or about politics, or about life in general. I certainly don't want to offend or upset people, so I think before I speak. Or stay silent.

But hey, yes, getting old isn't the awful armageddon younger people sometimes think it is. A lot of things get much easier - and much more fun.


  1. It's always good to look at the positives.

  2. Bijoux: It is. I think oldies, and people generally, are more positive now about aging than they used to be.

  3. You can wear yoga pants all day every day. Mine have pockets!

  4. Growing old was inevitable, so never bothered me as is the fear of the body letting me down and having to rely on others which gives me the heebie jeebies.

  5. A bit of ageism creeping in there Nick. Not all elderly have faulty memories or the other tropes of old age.

    However the lack of energy is what gets me the most and I am still adjusting to my own limitations. My reach lets me down all the time. Always packing in far too much and then having to cancel.


  6. I suspect a primary reason for the problem you described is that many - if not most - folks begin thinking like a liberal as young folk and as they age they becomemore conservative andthat is typically not popular amongst the younger set - at least that was the case where I grew up.Most of your list is reasonably accurate - aside from some cultural ldifferences I find you and I are usually on the same general page. I do love a good debate/argumant and happily take any side just to see how I can do in presenting my case.

  7. Linda: I haven't gone that far yet, but give it time....

    Helen: Me too. I hate the idea of (a) a long and painful terminal illness and (b) being totally dependent on others. I hope I just die in my sleep or have a fatal heart attack.

  8. www: You're right, a few ageist assumptions there! Memory varies dramatically from person to person. My memory has always been dreadful, but my father still had a photographic memory when he died aged 70. Ditto energy levels. There are 80 year olds brimming with energy and 60 somethings who feel permanently exhausted.

  9. Chuck: True, a lot of oldies have become political reactionaries and that pisses off a lot of idealistic youngsters. Of course we oldies have seen an awful lot of false dawns and abandoned dreams and we have to guard against adopting a generally negative attitude to any fashionable progressive project.

  10. I am a fair bit older than you and have been enjoying the status for quite some time. In India, it is an advantage to be an elder as one is automatically given some deference and I have exploited that to the hilt.

    I gave up on your number four even when I was not old!

  11. Ramana: Oldies here don't necessarily get any deference. In fact they're often condescended to or even targeted for phone scams and the like.

  12. I live in the country of bleached blonde (or whatever bottle-colored hair!)
    and spandex... and billions spent on cosmetics to 'make you look young!'
    and wrinkle removers... ad infinitum ad nauseum.
    as if aging naturally and pleasantly is a CRIME!
    I mean ads that supposedly tempt women by saying "buy this. because YOU'RE WORTH IT!'
    grandmothers who are trying to look like their grand daughter's best friend??? I don't know. it's sometimes all just frightening to watch.
    it's all based on the COVER of the book. never what's INSIDE IT!
    but your list made me laugh. I love your lists. even good old #4. :D xo

  13. I had read that people tend to be happiest in their 70s, and that has certainly been true for me. We’ll have to see how it goes next year and beyond —- octogenarians are officially designated “very elderly”and “oldest old”. A new adventure. Now I’m off to the gym!

  14. Tammy: I know, the lengths some people go to attempting to reclaim their lost youthfulness are just absurd. Not to mention horrendously expensive. The plastic surgeons are laughing all the way to the bank.

    Jean: One problem with getting older is that the cost of travel insurance goes through the roof. Are we really that unhealthy compared with those half our age? My mum was taking holidays well into her nineties with no health emergencies of any kind.

  15. Nick,
    People age at vastly different rates. Insurance companies look at the probabilities in setting rates.

  16. Jean: Well, they certainly aren't taking my particular state of health into consideration. I have slightly raised blood pressure, which a daily pill keeps under control, plus a tiny trace of prostate cancer that may or may not develop in the next few years. Fairly minor stuff, nothing that's likely to cause a sudden medical emergency, yet my insurance premium is about four times what Jenny has to pay.

  17. Ha Ha! I am, and have been for some time, totally reliant on no.8! My friend has always had an unreliable memory. My fear is that she might go doo-lally and start blurting things out.

  18. I think through the years I’ve evolved. I have mostly not given a lot of thought to being older other than wanting to plan as best I could to be able to live comfortably and to indulge my curiosity as to what I would be like as I aged. There’s room for improvement in both areas, but c’est la vie! I do feel a bit wiser than when I was younger, and actually may be, so guess that’s a positive.