Why I Embrace Aging: The Best Is Yet to Come

Think back to when you were a teenager. Did you do everything under the sun to appear older, more mature?

Maybe you wore too much makeup.

I bet a few of you out there had a fake ID.

We’d go through all of these efforts because getting older was so exciting. I’m guessing you looked forward to turning 16, 18, 21 (maybe even 25, if you were eager to rent a car).

Then something happened. All of a sudden, looking older was an insult, not a compliment.

Remember the fear of being carded at the bar with that fake ID in tow? Suddenly, getting carded became a form of flattery. And just like that, the sheer idea of asking a woman how old she is became taboo.

Why is it common for women to have this shift in perspective about getting older?

From what I’ve learned, both from observations and conversations, there are a few reasons.

Some women feel they haven’t done enough to be a certain age; they’re not where they thought they’d be by that point in life.

Between graying hair and wrinkles, others worry about the appearance piece of getting older.

And there’s something messed up about the way society, in general, views aging. Women really bear the brunt of the negativity and pressure to remain youthful, especially when it comes to our looks.

Embrace Getting Older

It’s time for some positivity around aging.

Aging is something to embrace, not curse. Getting older should be celebrated, not dreaded. And taking another trip around the sun deserves to be met with feelings of gratitude, not fear.

I am turning 40 this year, so I wanted to share a positive perspective about getting older. Not just hitting those milestone years, but embracing every year that comes.

I’ve rounded up five sayings about age that I believe need to be looked at another way or all out debunked, to shine the spotlight on what aging really is: a privilege.

Sayings on Aging that I Ignore

1. “Age is just a number.”

No, it’s not. Age is wisdom. It’s experiences. Age represents personal growth and is made up of achievements throughout the years.

There are so many positive things to associate with age that have nothing to do with the number.

Also, don’t we have enough numbers to worry about? I’m talking the numbers we need to be concerned with, like the number of hours in the day and on the price tag of cereal, and the numbers we do not need to be concerned with — like the number on the scale, or the one on clothing labels.

Less focus on the number. Forget the number!

2. “You’re only as old as you feel.”

If this one were true, I would be 79 most days.

My father is 79 and I always say, with zero shame, I have more in common with him than anyone my own age. I find everything to be too expensive. TikTok and trending? Nope, not a clue. And don’t ask me how to do anything on a phone… wait, where is my phone?

Playing with kids toys
Some days, I just want to play with Lincoln Logs and Legos.

Concurrently, most days I have the energy, resting heart rate, and — again, no shame — appetite of a teenager.

There are plenty of days I feel like I am way too young to have children, be married or have the job I do. Shouldn’t a 40-year-old woman feel confident and on the ball in those areas?

I don’t know about you, but equating my age to how I feel puts me all over the place. I “feel” lots of different ages (sometimes on the same day) but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

3. “Act your age (not your shoe size).”

Sorry, Prince. I have to disagree with you on this one.

Act your age? How is a 40-year-old mother supposed to act? What is acceptable and, more importantly, what’s not?

Why does getting older automatically mean we have to act different? Sure, there are probably some generally accepted behaviors that come with certain ages. But really, isn’t our behavior more about the season we’re in, not our age?

Think about it. We are all in different seasons, at any given time in our lives. Many of you embarked on marriage and motherhood in your 20s, both of which I did not experience until my 30s.

Others may not dive into either until their 40s, if at all. Some women are career-focused right out of college, others take their time and hit that stride later in life, and some wait to pursue a career until their kids are grown.

In my teens and early 20s, how should I say this, I had fun. One could say, perhaps too much fun. At the time, I was in a season of life where I didn’t have children or dogs or a job that required a ton of energy.

Now that I am approaching my 40s and I am in a season where I do have those things, my actions are quite different. I no longer drink. I go to bed early. The only high I get is a runner’s one.

Riding on the grocery cart.
Am I too old to jump on the shopping cart and ride it across the parking lot? I’m doing it anyway.

Many reading this may not be the same age as me, but in a similar season of life. And others may be a similar age but feeling a very different season of life. And that’s all okay!

Live in your season.

Side note: there are days I would love to act 8 ½ (aka, my shoe size) with no guilt. If I have a day off and my children are not around, I just may eat snacks all day, watch mindless TV, and color.

4. “50 is the new 40. 40 is the new 30. 30 is the new 20… and so on.”

I mean, this is just nonsense. If we keep striving to be younger, even as we’re getting older, pretty soon the line between our golden years and our teenage years will look pretty blurry.

Remember what it was like to be a teenager? I don’t want to go back to that, and I honestly don’t want to be younger than I am today.

This quote feels like trying to live in the past and not appreciating the growth, wisdom, and all the other benefits that come with age. Let’s live in and enjoy every current year, and make the most of it.

5. “I’m too old to _______.”

This one is pretty simple. It’s never too late. You’re never too old. Go for it.

Let’s Appreciate Our Age

I’ll share on final thought that helped inspire this post. About a year ago, I started working in the healthcare industry. I’ve learned a lot about aging and how society views getting older. It has opened my eyes to the need for a change in how we perceive our own aging.

I hope you’ll shift your thoughts and perspectives to positive ones.

And whatever birthday you’re celebrating this year, I wish you happiness, health, and wellness. May it be your best year yet!

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Lindsay Paulson
You know the moms who bake delicious treats for school, throw Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, and have picture-perfect Christmas cards with the whole family in matching pjs? Lindsay is the exact opposite of that. What she lacks in skill and willingness to do ALL the things, she tries to replace by being present and positive. Her top priority is her family - her husband, Chris, two boys born in 2018 and 2020, and dogs, Burton and Gus. She also prioritizes herself, working as a Communications Manager for a healthcare company and staying well through exercise, gratitude, and mindfulness. Her first love is running and she has run marathons in several cities, including Boston, Chicago (which she ran pregnant with her first son), Duluth, and of course, Fargo. Her writing is often based on personal stories, with a touch of humor, and lots of honesty. She hopes all moms know how strong they are and encourages you to embrace who you are, rather than try to be who you think you should be.


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