renew-able. No matter what our age or condition, there are still
untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.
~Dale E. Turner
old is inevitable but growing up is optional. The
secret of longevity is when we have learned what to do and how to do it
well with a cheerful heart. Then we discover that not matter how older we
get, we never lose our beauty, we merely move it from our face into our
Here are ways how life gets better as we grow older,
derived from the writings of Wendy Lustbade,
Medical Social Worker, Author, Life Gets
Batter: 'The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older'
It's a little bit long but worth reading to the end.
Youth is a time of searching and insecurity, trying to figure out
how to live, and as time passes we gather more and more certainty about our own
aims and preferences. We become less interested in comparing ourselves to
others, having slowly gained an internal compass.
An expanding awareness of our strengths and vulnerabilities helps
us endure difficult times with more equanimity. We are not buffeted around so
much by other people's opinions about the choices we make and what we should do
with our lives. It becomes a pleasure to stand our ground in tricky situations,
not out of stubborn pride but because we finally know who we are.
get better at relationships.
of the most significant skills gained with age is employing what we have learned
about ourselves in how we conduct our relationships. With intimate partners
especially, self-knowledge allows us to be more open about our weaknesses as we
try not to repeat the same mistakes we've made in the past. We appreciate the
loyalty of true friends more and more, having less patience for superficial
handle decision-making, the crossroads of life, with less frenzy.
Gradually, the hard-earned benefits of hindsight start to add up.
We see where we went wrong earlier on, allowing our past mistakes to inform our
present situation. We can assess the pros and cons of complex choices on the
basis of our lived experience, rather than having to guess about the
implications of taking one path rather than another.
courage becomes nimble.
Having gotten through hard times and come out the other side, we
are less afraid of adversity. We know how crucial it is to seize contentment
whenever we can find it, rather than standing at the sidelines waiting for the
best opportunities. We know that life consists of compromises, mixed with a bit
of luck and risk, and there is no time like the present.
We become more interested in others.
Generosity begins to occupy a central place in how we regard the
value of what we do. As the decades pass, we find that we need to contribute to
the greater good more than our own self-betterment. We become more sympathetic
toward others, having found that we all face the same fundamental predicaments.
Our spirituality deepens.
The search for meaning goes on throughout the lifespan, but in
our later years such questions become more urgent and begin to take precedence.
Meanwhile, petty concerns recede to their rightful place in the background.
Going through bereavement wakes us up to the spiritual domain in a manner that
shows us what really matters in life.
become more vivacious.
The real action in life is interior. The body slowly
deteriorates, but the soul expands. When we are young, we look at elders and
cannot see the exciting developments going on inside. The most lively people are
those who have death in sight and so are determined to live life to the fullest.
We slow down and see further.
The radiance that can often be seen in elders comes from becoming
more alive. Once we stop hurrying so much, we develop a quality of attentiveness
that adds new dimensions to our experience. It takes time to accept the body's
imperative to slow down, but once we do we are able to access the quadrant of
life where ordinary freedoms are cherished.
Unexpected pleasures become abundant.
Awareness of our mortality conveys immediacy in everything we do.
We no longer squander our time, because time is the currency that has become
more precious. This is our one and only life, and we recognize this more keenly
than ever before. Our receptivity to joy is wide open at last.