If you think you can’t be happy as you age, think again.
"Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage of opportunity and strength." Betty Friedan
I turn 54 this month, and I've never been happier.
I feel beautiful, happy, optimistic, and successful, and it seems I'm not alone.
Studies show that even though people assume they'll get less happy as they age, that's not necessarily true.
The truth is people the older people get, the happier they are.
I'd never have thought this could be possible when I was young.
When you're in your teens, twenties, and thirties, someone whose fifty seems ancient.
When you're young, you feel like that's all that matters.
Beauty is king, and it's the only goal worth your effort.
There's also the rat race.
You get on that treadmill that says success looks like skinny thighs and money as you race into the void.
You assume old people are washed up and over the hill, but I've got a secret for you.
When you peel back the illusion, there's a whole different reality.
As youth and beauty fall away, you realize that youth is an illusion that keeps you focused away from what really matters.
As time becomes more precious, you learn to stop wasting it.
As you hone your skills and find yourself, you realize how valuable you are.
So as an ode to aging, I'm listing six unexpected perks.
To remind you that growing older is something to embrace.
A badge of honor, something to be proud of, and we should consider ourselves lucky if we're around long enough to see our skin relax.
Many people don't have that privilege.
So in the spirit of dispelling myths and lifting the veil, here are some things that time has gifted me:
I'm much more sensible now.
I realize it sounds cliche, but I've lived through enough to have picked up some pretty helpful life lessons.
Some lessons were difficult and painful. I had to live through them multiple times to get the whole communication.
But time allowed me to try again as often as necessary when I failed to get the message the first time.
I know, without a doubt, I have something to offer the world, and the information I've gathered can be helpful to others.
I'm more self-controlled now than I used to be.
I used to be much more impulsive and easily triggered.
I've mellowed, my anger issues have softened, my trauma doesn't rule me as much anymore.
As the parts that caused me the most pain get addressed, the more controlled I become.
The more I learn to accept and understand my demons, the more I can manage my reactions.
It's taken a long time for me to get here, but I finally love myself.
It's in no small part to the fantastic therapists I've had along the way and the unconditional healing love I've gotten from my husband over the years.
Getting to the point where therapy started taking hold, recognizing true love when it was in front of me, and becoming unafraid was a decades-long exercise.
Time gave me the necessary framework to make that journey.
Becoming a parent is life-changing in infinite ways.
I never wanted children until I met my husband, and although I know it's not for everyone, I'm glad I did.
My body wasn't in the best condition for conception, having already lost an ovary and on the brink of losing my second one just before I conceived.
But the Universe granted me one miracle, and having our daughter has made me face my deepest fears, touch my deepest love, and strive to become my best self.
Through my daughter, I've forgiven my mother and learned the hard truths about why she was the way she was and how easy it is to damage the people we love the most.
When I was young, all that mattered was how big my stomach was.
The endless loop of self-hate that went on my head was torture.
- Is my bum big?
- Do I look fat?
- Am I pretty enough?
- Is my nose too big?
- Am I stupid?
- Is everyone laughing at me?
I thought I was a huge, stupid, ugly freak of nature.
But when I look at pictures, I see a pretty young lady with a nice figure and a healthy glow.
I see someone who accomplished lofty goals and did some incredible things.
I couldn't see who I really was, and I never got to enjoy the beauty that came naturally with youth.
I never felt proud of my accomplishments.
Now I have a husband who looks at me every day with loving eyes. His sweet gestures and kind words let me know how loved I am. I feel beautiful, young, vibrant, and desired.
He's proud of my accomplishments, and I've learned to be proud as well.
All of what I'd been searching outwardly for before, I have internally now.
I am so happy that I lived long enough to finally internalize the message that I'm beautiful and special.
I've lost friends to terrible diseases in the last few years.
I've seen vibrant, wonderful women waste away.
I'm not going to curse my age when those lovely people never got a chance to live long enough to embrace theirs.
Every day that I'm alive and healthy enough to love my daughter and husband, meet a friend and share a laugh is a day I consider myself lucky.
If my hair gets gray because I've had so many of these days, then so be it.
I'll relish the gray and celebrate the incredible time allotted to me.
"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." Samuel Ullman
So don't despair if you see fine lines emerging.
If your boobs or pecks don't quite have the power they once did.
What you lack in the elasticity of your skin, you've gained in the malleability of your soul.
- Exercise stay fit
- Be social to stay connected
- Have fun to reinforce your sense of youthfulness
- Keep your brain in shape with games and puzzles
So don't be afraid to get old, no matter what age you are.
Hold your head up, shout your lessons out loud and teach what you've worked so hard to learn.
Your job now is to reclaim your place in this world and stand up and be counted.
The world is crying out for your wisdom, don't hold it back for anything.
This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.