Things That Don't Suck about Getting Older

14SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/19/2012 6:00 AM   :  143 comments   :  27,277 Views

Yesterday was a pivotal day. I said goodbye to being a 20-something and today I woke up as a 30-year-old woman. 
 
I don't really feel different, but I also kind of do. Maybe because when I was growing up, 30 seemed so old (certainly I don't feel that way now). It also seemed so "grown up" when I was a kid, a teen, and a college student.  Turning 30 has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks.
 
My dad, now nearing 60, has always told me that mentally, he doesn't feel any different now than when he was 25; it's only our bodies that show and feel our age. I think I understand that more and more as I get older. Each passing year, whether it's New Year's Day, a birthday or an anniversary, is a chance to reflect, regroup and refocus. You can choose to change or start fresh. But no matter what, these life events remind me that I need to appreciate the passage of time more than I do. It goes SO fast, and I can say for certain that every year I get older, time seems to fly by even faster than it did the year before.
 
Everyone who is older than me says that life get better with age. But I'll be honest: I sometimes have trouble seeing the upside of things. When my husband threw me a surprise party last weekend to celebrate, I felt sad about all the people who didn't come instead of being happy to mingle with those who did. And now that I'm another calendar year older, I can't help but think of all the things I haven't done—rather than recollecting all of my accomplishments to date. And then there's the big elephant in the room: babies! I thought that by 30 I'd feel ready (I do want kids), but I don't feel any more "ready" than when I was 22. I guess that only shows how little I really knew when I was younger!
 
Of course, even a glass-half-empty girl 30-year-old like me knows that it's not all bad. I mean, personally, I've always looked way younger than my age, so I'm actually hoping I look old enough to be perceived as a person with experience and credibility. (When I first joined the SparkPeople staff at age 22, my boss thought no one would take me seriously as a fitness expert because I looked, in his words, "15 years old.")  But there are even things about your body, your mind and your life in general that get better as you get older. So to celebrate each day you wake up alive, and each year that passes—and you're still here living it—here's a big list of things to look forward to as you get older (as told by SparkPeople members!).
 
  1. You're wiser.
  2. You know who you are as a person better than ever.
  3. Insurance discounts!  
  4. You are more secure and confident than when you were younger.
  5. You better appreciate life and the people around you. You don't take anything for granted.
  6. Being carded is a compliment.
  7. You have stronger resolve.
  8. There's still plenty of time to try new things.
  9. You worry less about what everyone else thinks of you and focus more on doing what makes YOU happy.
  10. Love.
  11. Relationships.
  12. Sex.
  13. You're still on this side of the ground!
  14. You can spot "BS" much quicker—and you're less willing to take it.
  15. You see the bigger picture.
  16. You take better care of yourself physically and emotionally.
  17. People take you more seriously.
  18. You run faster. (This is actually true, especially for women whose speeds peak between 35 and 39.)
  19. Senior discounts.
  20. You have found yourself.
  21. You know there is so much more to come.
  22. You get smarter!
  23. You worry less about silly things.
  24. You discover your inner strength.
  25. You're more likely to try new things.
  26. Everything makes more sense.
  27. Having kids. Being a mom/dad.
  28. Having grandkids. Being a grandparent.
  29. In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.
  30. You are better able to learn from past mistakes and grow from them.
  31. You're more likely to stand up for yourself.
  32. Perspective.
  33. You know how to work smarter, not harder.
  34. Your earning potential increases the longer you are in your profession.
  35. New doors continue to open.
  36. Your attitude and gratitude.
  37. You care more about having your style than being in style.
  38. Making a life becomes more important than having a life.
  39. You get more relaxed about getting older.
When I was younger, I thought I'd have everything "figured out" by the time I was 30. Now I know that's not true; but I do expect that I'll figure more things out each passing day. I also know and fully believe that getting older can be great when you take care of yourself nutritionally, physically and mentally. When you are healthy, you can slow down the effects of time—and get more out of each passing year.
 
"Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many." -- Unknown
 
Let us all embrace our ages and be grateful to be alive another day!
 
Do you think that everything gets better with age? What do you think is the best part about getting older?





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Comments

  • 143
    This is an excellent post! I am turning 27 this year and I cannot believe all the things I thought I would have accomplished by now. But I know that I have plenty of time in my life and to focus on the good! Great post! Even the hostage situation I was like, what? Lol! - 3/17/2014   10:46:58 AM
  • 142
    You are still young I started changing my view point at 60 then other things become more important got off the fast lane and after each year a slower lane Look feel understand whats important more - 11/25/2013   9:49:06 AM
  • MICHELLEMAE1970
    141
    I used to get insulted when people thought I was younger than I really am. But now that I'm 42, it doesn't bother me when people think I'm 32 or even 25 for that matter!!

    I agree with the writer, I basically thought it was an insult on my experience. It felt like no one takes me seriously. - 10/15/2012   2:58:24 PM
  • 140
    Oops! Well, I'm just proud to be the last to wish you a Happy Birthday 2012, Nik, so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Birthday advice? Sure! You've done well, Nik, and the good news is ... it only gets better! Congratulations and Godspeed!

    ~Ron - 10/7/2012   2:09:14 PM
  • 139
    Happy Belated Birthday!! It DOES get better as you get older. At 55, I never imagined I'd be running marathons or half marathons, cycling 100 miles in a day, lifting the same weight as women 20 or 30 years younger. I may wake up cranky on some days, but I have a deep appreciation and thrill that I get to wake up and celebrate another fabulous day. Enjoy and love them all! - 10/5/2012   3:28:30 PM
  • 138
    Happy birthday, Nicole!
    I have two things to say about your entry- my grandfather died at 84, and a week before he died, he said to my uncle, "I never thought I would die this young." That's really stuck with me in so many ways.
    2nd- you are never ready to have kids, even if you think you are, so just do it. I had my 5th when I was 29, and a friend of mine had her 5th at age 40. We can both tell you the pregnancies are easier when you are younger.... - 10/3/2012   5:07:57 PM
  • 137
    Happy belated birthday! This list is so spot on, especially #23, worrying about small things. I am so much more rational (I've got 10 years on you, if you don't feel rational, wait for it. It will come.) and see more things for how they really are, and what difference they actually make. - 9/29/2012   11:23:36 PM
  • 136
    Ha, I love #29 the best! I'm only 24, and yet there are times I already feel "old". To my younger sister, who is only 18, I am getting my PhD, I'm old as dirt, and my life is already nearly over! But to my mother, who is about to be an empty-nester when the aforementioned sister graduates high school, I still have practically my whole life ahead of me. It's all about perspective. =) - 9/27/2012   1:52:52 PM
  • 135
    Happy Birthday! I will be 43 in less than 2 weeks. I dreaded leaving my 30's, but honestly I love being alive, being me, being happy. I had children early in life and now I get to do what I want. My children are adults. I have grandchildren who love mema, because she plays with them. I am not the size I would like to be but I am healthy. I get healthier, more fit every day. It is time I can put me first. I still club. I love active vacations. I do look at things sometimes and say well I haven't done that....yet. :) I am happy. I look at every day as a gift, like you stated in the quote - so many never get the gift of growing older. I thank God every day he blesses me enough to wake me, giving me one more day to walk, enjoy the beauty of nature, my family, my job and even the headache I've had for 3 days. - 9/26/2012   11:58:11 AM
  • 134
    I'm turning 30 in a few weeks, too...and I'm going through all this existential, spiritual crises...thanks for the blog. List didn't help at all, but the rest of it was awesome...Oh, wait, except for the part where you worry about what you HAVEN'T accomplished yet. Um, I don't know if you've noticed, but you're sort of a big deal. =) - 9/26/2012   11:27:06 AM
  • 133
    Happy Belated b'day. My 35th was my most difficult, but I've learned to count each year as a year of blessings. Since my husband past away shortly after we both celebrated our 57th birthdays, I agree with the person who said -getting older beats the alternative. I enjoy each day the Lord gives me and am thankful for the maturity that my years have brought me. Enjoy your life to the fullest.
    - 9/26/2012   9:35:48 AM
  • CIARANONEILL
    132
    Growing old definately beats ite opposite, dying young. - 9/24/2012   7:22:49 AM
  • 131
    I agree with your father...I still feel like I'm in my early 20s even though I'm two decades older than that. Also, my mom was a great role model for getting older...I remember her calling me when she turned 55 years old so excited because she could now get the senior discount at Denny's! Lol. Getting older truly is a privilege. :) - 9/22/2012   7:04:09 PM
  • MIZINA730
    130
    When my daughter turned 30 last year, she felt much the same way as Nicole. I smiled as I listened to her. It's her journey, she can feel the way she wants. :)

    What I've found is that my age doesn't bother me, it's my weight. And that's something I can do something about. My age isn't keeping me from anything. - 9/22/2012   10:30:52 AM
  • 129
    PS - nobody is EVER 'ready' to have kids, whether they think they are or not - it's another case of reality butting in. As for looking younger, it can be an advantage - when my red hair turned 'gray,' it just looked blond, which it still does and a lot of people assume I'm 10-20 yrs younger than my actual age. But regardless of whether we look or think 'old,' our bodies somehow figure it out and I can sure tell the difference physically between what I could do when I was in my 20s, 30s, even 50s, and what I can currently do so there's no fooling the body.....I guess we just have to do the best we can with whatever we've got!

    Good luck having those babies - don't wait to be ready, just do it!
    - 9/22/2012   9:09:58 AM
  • 128
    When I hear a 30-yr-old, talk about 'getting old,' it reminds me of when my son [who is now old enough to be your father!!] was about 4 yrs old and had a 'life plan' with his 4-yr-old girlfriend. They decided they would get married 'as soon as they were old enough to ride a bike' because that's when they could get paper routes and, as they informed me in all seriousness, 'you have to have a job before you can get married.' Very cute to hear 4-yr old kids talk about marriage and jobs as if they knew all about it - very cute to hear 30-yr-old kids talk about 'the advantages of getting older.'

    By the way, the 4-yr-olds never did get a paper route or get married to each other.....hmmmm, too bad because they thought they had it allllll figured out! :D
    - 9/22/2012   9:03:08 AM
  • 127
    "Getting older"? The title had me expecting something from someone who actually IS older; not a 30 yr old. - 9/21/2012   10:22:57 PM
  • 126
    Happy Birthday, Nichole! And many, MANY more!
    Ummm, I know the brain thinks you are a lot younger (mine does too!), but your hormonal system is on the downslide as far as baby-making is concerned. But have lots of fun trying! - 9/21/2012   6:53:52 PM
  • ZIEKEPPLER
    125
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (It's nice to know we share the same day.) And congratulations on learning so much at such a young age. You're absolutely right--growing older is wonderful. The advantages far outweigh the occasional ache, the grey hair here and there, the slower metabolism. A laugh line is a wrinkle only if you see it that way. It's really a badge of honor for enjoying life! And don't let anybody scare you--menopause is GREAT! - 9/21/2012   3:25:06 PM
  • 124
    As far as babies go.. speaking from experience you are never really ready.. Even when you plan your pregnancy like my husband and I did.. We read the books, etc., but you're never really ready until the baby is here-so you step up and roll with the punches.. I don't think we will be "ready" for No. 2 until we are in our 30's. - 9/21/2012   1:08:08 PM
  • 123
    Ha Ha - you don't feel a compelling need to buy EVERY new style of jeans - or anything else for that matter. - 9/21/2012   11:38:49 AM
  • 122
    LOL that hostage situation one was soooo random, but, well...true, I guess. :)

    Happy birthday! I'll be joining you as a new member of the thirtysomethings in less than a year... - 9/21/2012   9:33:21 AM
  • 121
    Your list is wonderful (and really hits the mark). My 30's were great (as were my 40's and my 50's) and having turned the corner at 60 ... it just keeps getting better.! - 9/20/2012   10:13:19 PM
  • 120
    When you are postmenopausal, you fight back.
    You also demand attention.
    Unless you had been rich and beautiful to begin with (and chances are you were trophy-fied or surrounded by sycophants and Yes-persons in that case) ... life changes for the post-change woman who suddenly, almost magically becomes unafraid to speak her mind.

    I have become the "little old lady in tennis shoes" activist-type (for myself, for starters, and possibly for myself only/always until I am timewise/financially somewhere above water) that I thought I never would. - 9/20/2012   8:24:07 PM
  • 119
    Happy birthday and thanks for the list. It's important to remember the good things that come with age. - 9/20/2012   8:17:11 PM
  • CLAYLADY001
    118
    LORDY HOW I LOVED BEING THIRTY !! Be very careful about having children although you say you want kids THINK TWICE !!Once you have them you are stuck with them for eighteen years(at least). I am 70 now and chose at an early age never to have children and have no regrets,there are wonderful people out there who do have children and I bless each and every one of them but some of us choose not to have children. I can't even remember back when I was thirty,long time ago and getting older is the pits but keeping yourself fit and fed properly really does make a difference.We have some friends further north who have always stayed slender and fit now we are being much more careful about our health Hubby has severe COPD and I have bad spinal osteoarthritis and any thing we do takes a lot more effort.Wish now we had been more careful with our diets and worked out more oh well now we do what we can.Enjoy your youth it does go fast !!HR in Oregon - 9/20/2012   7:40:33 PM
  • 117
    thismade me smile b/c it is so true. I had my life plan by age and looking at it i'm not completely on track & happy (i'm 28). Happy Birthday and more to come! - 9/20/2012   7:36:34 PM
  • 116
    Happy Birthday! I am in the best shape of my life and treat every day as a gift. Consider the alternative! - 9/20/2012   7:22:34 PM
  • 115
    Happy Birthday!!
    Wonderful timing as I just turned 28 yesterday. - 9/20/2012   6:58:27 PM
  • LAMDRRNM
    114
    Loved the hostage situation one. Today is my bday and I'm somewhere in my 40's. I actually have to stop and count when somebody asks me how old I am! - 9/20/2012   5:07:23 PM
  • 113
    Happy Birthday! I've been reflecting a great deal on this topic myself lately as I will turn 40 in 3 months. I realized I'm in the best shape of my life - not the lightest (but probably the healthiest), the best shape. I'm still carded. I still feel young. I have a much better idea of who I am, but still getting to know myself. I'm happy. I guess that's all that really matters.
    Hope the next 10 years are great to you! - 9/20/2012   4:49:49 PM
  • 112
    I am realizing that I can do what I think is important--and that has changed over the years! So now I live more for ME and what I want and think instead of what others think. But--I also wonder who that old lady is in the mirror cause my "head image" doesn't match my "mirror image". - 9/20/2012   4:13:51 PM
  • TSHIRT24H
    111
    Love this! So much is so true! - 9/20/2012   4:12:29 PM
  • GARIANNA1
    110
    In a couple of days from being 75...this seems like a number for someone else...not me.....As we mature if we allow it to happens many wonderful things occur....we don't take life or each day for granted...we appreciate all the littler things....we are happoy our names are not it the Obituary...so onward we march,,,

    Think about all the good things we have achieved in our lifetime because some people never get to do that...

    Happy Birthday to me...and let the days go on and on!!!! - 9/20/2012   2:09:29 PM
  • 109
    Congratulations on your milestone. It is a good idea to try to think of the positive aspects of growing older though I wouldn't mind knocking off 22 years to be 30 again! As for having children, I had my first son when I was 20 then two sons at ages 33 and 34. So I have experience at both ends of the 'mommy years'. With my first, I was able to get my figure back quickly and had lots of energy. I do regret not having as much of a social life as I could have without a child, or the opportunity to take off and travel. With my younger sons however, I was less wrapped up in my self and felt that they got a better deal from me as a mother. I was more patient, informed, selfless and having two young children when I hit 40 helped keep me feeling - and acting - younger! The only drawback is that I never did get the chance to take off and travel! Maybe now that my youngest is 18 I can start planning that trek round Europe I always longed for! - 9/20/2012   2:07:50 PM
  • 2PUMPKIN
    108
    One of my most appreciated things about my "mature" age is that I don't have to shave my legs so often - hardly ever in the summer unless I have a doctor or massage appt, and only when long enough to braid in the winter. HA! - 9/20/2012   1:55:05 PM
  • 107
    ahhh what a good read. I'll be 60 in 5 days and am really looking forward to it. Age is relitive......happy birthday to any age is a wonderful thing.....your still alive !!! - 9/20/2012   1:37:33 PM
  • 106
    Happy Birthday Coach!!! I love your list. I think being in my 30's is awesome because I am not nearly as broke as I was in my 20's and far more wiser about how I spend my nickels now that I can afford to do the things I choose to do! - 9/20/2012   1:06:21 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    105
    I once read, "Inside every old person is a young person shouting--- 'What the hell happened?'-----" I say that this is true for me! It must be a scientific wonder, but I'm sure my birthdays are coming twice a year.
    Seniors deserve to enjoy retirement, --so stop reading the news, and play Happy music!--- Sing and dance--- and please stop complaining about all your body parts hurting!!--- I don't want to hear it. I'll just turn up the volume of my Happy music. Oh, and enjoy the discounts--- - 9/20/2012   12:26:39 PM
  • 104
    Happy Birthday! I will be 60 on my next birthday! I have been on Sparkpeople for a year (though I fell off the wagon for about 6 months). I have lost 16 pounds and am now only 14 pounds over what I weighed when I was your age. I am exercising more than I have in my entire life. I have to admit, though, I'd like to have my 30 year old knees back. On the flip side, I'm still waiting to feel grown up!! - 9/20/2012   12:11:49 PM
  • 103
    Happy Birthday! I will be 60 on my next birthday! I have been on Sparkpeople for a year (though I fell off the wagon for about 6 months). I have lost 16 pounds and am now only 14 pounds over what I weighed when I was your age. I am exercising more than I have in my entire life. I have to admit, though, I'd like to have my 30 year old knees back. On the flip side, I'm still waiting to feel grown up!! - 9/20/2012   12:11:40 PM
  • 102
    Excellent blog. By the way, I have socks that are older than you. - 9/20/2012   11:31:03 AM
  • 101
    Thanks, Coach Nicole, for posting this on my 64th birthday. Would I want to be 30 again--no way!
    Life begins at retirement. Happy belated birthday. - 9/20/2012   11:30:46 AM
  • 100
    Oh Coach Nicole - you are so amazing. Guess what - I am almost 50 and i STILL have not figured it all out.! LOL My big sister - who is 65 - she says she hasn't figured it ALL out either. The difference is we just don't care. (LOL) Still, I do hope I figure out what I want to be when I grow up before I am oh 70.
    And Happy Birthday!!! PS - I had my first child at 30. - 9/20/2012   11:01:50 AM
  • 99
    Happy Birthday! I agree--I'm just over halfway through, but my 30s have been my best decade yet! I bought my first place, met and fell in love with my life partner, became a step-mom, celebrated my 10-year anniversary a job I love, got into the best shape (and lowest weight) of my adult life, paid off the last of my credit card debt for good, and find myself with the best friends I've ever had in my life! Every year, I look forward to what more will come my way. The older I get, the more empowered I feel. I hope your 30s treat you as well, if not better! - 9/20/2012   10:56:12 AM
  • ABBYLEE6
    98
    Oh, your birthday is the same as my grandmother's. She would be lets see ....115!!! Hope your day was a great one and may you be blessed with many more!!! :) - 9/20/2012   10:53:04 AM
  • 97
    Hahaha this is sooo true. Makes you think of the saying:I wish I know, what I know now when I was younger.
    The young middle aged kids...35-40, think I am sooo smart. I tell them YOUR DAY will come for your peace. - 9/20/2012   10:46:20 AM
  • 96
    Happy Birthday Nicole!
    I liked your list, but can especially relate to #37 in past few days. I go the store (with coupons of course - otherwise why go?) to try on new clothes and the "in style" seldom works...sticking to a classic style just seems to fit and look better.
    Having turned 50 this year, I've done some of those same evaluations - just did not write them down so eloquently. Life is always evolving and attitude is a large part of how we accept/handle it.....aging is part of the process we can't stop no matter how much those TV ads try to convince us otherwise.
    Love TUBLADY's comment! - 9/20/2012   10:40:23 AM
  • ABBYLEE6
    95
    My 71st birthday is in a few months. I have been heavy for many years but I have had good health until 2003. I had emergency surgery no big deal. The next month I lost my daughter. That was very difficult. In 2006 I found out I had cancer and over 6 months I had chemotherapy. I continued working during that time. I have been cancer free from that one for 6 years!! I got a different kind of cancer in 2009. I had surgery to remove it. I'm still cancer free. I am retired. During this time I was blessed with 2 little granddaughters and 12 great grand children. Well, would not have met these beautiful members of my family if I died with the first cancer. My body doesn't let me do what my heart desires now. I am still grateful for my life. I have made many changes in my life and I'm seeking medical help to become healthier and keep Mr mobility. Life is wonderful. Every day is a blessing. Each stage is a new adventure. I like new adventures. I understand what it means to grow older with grace. No need to become cross and angry about it. Body parts hang south hair turns gray, teeth need fixing, and different foods to ear along with different exercise!!!!! It is OK!!! :) - 9/20/2012   10:38:52 AM
  • MARTY32M
    94
    I'm 80, and while some of those list items are definitely worse at my age, most of them still apply. My body is starting to fail, but luckily, it's only just starting to fail. Thanks, Nicole, for reminding me of all the things that get better with age. The best part? No longer having to be competitive -- I can do what's important to me! - 9/20/2012   10:34:02 AM

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