As my birthday is fast approaching, I usually sit and wallow in my misery for a day or so before. Contemplating how one year older for me means my kids are older, my skin, my style, my taste in music is all OLDER. Every year I have my personal pity party where I feel sorry for myself for that which I can’t control…aging.
But not this year. As much as I’d like to sit and feel sorry for myself, I simply can’t. Because after the year I had I have realized that even though having a birthday does mean I am aging, being older definitely has its perks.
Here are ten reasons why I actually love getting older:
I know what is important to me in relationships
I no longer question if my marriage is ending (spoiler: it ended, and that’s ok). I know what I want in a relationship and I won’t settle for less than that. I know what kind of mom I want to be and I strive to be that mom every day. I don’t question my abilities because I know what I am capable of.
I am able to laugh at myself
When I was younger, I was always self-conscious of my awkward moments. My face would turn red, my heart would race and I would run like hell to remove myself from any situation where I had done something even slightly embarrassing. Now, growing older, I have learned to laugh at myself. I point out my stupidity and show that I am flawed, and I know that. We all are. I save all of the embarrassing moments to use on my kids 😉
I understand that being nice to others is the KEY to happiness
I’ll admit I wasn’t always the “nicest” person to everyone. Honestly, it took a nasty and hostile divorce for me to realize that my marriage to a toxic man had made me judgemental and cold, and some days I still struggle. But that wasn’t who I ever thought I would become or who I wanted to be AT ALL. Only I had the tools to change that, and so I did. Or at least I strive to every day. Overall I’m happier as a nicer person and I think being nice in general is much “easier” than not.
I don’t drink as much, and that’s not a bad thing
In my younger years every event, party and outing was surrounded by alcohol. As I got married and started a family I would have to plan for those nights as if it was a mini-vacation. A day to drink, and two to recover. Now, as I get older, I realize all of that is just too much damn work. I just don’t drink as much because I don’t have time to recover like I used to and you know what? It’s actually kind of nice to feel good after a night out with friends and not feel like the walking dead.
I am vigilant about my health
I make sure to go to my annual checkups. If I find a lump, I make an appointment right away. Why? Because as I’ve gotten older I have realized that I am not invincible. I no longer think I am going to live forever or that I am “young” so things like cancer or heart attacks don’t happen to people my age. They do. And if I am smart about my health, I have a better chance of being around when my kids start to learn that they are also mortal beings.
I can do what I want, when I want
I can literally eat pizza for breakfast, if I want to. If I choose to go to bed at midnight, I can. Do I want to binge watch some trashy TV tonight? Why not? I put in my years, I did my work and now? When I want to do something I can and will, because I’m an adult, damn it.
Going to bed early is perfectly acceptable
If I am tired, I have no problem going to bed at 9 PM. When I was younger, I think my friends would have made fun of me for this. But as I get older, my friends are all in the same boat I am. Tired is the new black, and getting a good night’s sleep is the new “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
My friends are real
I can count on one hand the number of close friends I have and I’m perfectly fine with that. In my twenties I had so many friends I was never without something to do. Over the years, I’ve realized that quality, close, trustworthy and mutually beneficial friendships are FAR MORE important than quantity of friends I can count. People I can count ON are much more crucial to me.
I can recognize toxic people in my life
Hence my divorce, but also friendships that I have lost along the way. As I have gotten older I have realized that some people just aren’t worth keeping in your life if they are causing you misery. Toxic people have no space in my life, not anymore. Not now that I know better.
I know that being comfortable is more important than being stylish
Not that I don’t like to go out and get all purdied up every once in a while, but I will gladly throw on a pair of comfy flats over stiletto heels in the name of comfort. I will NOT apologize for wearing my big fuzzy, rubber boots all winter long if it keeps my feet warm and dry rather than cold and cute.
As much as I would like to say that getting old sucks, there are plenty of parts to growing up that really don’t suck at all. If I had known in my younger years what I know now, things might have gone a little smoother, but we need those years to learn, to grow… and to fail. So we can find ourselves and what makes us happy and spend the better half of our lives, the older part, doing the things we know and love with the people that make us happy. Here’s to loving another year of getting older!