4 Keys to Actually Enjoy Getting Older

Well. Here we are. This is 34! Another trip around the sun and boy, was it a good year! But honestly, I’m expecting an even better 2019. 

LAQUAN-SMITH-ASOS
LAQUAN-SMITH-ASOS

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m one of the few people in this world that actually enjoy getting older. You might wonder how is it possible that I, in fact, enjoy it? My response to that is quite simple; it’s because life keeps on getter better.

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My age has never been one of those things I’ve kept secret. I don’t get offended when men ask me how old I am. I don’t think it’s rude or breaking some strict rule from the ‘Manners and Etiquette’ book. I’m not ashamed to answer the question nor do I think it really means anything. I suppose people don’t like to divulge this information in fear of how they will be perceived. [And I’m totally aware, sadly in certain circumstances, age discrimination is alive and well.]

Sure. if I was twenty three and working in some mega office setting, alongside co-workers and a multitude of people on different levels of the corporate ladder, I wouldn’t want them to know. Imaginably, they may not take me as seriously as I would want them. They may think I’m undeserving, naive or lacking experience and maturity. All might have been true back in all of our early twenties. Certainly life experience was lacking. 

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The reality of telling someone your age gives them the power to decide how you are perceived. Quite frankly, at this very moment in my life, I don’t care. It’s possibly because everyone thinks I’m younger than I am (typically  6-8 years off and even more if they’re deranged). Or because I’m not quite pushing 40 yet (although, I’m guessing at 40, my spirit will be the same: I still won’t care and I’ll still be loving life). 

Society has put a premium on youth. There’s a stigma with old age and unattractiveness. My best advice? Do not pay attention to any of this garbage! Life is so ridiculously short and if we don’t pay attention, it will pass us by. Getting older is an uncomfortable truth we are better off acknowledging. Better yet, accepting and embracing it! 

laquan-smith-asos
laquan-smith-asos

I’ll never forget the time I was turning the “big” 3-0. There was an immense amount of chatter about what it was like to turn that age. For starters, everyone had an opinion about it. My thirteen year old godsons would certainly think people that age are, without question, old. Twenty somethings dread it as the next step.

Have they accomplished enough on their “What I Need to Accomplish by 30” checklist? They agonize over it. It turns into fear, goals not met become the end of the world, and self shame kicks into high gear for not having a steady significant other or a family. I mean, people really freak out. 

It’s as if there is some timeline or race to the finish line. I let those types of people blow by me, cheering them on as go. Success is perspectival. There is no race for me. Those things are not on the top of my priority list and to be honest, they currently may not even be on my list at all. 

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4 Keys to Actually Enjoy Getting Older

  • 1. Focus on yourself. Focus on what kind of life you want to create (or recreate) for yourself. Figure out how you’d like the rest of your life to look like. And do that. Want to make changes? Figure out how to do what you want on your terms. This goes for all of you! Even if your a mom and work a full time job. Want to stop working /work less/work more? Figure out a way. Don’t assume you have to do things. And don’t assume you can’t do anything. Make a life you want to live.
  • 2. Don’t get comfortable. Move your body for as long as you can and learn new things. My grandmother who is turning 99 in August texts, uses emojis, comments on Facebook posts and Facetimes. She has exercised daily for nearly her entire life and she also reads tons. You won’t believe she took a volunteer job working at her local library at 95. Keep your mind and body sharp for as long as you can.

“The only way to be of service to this world is by doing what you love!”

  • 3. Choose to be happy. By the way, it’s a choice. A positive mind set is crucial. I feel more vital, healthier and more alive than I ever have before. Your state of mind is your choice. It’s not the sum of how many bad or good things happening to you or your life. It’s about how you choose to view those things. Positive vibes only!
  • 4. Have fun and only do things that make you happy. Quite simply, quit doing things that you don’t want to do. I will be as happy, cheery, goofy, silly and as zealous as I can be until the day I die. I suggest you do the same!
Laquan-smith-asos

Why I don’t mind getting older or divulging my age? I’m giddy as I sit here and write this. Beyond living by the rules I’ve listed above, the excitement and gratitude that I contain, to have been given the chance (from God), to follow my dreams is out of this world. It’s plain and simple. Every year, life keeps getting better. 

There are ups and fewer downs, don’t get me wrong. But as days pass by, as time continues on, as years go by, there’s more opportunities and more time to do the things that I love. There’s more time to do things I thought I could not.  

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Photographer: Elie Rinchere

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Gwynnie Bee