There is a wonderful freedom that comes with aging. Contrary to what we believed when we were young, age does have its advantages.
I can play on my computer till 3 a.m. and sleep until noon. Of course, I know that I feel better if I keep a regular schedule, but it is good to know that I don’t have to do so. It is my choice.
I’m old enough to understand how delicate life can be. I’ve lost loved ones, and I’ve come to the realization that life is truly special.
At the age of 49 I lost my dad. I felt cheated, until I realized that I had friends whose parents died young, when my friends were in high school or in their 20s. I was blessed by having my father for almost a half a century. My own dad’s father died when my dad was just 21.
I am fortunate to have grey hair. I had a friend who passed away when we were 14. Not only did she miss watching her own hair turn silver, but she never got to go to a prom or hold her own child in her arms.
My friend will be forever young, and now one can see my own youthful laughter forever etched into the wrinkles and folds of my face. Those wrinkles are my blessings.
In my 40s my thoughts began to settle into a more positive pattern. I didn’t worry as much about what others thought. I began to have more confidence. I stopped questioning myself and began to feel comfortable being wrong or making a mistake.
My dad had it right all along. So what if you fail, dust yourself off and get back up. I realize now that this is called “grit”.
Grit, by the way, is the topic du jour in the world of cognitive research; and they are looking into the correlation of grit and school achievement. There is a book I’ve been meaning to read called, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.”
For more on grit and the latest research read, Angela Duckworth and the Research on Grit.
In short, getting older has a way of setting us free. We begin to like ourselves more. We begin to notice that we are mortal, and this is not bad.
We begin to stop wasting time worrying about what we could have been. We start doing what we want to be.
It is actually a clearer course.