Like a classic movie, like fine wine, like a tune you're never sick of hearing, so can our lives get better with the years. The golden age is a time when we can harvest the fruits of our labor and enjoy many advantages most people seem to forget or undervalue. I'd like to share with you 9 reasons why your golden years can be the best time of your life, so you always remember you've got something to smile about.
1. We know how to enjoy life
Once the desperate need to be considered 'cool' and exciting has passed, it's much easier to lean back, laugh at everything (including ourselves) and enjoy life. Life is much funnier when we're older, especially because we've learned there's no shame in laughing at ourselves. Since laughter is good for you, why not laugh as much as possible?
In addition, we've driven down many of life's bumpy roads, so we already know what should concern us and what can be solved with a smile and acceptance. For those who say life is boring, I say: "rubbish." Life is full of experiences you've accumulated, and full of experiences you've yet to have.
2. We appreciate other people
Family, friends, and everyone close to us. They've been by our side for so long we've learned to trust them when we're in need of help and to thank them for all they do for us. We've learned, a long time ago, that the journey of life is best made with others, and even if their road ended or our roads went different ways, it just made us appreciate even more those that are still with us. We have given and received many gifts over the years, but we know the best gift we will ever have is having people around us who care.
3. We know how to make the best of who we are
With age comes experience, and with it we get perspective and wisdom, things that help us make the most out of what we have. We've learned a lot in this life, and we continue to learn more every day, which will help us avoid mistakes and reach our goals. After many years in this world, we can finally deal with it, knowing exactly who we are. We know we have the power to change if we really want to, we've done it before and there's no reason we can't do it again.
4. We know our world
Even if we haven't been to every country in the world, we know our own environment, that's for sure. We've learned to circumnavigate that bump in the road, we learned when the best time to open our windows for that refreshing breeze is, and we know exactly how we like our food. Our environment is full of reminders - some pleasant and some less so - of the wondrous life we've lived and continue living today. Beyond the satisfaction of knowing the real us and our real environment, life also supplies us with a plethora of opportunities to see younger people (such as our grandchildren) experiencing life for the first time, and enjoy it.
5. We've learned to accept our faults
Chasing perfection is the province of younger people, who still haven't come to the realization that constantly chasing perfection only leads to bitterness, disapointment and self-hate. Most of the time we even enjoy the little faults in our life and in the people close to us, who supply us with endless little moments of pleasure and laughter. Although it's sometimes hard to admit, our body is not as strong as it used to be, but it has served us for many years and will continue to do so only if we don't ask for more than it can give.
6. We don't need to prove anything to anyone
We've learned, a long time ago, that no good will come from comparing ourselves to others. We've released ourselves from that feeling of pressure and competition that causes so many people anxiety and sadness. There is a great relief knowing that at this stage of our lives we can focus on what we like and abandon the negative emotions of envy.
We know our worth, and if no one else knows it, that is their problem and not something that should bother us. If we want to do something, we do it for ourselves and our loved ones, and not to prove anything to anyone.
7. We are aware of our mood
When I was young, older folks used to look surly to me. Today I understand that after a certain age a little complaining and joking is to be enjoyed. We all like to blow off some steam, we're just no longer afraid to do it. However, we do need to remember every coin has two sides, and we must not be tempted to spend our time moping or being surly. We know now that these feelings pass, and we have the patience to wait it out.
8. We've got our priorities straight
After many years of being run ragged by life, we finally have the time and ability to do things in our own pace. We've raised our children, fed and clothed them. Now is the time to develop that artistic ability we always knew we had, learn a new language, go out in nature or read all the books we never had time for. From my personal experience, I can tell you others will be surprised to see the amount of creative energy you may have.
9. We can be at peace with ourselves
Every stage in life has its goals: To finish school, to find a career, to raise the children and on and on. What is our goal now? To take care of the grandkids, to help our children through their hard time, but mainly to reach peace and acceptance with ourselves. We've chased happiness most of our lives, and now is the time to develop ourselves in any way we see fit. Bottom line: This is when we know ourselves the best and yet can surprise ourselves the most. It is a time for self-improving and delighting in ourselves and in others. Embrace this period of life with both arms and enjoy all that it has to offer.