Things That Don't Suck about Getting Older


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  171 comments   :  57,021 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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  • 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
    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
    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
    Love this! So much is so true! - 9/20/2012   4:12:29 PM
    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 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    thanks for your thoughts on getting older, once you reach a certain age one wonders what happened time just goes faster- stay positive and continue to eat healthy and exercise trust in God helps with life's ups and downs, - 9/20/2012   10:33:48 AM
  • 92
    LOL! 29 & 19 made me laugh!

    Happy Birthday! - 9/20/2012   10:33:36 AM
  • 91
    OMG 30!!! Number 29 "In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first." does not apply to you, believe me! As someone 40 yrs older than you I can say that getting older may have it's perks but it's not always fun. When you're 30, guys will stop in a minute to help you with a flat tire.. then comes the day you have to make sure to keep up with you're AAA membership. The only thing about growing older that no one mentioned to me was that even in your later years, you're brain still thinks you're in your 30s but your body and mirror say otherwise. Fortunately, you still have a long way to go before you can call yourself old. Happy Birthday... and many more !!! - 9/20/2012   10:26:13 AM
  • 90
    I completely disagree with numbers 10, 11, and 12. There are so many older people that I know who live alone and are unhappy about it. I guess it comes down to whether or not you are willing to settle for any love/relationship/sex that comes along or are you hoping for quality in all those things. I think if you are hoping for quality (like I am) then you are going to be sadly disappointed.

    Also for number 34, the longer you are in your profession, the more likely you are to have your job eliminated, so your employer can lay you off and hire someone just out of school and pay them half (or less) of what they were paying you.
    Just trying to point out some of the realities of getting older. - 9/20/2012   10:06:27 AM
    Happy Birthday Coach Nicole!!

    Thanks for this honest blog. I freaked out about 29 (because at some point every 29 year old is a day away from 30) and by the time my milestone birthday came around I was over it. Due in part to many of the reasons on your list I feel much better, in just about every way, at 33 than I did at 25. - 9/20/2012   10:04:37 AM
    Happy 30th birthday! Wishing you many more! - 9/20/2012   10:04:22 AM
  • 87
    Happy Birthday Coach Nicole!

    This kind of hit at the right time. I'm 38 and in a couple weeks I will be attending my 20 year class reunion. I've been feeling old. Mostly thinking of all the things I haven't done, the years I wasted doing things I shouldn't have, all the years my bad choices have ultimately taken. This made me to look at things different. I'm making better choices, eating right, exercising, doing all the things I haven't been doing for far too many years. I feel younger now than I did 6 months ago, and a whole lot younger than I did a year ago when donuts were breakfast, fast food was lunch, dinner came out of a package and exercise was something other people did. - 9/20/2012   9:41:45 AM
  • 86
    LOL like some of the other comments, I have to agree....the 30s were by far (so far) the best. I didn't start caring about fitness and health until the 40s...I'll let yuou know how it goes from there. You've already got a great headstart to a very long, happy life!! Happy Happy Birthday Nicole. Enjoy this time :o) - 9/20/2012   9:26:44 AM
  • 85
    I am a senior, and I can't think of any regrets. I feel wiser than I did when younger, and always tell my friends that if given the chance to go back in time, my answer would be "No way!" It would be great if I can live the coming years the way I have, not holding back on things I want to do. - 9/20/2012   9:00:10 AM
    TERRYT55 said is all, especially you are readty for children when they come, because you have to be, loved life, glad I'm older 58 and in better shape then I've been in a ling time. Happy birthday, and many more! - 9/20/2012   8:58:21 AM
  • KSMITH64
    Happy Birthday Nichole! Enjoy your 30s! So far it's been my favorite decade. I'm 48 today, and really I forget my age most days. I still love learning and trying new things, right along with my teens. (I just wish I had started running earlier, I'm really slow.) - 9/20/2012   8:47:41 AM
  • 82
    ROFL....I turned 60 this spring and one really fun thing about that is that the competition in many races slims considerably so I have brought home more bling this year than in the last 3 years! My time is still my time but it still makes me smile to come in first, second or third in my age group even if I'm the only "mature" woman running that race! - 9/20/2012   8:47:03 AM
  • 81
    Happy Birthday...........and many, many more!!
    I remember well my Daddy telling me as you get older that time goes the time I thought, "No way" at 60 I say "Way" LOL I have often heard that these are the GOLDEN YEARS..............with my health issues I say it must be Fools Gold!! I also remember my Dr telling me as I sat on the exam table and he standing in front of me that yes I was going through menopause and I should be happy since it was the best days of my life............and yes people the man survived that revelation to foot was twitching, I was at the right angle, my insides had felt like jello for weeks now, and yes he WOULD have deserved the upshot of my foot to a strategic area............but I left the office...........and mind you never returned. But I will admit the senior discount is nice and I have noticed alot more Yes yes some things don't suck, and it also beats the alternative.
    Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! - 9/20/2012   8:38:09 AM
  • 80
    good article! - 9/20/2012   8:34:25 AM
  • 79
    Happy Birthday Coach Nicole. You're still a youngster in my book as my next birthday will be the big 5-0. BTW - my wife had our children when I was 34 and 36. Granted, she went through a heck of a lot more than me physically, but I can say there was absolutely no problem with becoming a parent for the first time in my 30's. They are now 15 and 13 and between them and the active lifestyle SP has given me, I have never been younger. Oh, and the best thing about turning 30? -- You will now be the youngest in a brand new age group at races! - 9/20/2012   8:31:26 AM
    Age is just a number.I am heading for 74 years,now,and even though after 48 years of happy marriage,and my husband passing away,I have found life is what you make it...and while I do notice some differences...I chersih life and try to stay positive.Might I add..I am very healthy!! - 9/20/2012   8:22:10 AM
  • 77
    I'm 73 and thought this was going to be written by someone "older". Age is what you make it.

    Happy Birthday Nicole. - 9/20/2012   8:03:59 AM
  • DAWNS206
    I was chuckling when I read this. The older part was really funny LOL. Happy Birthday Nichole. I have to tell you that I think with every year I have gotten stronger and more in touch with who I am and more able to not stand the BS. Life is what you make it and we should all appreciate and take advantage of all of the wonderful things out there. - 9/20/2012   7:56:20 AM
  • 75
    Happy Birthday! Just hit 51 and I feel more secure in my relationships and better able to let those go that are detrimental to me. It really has gotten easier to say "No!" - 9/20/2012   7:55:10 AM
  • 74
    I am healthier at 47 than I was as 27.... Happy Birthday - it just gets better! - 9/20/2012   7:53:56 AM
    OLDER? Wait till you are 60, then write another list! You are so young still!
    Enjoy your Birthday! - 9/20/2012   7:50:13 AM
  • 72
    Happy birthday, Nicole! Welcome to the next great decade. I turned 58 last month. I am constantly amazed by the changes each decade. I felt vaguely dissatisfied at 25, closer to my goals at 30. In my 40's I stopped caring what others thought and thought through more of what I needed and wanted. At 50, I'd finished "raising" my family, met my current husband and have made many important life changes. Each decade I'm stronger, healthier and more sure of myself. It is a privilege to get older and enjoy the spoils of your hard work in life. I think that the half-empty part is where you think about things you've yet to accomplish. For someone of your age, you have accomplished so much and do so much to help others. Pretty cool! - 9/20/2012   7:44:26 AM

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