THE SINCERE PLEASURE AND AUDACITY OF GETTING OLDER

#gettingolder #gettingold #aging
Young people worry about everything – their looks, their climb up the corporate ladder, how their children will turn out etc.
For Dominque Browning, who recently turned 60, aging has become liberating. All those things she worried about in her youth she now finds almost laughable. Oh, and her excuse? “I’m too old for this,” she says.
Browning tackled the topic of aging in a liberating way in a New York Times article. It was also published in the summer of 2015 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As a young person, you tend to believe that you want to be young forever. You hear older people lament that “youth is wasted on the young.” In other words, you’d love to have had the wisdom and years of knowledge that you have at age 60 when you were, say, 30.
Browning writes that a younger woman advised her that “old” may be the wrong word. Perhaps at 60 she is too wise for this, or too smart for this. “But old is the word I want,” she writes.
“I’ve earned it.”
She writes that women inflict torture on themselves by obsessing about things. “If we don’t whip ourselves into loathing, then mean girls, hidden like trolls under every one of life’s bridges, will do it for us,” Browning writes.
Instead, she writes, one should be happy that the body one has is healthy, presuming it is. She says she’s too old for skintight jeans, 6-inch stilettos, tattoos or green hair.
Let’s look at the wider picture. Let’s say you are 50 years old, and have been told you are no longer needed at your job. You look at other jobs, perhaps ones that may be more physically demanding. Do you tell yourself, “I’m too old for this?”
Or, do you take on one of those jobs to prove that you aren’t too old, presuming the employer hires you – and there’s certainly no guarantee of that.
Employers generally see age as a disadvantage, no matter what the job. They may not be allowed by law to discriminate, but there’s nothing telling them they can’t tell you – the older worker – that they have chosen someone else. If you try to prove age discrimination, good luck. You’ll need all the evidence you can find, and you still may not succeed.
So what to do if that predicament arises at 50? Or even younger? There are many ways out there to earn money, without a traditional job. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you like what you see, you might be able to one day gleefully show the employer who dumped you that you didn’t need him after all.
Imagine seeing your children, or younger colleagues, sweating each day as they go to work. They don’t know when they might get shown the door. It might come at a worse time for them than it did for you. But you will have done what you needed to do to put your life in order again, perhaps even making it more prosperous in the process.
How fun would it be if those younger folks presented you with the trials and tribulations of the working world, and you could say to yourself, “I’m too old for this.”
Remember, it’s best not to gloat, and to keep one’s thoughts to oneself in that regard. However, if you are reaching, shall we say, advanced age milestones, don’t fret. Use the wisdom you’ve gathered, and the energy you still have to create a second, and perhaps more prosperous and rewarding, life.
As discussed previously, wishers wish they were young again. Dreamers don’t care how old they are. There is so much to be said for being older, and not having to face the insecurities many young people face today. If you are older, you’ve lived in some good times. Now it’s time to do what you must to make your future even better.
Peter

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