granny

Everywhere we are bombarded with advertisements for anti-aging beauty treatments that promise to peel back the years, vanquish wrinkles and make you look ten years younger. Sold in tiny bottles for large amounts, these anti-aging serums support a giant industry that teeters on the promise of a return to youth.

NEWSFLASH: THERE IS NO ANTI-AGING.

You could look younger, you can certainly feel younger, and you can act as young as you want – but at the end of the day, you are actually a little bit older. We all are. Aging is an undeniable facet of existence, the fine print notice on the spectacular gift of life. Our modern culture tends to celebrate youth and forget that old age even exists.

But old age does exist. And you are headed there, if you are lucky, to sit someday in a rocking chair with a face full of wrinkles and wax poetic about the stories of your life. Aging has many, many benefits – including increased wisdom and being alive – so quit moaning about the number of candles on your birthday cake and start to celebrate aging!

10 Things to Love About Aging

1. You know your priorities. Whether you prioritize your family, career, spiritual life or sense of adventure, you’ve figured out by now what goals you want to pursue and which paths in life will make you happiest.

2. You know your style. As a teenager, you might see a little tube top in a cute fabric and try it on. God forbid, you may even wear it. As an adult, you’ve learned what fashions work and which do not on your body type, and you don’t even waste time trying on outfits that don’t. In other words, you know better when it comes to tube tops and their fashion cousins.

3. You can speak from experience. From travel adventures to career ladders and family issues to consumer rights, you’ve collected a wide range of life experiences that inform your daily choices and long-term plans. Keep cultivating your life’s garden and creating new experiences to add to your collection.

4. You know your weaknesses. Knowing your weaknesses can be your biggest strength, and whether your favorite vice is chocolate candy, impromptu gambling or discount shopping, you’ve learned to minimize exposure to temptation so that your willpower doesn’t have to work quite so hard.

5. You don’t take any crap. Think back to your younger years – chances are you were not as confident as you are now. With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes insight, and nothing makes your moxie rise like knowing where your boundaries are and what you must do to establish them.

6. You know your body. After years of trying different remedies, medicines and salves, you are learning what works for your body and what doesn’t. While this is a life-long process, every year you’ll grow closer to understanding exactly what makes your body tick (fresh vegetables) and what makes your system slump (extra cheese chili nachos with sour cream).

7. You’ve chilled out. Drama that would have sent you spinning as a teenager probably makes you chuckle now. Life has a way of chilling us out, and as you experience true dramas and real problems, you realize that the small stuff is not worth your stress or concern. Plus, you’ll forget about the rest – and being able to forget things is an under-appreciated characteristic.

8. You take better care of your body. Young whippersnappers take their bodies for granted, expecting strength and vitality to greet them every morning without fail. As you get older, you realize that your body would appreciate a bit more upkeep. Now you treat your one-and-only-body with more care through stretching, exercise and stress-reduction techniques.

9. You are eating more organic food. A couple of decades ago, you were probably consuming more pesticides, hormones, toxins and junk food. Remember gorging on pizza at teenage parties, or the crap that passed as lunch in high school? Today you are eating a healthier, more balanced diet than you did when you were younger.

10. You are not dead yet. Hooray! Three cheers for you! Only the luckiest human beings are granted the gift of aging. Surely you have many dead friends that would trade their right arms for the crow’s feet that you have now. Embrace your extreme good fortune and remember that you are never promised tomorrow, but you can always enjoy today – no matter how old you are.

Image: AdamSelwood