Getting Older Doesn't Suck

I originally wrote this post last year and have revised it a bit to reflect my current feelings. Happy Birthday to me! Enjoy!

I hear it all the time…”another year older, urgh,” “I hate getting older,” “I hate my birthday and the reminder I’m getting old,” “getting older sucks.” I use to be one of these people. I cried on my 10th birthday because I didn’t want to be double digits. I’m sure many people reading this are still those people that post on social media about how getting older is terrible or complain to their family and friends about it. I, however, strongly disagree - getting older doesn’t suck.

Whenever I hear someone say that they hate getting older I wince inside knowing that they have this privilege yet they don’t fully appreciate it. Do you have any idea how lucky you are to be here living and getting older? Not everyone gets to get older but you do and are everyday.  It is one of the best things that can happen to you. You are here with a life to live, adventures to be had, goals to set and achieve and love to share.

I wish Mike was here getting older. I know there are other widows, friends, brothers and sisters and parents who wish the same for their loved ones. There is nothing nice about being forever young. To be forever 28 is limited. I’m not saying he didn’t have a good life while he was here. It is not about that. It’s just that there was more life to live that got cut short.

On Sunday I turn 30. I will be 2 years older than he will ever be. That feels weird. It’s a hard truth that I’ve already lived 2 more years than him. However, I still know how fortunate I am to be turning 30. I know that not everyone gets that privilege of reaching 30, or 40, or 55, or 70 or whatever that age that we just once assumed that we would obviously reach. I don’t know how long I get to live for but in the here and the now at (almost) 30, I know I have so much to be thankful for and so much to give. I am living now and can make the most of that. I’m incredibly aware that I have reached this age and am continuing to get older.

If I still haven’t convinced you that getting older is something to be thankful for and not something that sucks then why is that? Is it that getting older involves more responsibility? More decisions? I think what we often forget is how much control we actually have over our lives and decisions. Sure, there is pressure to do certain things at certain ages but really, says who? If you don’t want to or aren't ready to buy a house or get a “career” job or whatever it is that society suggests, then don’t. It’s your life. There are other ways to live. I think we tend to complicate otherwise simple things by thinking about what others want and not really thinking about what is best for ourselves. Yes, you’ll probably have to explain yourself more times than you want about your decisions but really, explaining (or ignoring others) about your decisions is better than living with decisions and growing older with a life that you aren’t motivated to lead.

I think what is harder than dealing with the responsibilities of getting older is the possibility of deteriorating physical health. I’m not there yet and I’m fortunate to be in good health so I don’t want to insult anyone with commenting on struggles I haven't experienced. As you get older there are aspects that are out of your control but there is still a lot you can do. I have a hard time listening to older adults complain about aging being terrible because of their health but not doing much other than sitting on the couch. I see my mom in her late 50s who has had her string of health issues having fitness and healthy eating as a regular part of her routine and my grandpa in his late 80s with terrible eyesight still trying to go out for walks and keep active. I think there will always be barriers that make life difficult but there’s also always reasons why your life and continuing to get older is worthwhile. The trick is finding them and pursuing that.

I could focus on why getting older sucks. However, I could also focus on how fortunate I am to be alive and be turning 30. I see my gray hairs starting to come in and I smile because they remind me that I’m here to live another day.

Showing 3 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Olivia Arnold
    commented 2018-09-06 18:25:13 -0700
    Sorry to hear about both of your health issues. I did mention in the blog that I don’t have experience with health issues so I was not commenting on that hardship and not meaning to offend.
    My perspective is that it would be very fortunate for Mike to be getting older. I understand that health may deteriorate at some point but I think there is a lot to experience before and even during that which would have been better than dying at 28 years old.
  • Eileen Lucas
    commented 2018-08-30 21:19:55 -0700
    Olivia, a great article, but I think that where a person is in their life at the moment is how they react to if they agree to love or hate getting older. I always wanted to live a long and healthy life with my husband of 42 years, but my thinking changed when I lost him this year on March 11, 2018, to cancer. I turned 60 in June, but with the grieving that I am experiencing right now, does not make me want to shout for joy or live to be 100. Without the love of my life, my whole world is shattered and I struggle to live just another day without him. Right now I can’t focus enough to even think about getting older, achieving goals or going on adventures. My life is different for sure and hopefully, someday I may be in the frame of mind you are in right now, but at this very moment, getting older is not that great. As for older people’s health issues, sometimes they are not visible. I have a heart condition that caused four blockages, a degenerative bone disease since I was in my early 30’s that has taken three of my discs, both conditions not visible to others, and both are hereditary so I had no control over them. This restricts my activities. I look fine to others on the outside, but always hurting on the inside; Sometimes older people do have a lot of health issues and yes, we complain about getting older because there are days when it is not all that great and living another day in pain and suffering is not a good thing to look forward to. Those are just my thoughts right now. I may have a new perspective tomorrow!!!!
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2018-08-30 11:23:24 -0700
    My birthday is also the day that Arlene and I got together. At the beginning of this summer, I was preparing for surgery. The day I turned 60 (YIKES!), I had to go to the doctor to get cleared for the surgery. He didn’t, he told me that there was something going on with my heart, thats what the EKG showed. So on MY 60th birthday, and the 35th anniversary of the day that Arlene and I became an “US”, I was told that there was a problem with my heart. Trust me, getting old sucks.