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auntydeb's avatar

Aging: downward slide towards the grave; or a climb through life's experience towards wisdom?

Asked by auntydeb (2941 points ) February 13th, 2011

With a modern world apparently obsessed with youth culture, how do you feel about aging?

It happens to all of us, as soon as we reach full adulthood – there is nothing beyond but getting older! So, are you personally terrified of aging? If so why? Or, do you welcome each year you are alive and express gratitude, wonder or joy at your own wisdom and ability to understand more?

We live in an age where many children around the world still don’t make it to adulthood because of poverty and disease; while in most western countries, issues with how to support an ‘aging population’ lie at the opposite extreme. Assuming that most of us here (fluther that is) are in the First or Western world, how does the prospect of a long life really affect you?

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21 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Having had a few moments in my life where it looked like aging might not happen, I can definitely say I prefer it to the alternative. I actually enjoy a lot of aspects about it. I’m smarter, I no longer give a rat’s ass how I’m perceived physically by others, I tend not to sweat the small stuff nearly so much. Downside? I don’t like that I hurt all the time, but it’s not significantly impairing me. Since it happens anyway (if you’re lucky) I’m much happier embracing it than being upset by it.

anartist's avatar

It’s what you make of it.

kess's avatar

Life was designed to live forever…

Ageing happens because we have not yet come to that understanding.
Ageing come before death

When the understanding comes we no longer age because we are not affected by time… but we effect time..

Coloma's avatar

I love the age of wisdom!

I am more secure and confident than ever, less sentimental, less driven by my emotions, have experienced some big awakenings over the years, am very comfortable with who I am, what I believe in, how I live my life.

Aging has been very liberating for me, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I have had a good run, physically speaking, and am glad that I am not falling into depression and going under the knife to increase my ‘shelf life’ in the sexual arena.

I could care less.

I joke about aging gracefully, sitting in my hot tub with some good wine and let the parts fall where they may!

What we lose in form we gain in wisdom, well, some of us anyway. lol

There is no amount of money that would send me back to my 20’s or 30’s.

Life really does begin at 40, and the decade between 40— 50 has been the single most growth producing decade of my life to date!

I have my financial concerns but, otherwise, it’s all good!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Both.

As an old German proverb says: “Ve grow too soon old, und too late schmart!”

marinelife's avatar

I love life and enjoy living. Today I am going to a chamber music concert. It is going to be in the 50s. Life is good.

john65pennington's avatar

I am proud to say that I have made it to age 67 and still kicking!

No foot in the grave, here even after 13 surgeries. I stay high on life and look forward to another day of life, each and every day.

We are not here forever, so I make each day count. I wake up early and go to bed late.

My lifes experiences have made me this way. I have seen so much of the bad life, being a cop, that I have decided that those experiences were just learning avenues for me. Wife and I are happy and kick our heels at just about everything that comes down the highway.

You should, too.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@john65pennington

Yayyy! Go for it, dude! : D

Sunny2's avatar

@anartist Yes, but shit happens. You are not always in control.

I agree wholeheartedly with @Coloma. Experiences through the years make it much easier to say yes and no. You no longer waste time fussing about things over which you have no control, and there are many. I used to tell my kids not to ‘shut doors’ (of opportunity) and here I am shutting doors left and right. I have had so many experiences I never dreamed about when I was young, that I can’t regret what I did not do. And I while I don’t think I can do Machu Pichu, I may yet go to Madagscar or take a watercolor class.

One of the most fun things is thinking back to all the doubts and questions you had about your life when you were young and knowing how it all came out for you. I empathize with young people, but am glad I’m no longer there. Would I do anything differently? Sure, probably. But it doesn’t matter. I didn’t know then what I know now. And that wouldn’t be different.

Coloma's avatar

@Sunny2 Standing ovation!

Aaah yes, nothing like the wisdom of an old war horse. hahaha

auntydeb's avatar

Lurve to @john65pennington, @CaptainHarley puts it so well! Yaaay to @Coloma too, and especially to @Sunny2 for sayin’ it like it is. I’m not as old a warhorse as some here, but hope to live long enough that the trials of my current age (which is definitely ‘middle’) fade into experience and wisdom. Patience being a virtue I’m working to cultivate.
Happy Valentines Fluthers, may you each have a loved one to share some time with. x

YARNLADY's avatar

We might as well choose plan B, since we don’t really have a choice. It’s both, will he, nill he.

ETpro's avatar

It is both, and because that’s the case, hit the accelerator on the drive toward wisdom and hold that pedal to the metal.

Cruiser's avatar

Life is like a fine wine….take care of it and it will get better with age! ;)

CaptainHarley's avatar

For me, life was like a roller-coaster… up one minute, down the next. Thank God I’m ending mine on a high note. GOD, I love that woman! : ))

rooeytoo's avatar

Okay here goes, I am 66 and if I allow myself to stop and think about it, aging scares the bejesus out of me. I just had to put my old dog to sleep, his spirit was still so willing but his body just couldn’t keep up. He never wanted to turn home when we went for a walk but I knew if I didn’t get him to go back, he would collapse and I would end up half carrying him. He didn’t seem to care but despite the fact that I am still strong as a small horse, he weighed almost as much as me and we both were exhausted. I dread the day that it might happen to me. I don’t want to have to be carried home.

So yeah I agree with all the comments about being wiser and don’t sweat the small stuff, all that is true but when I can’t put on my sneakers and run for an hour or take the young dog over the agility course or take a welding class because I feel like it, I don’t know how I will feel then.

This is a great question, I can’t believe I am the only one to give you a GQ, I wish I could give you more because I don’t have much association with people my age and I always wonder what they are thinking. Thanks everyone for sharing.

ETpro's avatar

@rooeytoo I’m right there with you. Turn 67 next month. I can lift more today then ever before, but I know that I can’t keep gaining ground on the free-weights forever. The day your old dog saw will get me too if Boston drivers don’t so me in first. And I simply missed the GQ button on my last pass here, a fact I just corrected thanks to your reminder.

Hang in there my friend.

auntydeb's avatar

@rooeytoo, thanks for the GQ, the question is honest, I do feel ok about ‘growing older’, but the physical realities of getting old are part of the deal and perhaps the most difficult. Thanks too, @ETpro it is nice to get more Lurve! I seriously wonder if I will ever live to see the tens of thousands of it that some jellies get though!!! ;0)

faye's avatar

Boy, I’d go back to 30 in a heartbeat. I’m 56 and all crickety from arthritis. Any wisdom I’m gaining is probably being cancelled out by my meds, and I do still care what I look like. I used to disdain sitcoms and now I can’t wait for Big Bang Theory! There is always something to enjoy about every day, but, yeah, I’m on the downhill slide.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@faye : I love those Thursday night boys as well, I’m 56, too. separated at birth, perhaps?

Scooby's avatar

I’d like to out by seventy, aging holds no mystery to me….. When I see my disabled seventy six year old mother, crippled with arthritis & also having to cope with the after affects of a botched hip replacement….. I wonder what life for me will be like beyond seventy…. I think I’ll be done at seventy, as for my wisdoms… I speak them everyday, I just don’t think anyone listens…. We all learn the hard way I guess…….. I never listened when I was a kid either, that’s why I’m the man I am today…. :-/

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