Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just not as young as I used to be.” or, “how did I get to be so old” with a laugh, as if the years have just flown by?
What is really cool about aging in 2018 is that the old rules simply do NOT apply. People in their 50’s (or 60’s) are actually much more like people in their (age) 30’s years ago. Why? Here are 5 compelling reasons that will likely to take you aback some.
We Are Living Healthier
Let’s face it; many people are absolutely living a healthier lifestyle today. Whether it’s eating healthier, hitting the gym on a more consistent basis, or just striving to become emotionally healthy. Living a healthier lifestyle is just what many people do. As a result, we just feel much better in our 50’s than many anticipated they would.
I read recently that a child born today could potentially live to be 100 years of age. Not only that individual child either; it could include a significant portion of his/her cohort such that their average lifespan could reach the amazing age of 100. Wow!
That said, we’re living longer today. We are living healthier today as well. This means the old school thinking of “you’re getting old at 60” just isn’t correct.
It has been my experience that people in their 50’s today are more like the 30’s of last century. Why? I would surmise that it’s due to many, many more opportunities available in our world today. Like being able to return to school or start a business. Or enjoying the time at home augmented by many choices such as traveling or beginning a new job. Yes, even in your 50’s and 60’s. Either way, it keeps us younger and more vital. We just FEEL better about ourselves.
We Love to Exercise
Okay maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. But! Many people are hitting the gym now or the track and the backcountry trail. And, perhaps much more consistently than when we were younger. Exercise tends to clear your mind. Certainly it can lower depression. Furthermore, it can ramp up your immune system so that you tend to get sick less often. Taken as a whole, why wouldn’t we want to exercise?
The Empty Nesters
Many people in their mid to late 50’s are a bit surprised to find out how much they enjoy having their spouse or partner to themselves. Now don’t take me wrong, they absolutely love being parents and raising a family together. Now they ABSOLUTELY love the extra time they have together to nurture their couple relationship. Oh, and being able to send the grandkids home with their parents is definitely a plus!
A Few More Ideas
I have a friend who says on a regular basis, “Sixty is the new 30!” He hikes often and takes pretty good care of himself overall. Interestingly enough, he turns 60 later this year. He also loves to snowshoe in the Wasatch. And, he’s retired!
I also read an article recently referencing research by the Office for National Statistics that asserted that the happiest time of our lives is actually the age 65 – 79. Perhaps this old poem by an unknown author will add to this premise.
At ten, we have just fun
At twenty, we are still naughty
At thirty, we think lofty
At forty, we get shifty
At fifty, we confront reality
At sixty, we seek serenity
Whether you’re in your 50’s or just approaching that great age, possibly from a distance, isn’t perhaps the key point. What is key is that we’re living longer and happier. The old “age” stereotypes are just that, stereotypes. Get out there and stretch yourself a bit!
Michael Boman, LCSW is a therapist with 18+ years experience working with individuals, couples, and families. He is also a believer in exercise and taking care of oneself. He welcomes your comments.