General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How do you think you will change when you are a few decades older?

Asked by wundayatta (58693points) January 23rd, 2009

Wherever you are in life, but particularly for people still in college or just starting out in the work world, do you think you will behave differently when you are a few decades older?

Please indicate your age or approximate place in life, and say a little about what you are like now. Then, how will you change over the decades? In what ways will you be different? What will stay the same? —Look at the topics if you need a hint about aspects of yourself that might consider for this question.

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54 Answers

peggylou's avatar

I am 63 years old. Very simply, one day you’ll be aware of something you are thinking, doing, or wanting, and a light bulb will go on in your head and you’ll say to yourself, “Oh, my God, I am my mother” or “I am my father!”

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ll have much less hair than now, I’ll be two steps slower than average, and I’ll type a little slower on Fluther although my answers will be better because I will be wiser.

Now that I’ve taken time to read the questions details, I’ll elaborate. I’m 41 years old, I’m retiring from the military in 7 seven years, and I’m currently in my happy place.

Many things now like political leanings, fashion sense, my personality and opinions, ethics, and my character will most likely have no noticeable change in my sunset years.

Everything in the last sentence is only speculation on my part but that is what I hope will happen.

dalepetrie's avatar

I always take the phrase ‘a few’ to mean generally 5, but in some cases anywhere from 3 to 8. I’m almost 38, I’m 150 pounds overweight, diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I’m trying to make changes in my life to get healthier but a lifetime of poor dietary and exercise habits isn’t broken quickly. Given that, at that rate, I expect the only reasonable answer to your question is “when I’m a few decades older, I expect to be decaying far more rapidly.”

vanslonski's avatar

As a musician, the hope is I’d become more fluent and natural in my performance. Yet, at 55 now, i’ve developed aches and pains unknown before, leading me to project even more maladies probably on the way. I suppose I’ll just “decompose into something else”.

tabbycat's avatar

I’m 59, and at this point, I don’t think a whole lot changes. I’d like to have fewer debts and more free time a couple of decades from now, and I’d like to remain in good health. But someone once said that God made the world round so we would not see too far down the road. One thing I’ve discovered about getting older is that you learn to take life more as it comes.

The good thing is that there are still many things to feel excited about. I felt a special pride watching the inauguration that I have never quite felt before. Feelings like this really keep you going.

May2689's avatar

I think I will definetly change for good… I think of myself as a good mom, devoted to her kids and husband, with lots of love around me.

SuperMouse's avatar

Judging by what has become of my grandmother, in a couple of decades I will be very, very cranky.

swfpdx's avatar

I don’t envision myself reaching that point, but if I did I think that I would be a cantankerous old woman! I will certainly be dealing with dementia.

swfpdx's avatar

Oh, I forgot to mention that even if I was not dealing with dementia (which clearly will not be the case), I would pretend as though I were so that people would be more forgiving of my cantankerous nature.

tinyfaery's avatar

I can’t imagine being much different than I am now. People don’t really change much after a certain point. I’m sure I’ll be more wrinkly, and a bit more gray (hopefully). I’m sure I’ll still be restless. I’m always restless.

seekingwolf's avatar


I am very sorry to hear that. :( I sincerely hope that your health will improve over time!

Well, in a few decades? I’m 19, I’m sure I’ll get wrinkles, and maybe my skin will sag. People in my family have AWESOME long-lasting eyesight, so I am sure I won’t have glasses.
Anyway, in a few decades, I hope to be married and have a job that I enjoy. I intend to take life easy and not stress myself out with tons of friends or children.

susanc's avatar

In “a few” decades I will, with luck, be dead. I’m 65, and I’m ostensibly on hold while I figure out whether I’m alive now, since my husband died and I feel I went with him a bit.
I might go to Belize and kayak and snorkel before spring comes, I need to wake up.

Anyway, in a few decades, with luck my ashes will have been scattered. Hopefully something I’ve made will endure, to amuse or perplex the living.

laureth's avatar

I’m 36. In a few decades I hope to be retiring and finally able to do things that I want to do instead of what the boss says to do, but I know there will be no such thing since Social Security will be a cruel joke by then. And my 401(k) is pretty shot, too. (Glad I spent 16 years saving for… nothing much.)

That said, I still hope that we can live in a better house than we do now (“better” meaning less expensive, with a place I can garden). It’s hard to say what else will change, since if you had asked me this a couple decades ago I could not have told you about much of anything I’m doing now. Hopefully I don’t stagnate into a predictable lump.

augustlan's avatar

I’m 41. In a few decades, I’ll no longer be needed as a daily mom to my kids, so I’m not sure what will become of me exactly. My hair will certainly go more gray, and I’ll probably cut it super short again. My core personality won’t change much. I hope to be more at peace with life and the world. I hope I won’t worry as much as I do now. I hope I’ll have found out what I want to be when I grow up, and will have done it :)

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Hm, so many topics to make wild guesses at!

Where/who am I now?

20. Single. American. In college majoring in interior design and planning to start an internship this summer. In love with all things sci-fi and fantasy. Reserved. Laid-back. Always learning something new.

Where/who might I be a few decades from now?

Well beyond 20. Most likely single, but that would depend on whether I meet a guy that’s loony and persistent enough to put up with my quirks and unfortunate enough to be smitten by me. May or may not be living in the same state or country, depending on if I get bored with my life and if my career takes me someplace different. Might adopt a kid, as well, eventually. Still into the sci-fi and fantasy stuff (once a geek, always a geek). Still reserved, for the most part, and still laid-back. And finally, still learning all I can.

…and my sex frequency would be none of your business, even if I did happen to bump into a loony, persistent helpless guy who just can’t seem to help himself around me. :P I’m quite abstinent in this regard.

dalepetrie's avatar

@seekingwolf – I’ll sincerely be happy if I make it to my mid 70s….being older than that doesn’t really appeal to. I know how much harder everything seemed when I hit my mid 20s than it seemewhen I was in my teens, and how much harder it seemed at 30, then 35…I suspect by the time I’m 75 I’m going to say “please kill me”.

swfpdx's avatar

Upon further consideration, if I can’t be like Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude those years will not be worth living.

Divalicious's avatar

I’ve done so much changing in the last 5 years, that I doubt I’d be able to change much in the next few decades. Getting divorced, shacking up, becoming a gun nut, dabbling in real estate and getting burnt. ouch!, becoming a vegetarian, and babysitting criminals is change enough.

The only changes I can foresee is becoming paranoid and planning SHTF scenarios. Is it paranoia if they really are out to get you?

pathfinder's avatar

I am 23 years old adult persone.what can I write about is that I build up unbrekable self discipline.The live still stay in the same trail with same dreams what to do in the future and stuff.I am happy about my live and any one has the same feeling. I guess.At least I misst the commercial stuff.That is important in live or not.

Grisson's avatar

I will be retired and revelling in my geezerhood.
I’ll still be saying “Back before the turn of the century…”

desiree333's avatar

I am 15 years old and in a decade I hope to be living in Golders Green London. Im not sure how much I will change though. Over the years I have found the saying “if you want to know what you will look like when you are older look at your mum” to be very true I am starting to look alot like her, and it sort of scares me.

Darwin's avatar

@desiree333 – Actually, I look more and more like my dad, which is really scary because I am female.

In a few decades I suspect I will have very little hair and what I do have will be gray to white. I suspect that the little “everything aches” will be much bigger and that my eyesight will really suck (a combination of cataracts, floaters, nearsightedness, Sjogren’s Syndrome and Fuch’s Dystrophy). I also plan to never wear a bra and to dress for comfort and not for style.

I hope I will have kept up with exercising so I can still get around on my own and I hope I will still have my own teeth, although a few more of them might be capped with gold. I also assume I will be a grandmother all over again and that my daughter the doctor will keep to her promise to take care of me someday. Also, I will be a widow because my husband is both older than I and much, much sicker.

maybe_KB's avatar

Eating habits

Jack79's avatar

I’m 36 but sometimes I feel a lot older, since I did practically everything I wanted pretty young. I fulfilled my greatest ambition by the age of 26, and then all I wanted was to have a happy family. I failed tragically, and hope that in the next couple of decades I will at least manage to salvage my child and see her grow into a well-balanced, happy and healthy individual. Or at least see her grow. Things are pretty bad right now, and I imagine we’ll spend several years recovering (not least financially).
I will certainly be grey and tired, and possibly beaten, maybe even depressed. As long as my child survives this I guess it won’t matter much, but I can easily see myself going crazy if this goes on and ending up broke and in the streets. Could go either way I guess.
Good thing I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs (though I eat too much meat)

Jeruba's avatar

In a few decades I expect to be decomposing. That’ll probably be the biggest change of my career.

If I’d answered a question like this when I was in my twenties, I’d have got the answers all wrong. I never expected to leave New England, never expected to be married, never expected to have kids, and didn’t know there was a profession for people with my talents.

However, I am still the same person inside, and I think most of us are. A few years ago when I was back East, I arranged a small reunion for some high school friends, the first time most of us had seen one another in 40 years. We were all still overwhelmingly the same people, even to gestures, mannerisms, and speech patterns.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I am 48 now. In a few decades I will probably be dead, much to the relief of those who despise me, and for those who liked me, I can only hope they think of me and smile. If not, I’m coming back to haunt the bastards!

Strauss's avatar

I’m sixty. Sometimes folks blame personality traits I’ve displayed all my life on my age. especially my absent-mindedness

Jeruba's avatar

@Yetanotheruser, when I was much younger, I told my kids: “Someday you’re going to notice me forgetting things, misplacing things, getting crabby, etc., and you’re going to want to say ‘Mum’s losing it.’ So I’m telling you right now, and I want you to remember: I was always like this.” Perhaps I thought I was performing some sort of magic spell that would protect me from getting worse, or at least from having anyone notice I was getting worse. Alas, it didn’t work. I’m getting worse.

galileogirl's avatar

Right now I am an opinionated, liberal, workaholic. In a few decades I will be totally dedicated to improving the environment.

Today I am 62, in a few decades, I will be pushing up daisies.

teirem1's avatar

I’m 48, in the coming decade I will go back to being a bit of a gypsy as my son will be out on his own. I will spend more time training and riding crazy horses, trekking to wild places, drawing and painting, meditating, and helping out where I can. I will manage my money much better than I do now. I will be supportive of my son. Maybe I will fall in love (well, it’s not completely impossible!) Mostly I will just be myself. Hopefully I will learn to be wiser . Perhaps I will be a bit smarter. I don’t think I will live pass two decades as I have already had two kinds of cancer and I imagine it will catch up to me one day sooner than I would like. My hope is that a fall from of a horse or a rock face will send me on before cancer has a chance.

craig_holm's avatar

It will probably put a kink in my step-dancing career.

mpjt2005's avatar

I am 34 have 3 children ages 15, 10 and 7 I work full time and have been divorced for 5 years. In a few decades I hope I am a loving, caring, giving person who doesn’t take anything for granted. I will probably still be working if I am able and hopefully I will have grandchildren to visit with and my family will be happy, healthy and wise. I don’t think I will age rapidly over the next few years seeing most of family all look young for their age and my Mom at 59 only has a few greys.

The_unconservative_one's avatar

My hair will turn gray, my health will decline and my skin will wrinkle. I will also get to yell at kids to get off my effing lawn.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have no clue and that’s exciting as hell!
I’m 25, madly in love, a working mother of 2 and a passionate activist
I am just starting out in the work place but I hope to go back to school for my PhD
so in a couple of decades, I want to be a tenured professor, the one the students talk about as the ‘crazy brilliant one’, the partner that still stops her lover in his tracks, the parent that is loved by her children…I want to be writing a book or two…I want to be rich enough to donate it all…I will be afraid, as well, of death, as I am not, but more so…

YARNLADY's avatar

In the past six decades I have changed a lot, and expect that I have another three or four decades left, and yes, I will continue to change, up to the very end.

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

I’m 30, in the longest relationship I’ve ever had while simultaneously missing the independence of singledom, and raising my autistic little brother. I’m always undecided about everything and interested in just about anything. I really can’t imagine my future and never have been able to in any serious attempt. I change my mind way too much. I suppose decades from now, not being able to commit to anything will still be my case.

SolitaryMan's avatar

More pee=ing less f*****ng….......more or less!

JessicaisinLove's avatar

I’ll be dead.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Decades? I can’t see beyond the next 4–6 weeks. Apparantly everything I was destined to do in this life I have already done.

I contributed adequately to the defense of my country. I helped salvage the life of a beautiful and talented young woman who went on to help others greatly before her life was cruelly cut short. I helped establish a center where abused women could go for protection and counseling. We helped another young woman salvage her life from heroin addiction and is now happily and competantly running a farm.

I find now that I am not wanted in that world any more. My alma mater will let me enroll as a doctoral candidate and fart around with my old thesis as long as I pay them $40k a year for the privilige; probably no prospect of ever being awarded the degree however; “milk the old fart until he gives up” I suspect is their rationale.

The only move that I’m making now is sending my cats back to the farm where they will be cared for. I can’t stand the idea of them starving to death when I’m gone. They’re Persians and cannot survive in the wild. At least Angel and Simba will be welcome there, as I caused controversy when I took them with me.

Within a few months (weeks?) I will be buried next to my beloved. The only person I ever lived for and ever gave a damn about me.


In a few more decades I will be dead, so there wouldn’t be much of me to change! Lol.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Edit and update of my previous remarks. The profound depression has passed. I’ll probably never be a happy person, but I can survive in the existentialist sense of doing my duty to the best of my ability. My retarded social abilities make it impossible to directly continue my late wifes work, but I can provide support from the sidelines. The key to survival seems to be keeping a clearly defined goal in front of me and having another goal ready when the current one is accomplished. I can’t think in terms of decades as I could six months ago, but maybe a year or two into the future. A doctorate in history and a profitable organic farming operation are enough goals to motivate me for the present. I’ve found some satisfaction over the last few months in teaching young people the skills that I know.

My apologies for exceeding to scope of the question. BTW, I’m 53 (but feel like 93).

YARNLADY's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Thank you for the update – my thoughts and best wishes are with you

Pandora's avatar

If I’m still alive and kicking. I will probably feel more aches and pains. And be harder to get up in the morning. And be suffering from hot flashes and cold sweats. Yeahhhhh! Can’t wait. I would cry but my tears will probably be less. :((

Aster's avatar

If they botch the job at the funeral parlor I expect to be rotting away with 12” fingernails and bugs crawling out of my nose. Nice to look forward to. Thanx.

Joybird's avatar

The answer to this really depends on a couple of things: Whether I divorce and whether I find a new long term stable love relationship that proves more favorable than the one I have been in or if I find that being single becomes a totally preferable way to move through the remainder of my life…another probably 30–50 years. There is no real way to say what the future holds and so I prefer to stay in the moment. I can say that I have noticed that my skills and talent build upon each other and have led me to the next phase of being. I utilize both my therapy background and my art background at peak levels now….I hope to pick up a few more skills in the next couple of years. It’s hard to say where those might take me.

Sunny2's avatar

In a decade or two I will be a spirit and I will haunt people I’ve known in my lifetime. I will listen in on conversations and whisper in people’s ears. I will hide things and then have them re-appear as if they’d never been gone. I will leave a flower on a breakfast plate and turn on music in the middle of the night. The question is, should I tell my friends of my plans so they’ll know it’s me? Or let them think they’re haunted by a stranger?

Ron_C's avatar

I’m 64 and judging by my father, I will be drinking more beer, gambling, and arranging trips to Las Vegas for the guys in the VFW.

talljasperman's avatar

I will be a supreme court justice.

Strauss's avatar

I see myself becoming a very wealthy man; Every year I find I have more silver in my hair, gold in my teeth, minerals in my kidneys and an endless supply of gas!.

Cruiser's avatar

In 10 years I hope to be retired and learning to adjust from the Midwest weather to beach living in the Carolina’s.

VenusFanelli's avatar

I’ll surely have grey hair and wrinkled skin when I’m old. I may shrink a bit too.

rojo's avatar

Dunno, does ash deteriorate?

And, just as an aside, I would like to say hi to all those who answered this question almost a decade ago now.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rojo Hi back, I’m still here.

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