You Look Wise :: The Positive Aspects of Aging

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positive aging

Do you ever feel like someone telling you that you look tired is a nice way of saying you look like crap? Usually well-meaning people who love and care about me are the ones who deliver this terrible insult, and I will admit that I may be a bit hypersensitive when it comes to this particular scenario. However, I have decided that this question stems from one thing- the aging process.

Yes, I have dark circles under my eyes and bags that will not go away even if I get a full night’s rest. That stuff can be hereditary you know. And you know what, maybe I am tired. So far today I have already gotten ready for work (and my hair could not go another day unwashed), changed sheets (thanks to another night-time accident), washed a load of sheets (see: potty accident), ironed work clothes, gotten two young children ready for school, fixed breakfast, started dinner in the crock pot, and survived a toddler meltdown- and it is not even 7:30 a.m. With two energetic boys, a full-time job, and many other obligations (like most Moms in this stage of life), it is okay to be tired. But, I think as we get older, we have a harder time hiding on our faces (or under our eyes) how tired we actually are.

While aging is not all fun and games, I do think there are some positive things that happen as a result of getting older. Let’s just call this list how the 30’s are better than the 20’s.

  • Less FOMO: I have the privilege of working with college students, and a couple of years ago I received a text message from a student that described someone else as having “serious FOMO.” I had no idea what that meant, so I consulted the urban dictionary and learned that FOMO is the fear of missing out. In recent years, I have realized that my time is valuable to me, and I should be happy with how I spend it. After all, I only get a few precious hours each night after work before bedtime, and I like to guard my weekends. I enjoy time out with friends and colleagues, but sometimes I just do not mind missing it either. A spur-of-the-moment happy hour sounds fun, but as we all know sometimes it feels like moving mountains to make last-minute plans when you have young kiddos. So, unless I really want to be somewhere, I just do not go.  And I am okay if I do not get the inside jokes at the office the next day.
  • More Confidence & Less Filter: I think how much we filter what we say diminishes with each passing birthday. Don’t we all have a grandmother or great aunt who just says whatever she wants and simply does not care what other people think? I am still a people-pleaser at heart, but I have found that I am less inclined to hold back if I really have something to say now that I have more work and life experiences under my belt. Let me be clear that I am not at all advocating mean-spirited comments or suggestions, but I think that we should all feel confident in sharing our knowledge, experiences, and opinions in a tactful way. And, I think it just something that gets easier with age.
  • More Quality Time: One of my love languages is quality time, and nothing fills me up more than good quality time with the hubs and my boys and with others I love. By the time we reach our 30’s, most of us have lost someone we love to a car accident, cancer, or some other type of terrible illness. Watching someone battle for their life makes you realize that time is more valuable than any amount of money you will earn, and making sure there is quantifiable time for quality time has moved to the top of my priority list.
  • More Simplicity: At this point in my life, an idea of a fun night does not include an itinerary with a step-by-step account for every minute of my night (and early morning hours) including drinks at one place, appetizers at another, dinner at another, and three bars/clubs afterward. While we all enjoy ending up at Raiford’s once every few years, my idea of a fun, kid-free night out is a good dinner out with the hubs and close friends and lots of great conversation. My goal is typically to not make things more complicated than they have to be.

I look tired?! No, no. I think you meant to say I look wise. Because I certainly feel wiser now than I did when I was 22. Maybe with that wisdom comes the crows feet and the parentheses around my mouth–that’s ok. I’ll take wrinkles that come with life experience.

Now, please excuse me while I go look up YouTube videos on how to hide my under-eye baggage.  I have been trying a three-step process, but I’m feeling extra wise. It must be time for more drastic measures.

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Photo credit: skeleton hands via Foter.com /CCBY