Why Getting Older May be the Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to You

by Cheryl Richardson

It’s a beautiful morning and I’ve just plopped down in a comfy chair on the deck overlooking my backyard. I enjoy starting the day by listening to the birds as the early light slowly brightens the sky. I love my home, my quiet life here, and the peace and contentment that comes from a daily routine. Isn’t it funny how, as we get older, simple things can bring so much peace and satisfaction to our lives?

Speaking of getting older, it’s a topic that’s been on my mind lately. While I live in a country that applauds youth, I’m developing a new appreciation for the gifts that aging has to offer. Sure, there are days when I discover new wrinkles and pine for the tautness of youth or, upon feeling tired, begin to worry about running out of energy. But, for the most part, I’m finding real value and pleasure in the aging process.

Here’s some of what I love…

  • I have respect and appreciation for the preciousness of time. There’s nothing like aging to inspire in us a desire to use each minute, hour, and day, in the most satisfying ways.
  • I have far less patience for phony people, cocktail level conversation, or pretense. It’s boring, draining, and increasingly intolerable.
  • My suck-it-up muscles are getting weaker. (Thank goodness!)
  • I enjoy my own company and find peace and contentment in solitary activities – something I often avoided when I was younger.
  • It gets easier to make health a priority. When I eat well and move my body every day, I notice a significant difference in how I feel and it inspires me to schedule my life around these activities rather than trying to fit them into a busy schedule.
  • The youthful concern about missing out on something gets replaced with the more mature understanding that we are not at the mercy of outside forces and invitations. We’re the ones who create our best life experiences.
  • History repeats itself and that’s a good thing. When I embark on a new project, for instance, and get inundated with voices that tell me it’ll be too much work, I don’t have what it takes, or it’s all been done before, I smile and keep going. These voices have been with me for years and I now welcome them as gatekeepers who announce the commencement of my creative process.

With so much emphasis on staying young, I think it’s important to stop and think about how the passing of time adds depth and meaning and substance to life. What if getting older is the best thing that’s ever happened to you?

This morning I’m celebrating the wisdom of aging and I invite you to join the party.
Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, The Art of Extreme Self Care and her new book with Louise Hay called You Can Create an Exceptional Life. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials. Her work has been covered widely in the media including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, and O Magazine. She was the team leader for the Lifestyle Makeover Series on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she accompanied Ms. Winfrey on the “Live Your Best Life” nationwide tour.  Cheryl also served as the co-executive producer and host of “The Life Makeover Project with Cheryl Richardson” on the Oxygen Network and as the co-executive producer and host of two Public Television Specials – “Stand Up for Your Life” and “Create an Abundant Life.”