Things That Don't Suck about Getting Older

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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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. =) Report
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. Report
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. =) Report
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.
Growing old definately beats ite opposite, dying young. Report
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. :) Report
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. Report
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!
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
"Getting older"? The title had me expecting something from someone who actually IS older; not a 30 yr old. Report
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! Report
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! Report
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. Report
Ha Ha - you don't feel a compelling need to buy EVERY new style of jeans - or anything else for that matter. Report
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... Report
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.! Report
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. Report
Happy birthday and thanks for the list. It's important to remember the good things that come with age. Report
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 Report
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! Report
Happy Birthday! I am in the best shape of my life and treat every day as a gift. Consider the alternative! Report
Happy Birthday!!
Wonderful timing as I just turned 28 yesterday. Report
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! Report
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! Report
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". Report
Love this! So much is so true! Report
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!!!! Report
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! Report
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! Report
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 !!! Report
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! Report
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--- Report
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!! Report
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!! Report
Excellent blog. By the way, I have socks that are older than you. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
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!!! :) Report
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. Report
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! Report
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!!! :) Report
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! Report
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, Report
LOL! 29 & 19 made me laugh!

Happy Birthday! Report
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 !!! Report
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. Report
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. Report
Happy 30th birthday! Wishing you many more! Report
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. Report
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