When we hit our senior years, we know we need to watch our money, eat healthy food, keep in shape, and make the most of each and every day. These are abstracts, though. There are some aspects of getting older that no one tells you about. And they should! Getting older affects you in a lot of ways, both mentally and physically.
This doesn’t just mean having trouble with stairs, or forgetting where you put your keys. They’re small things, some about attitude, others about relationships, and some things that are kind of embarrassing!
Relationships and Interactions
For two decades we raised our children, potty trained them, sent them to their rooms, dried their tears, taught them to drive, and made them laugh hysterically. Now, they’re grown up and they have children of their own.
Our relationship with our children is no longer one of reliance, but of friendship. And what fun it is! This is a great gift for old age.
On the other spectrum, if our parents are still alive, we come to have a renewed respect for them, as we now understand them in a more full manner. It’s a nice in between to have friends in both our older and younger generations.
We learn to interact with our peers in new ways, too.
For example, when we may have provided unsolicited advice, we remain quiet. Knowledge has provided us with the understanding that we don’t have to tell peers how to live their lives – that’s their job! By the same token, we stop being so critical of our friends and family. The same attitude applies: we accept other people’s choices and understand that everyone is different. There’s that wisdom again. Aging may have some minuses, but we become happy, well-rounded people as we grow old, and that’s pretty wonderful.
You’ll probably get more agreeable as you age, at least through your 60s. You’re also likely to be happier and less inclined to get angry. Scientists haven’t figured out exactly why this happens, but they do have some theories. Older people might control their emotions better, and focus more on how to make the most of life.
A New Attitude
One thing they do say is that you get wiser as you get older, and this is actually true. Wisdom comes from all kinds of things, predominantly life experience. Instead of judging our friends and peers for the way they live and the things they own, we take it in stride.
We favor listening to what those around us have to say, because we understand that varying points of view may offer insight. And, what’s more, we can admit when we’re wrong! With age, we understand that there’s always something to learn.
We make good decisions, and we feel good about those good decisions. Experience has shown us plenty of success and failure, and we have a pretty good grasp of most circumstances, personalities, and predicaments.
One decision we make is to get rid of all our stuff! When we age, we want less. Call it an intolerance for clutter, or an empty nest that starts to feel like a relic from the past, or maybe you’ve downsized to a smaller home where you simply don’t need all of that mess. Get rid of it! It’s much better to pare down than to be a hoarder.
Fear is not your friend: You may worry more about breaking bones as you age. But you’re more likely to take a tumble if you’re scared of falling. One study found that about a third of adults over 65 have that fear. And it’s understandable, because falls are the leading cause of injuries for older people.
Are you a morning person?
There’s a good chance you’ll become the morning person you’ve always wanted to be — in your 60s. Our sleeping patterns can shift as we age, so we get sleepier earlier and wake up earlier. That seems to work out well. One study showed that even though folks over 65 tend to wake up during the night, most said they regularly get a good night’s sleep.
Here’s the bad news – everything goes down. Literally, you physically droop! Every appendage that once had some subtle plump firmness is, well, saggy. This is fate, it doesn’t come back, so despite all your trips to the plastic surgeon, you will never have a youthful body again. So save your money for something else.
And, you’ll gain weight. As fun as your senior years are, you can’t eat whatever you want and never gain a pound, which is depressing, but this is a fact. That plump body is going to make lots of cracking noises. It’s not a hail storm, you’re just getting up from the couch. Previously simple activities like vacuuming or painting a room become physically wearing, so prepare to ache.
Finally, you know those tiny little readers you’re using to read this article? That’s part of old age too. But you already knew that one.
We ladies have spent much of our lives trying to remove hair from unseemly places. Our legs, underarms, between our eyebrows. The good news is that our body hair thins, starting from your head, down to your limbs. While you’ll have to get creative with some new hairdos, at least you can save time on leg shaving. The bad news is that the hair starts to grow on your face! Yes, this terrible fate happens to all of us. Just swipe your husband’s razor and keep it quiet.