How to make the most out of getting older
“Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative” Maurice Chevalier once said. When you're facing another milestone birthday and people younger than you are becoming increasingly unfathomable, getting older might start to feel like a real drag. Or is that just your knee/hip/back playing up...? You & Yours focused on making the most of your life in the Third Age, so we have put together a guide to revelling in life.
1. Plan it
Don't hide from your birthdays. Don't stick your head in the sand and ignore the next year...five years or even ten. It's going to happen whether you like it or not. Get yourself a game plan. Not just in financial terms, but what do you want to do? What would you like to achieve? Write down all your wildest dreams and take it from there. Play the long-game.
2. Consider your options
Keep asking yourself the questions you were asked when you were about to leave school: what do you want to do? What do you think your skills are? How can you ensure you’re not going to be bored? What are you interested in now and where do your passions lie? You may find yourself thinking that those people who threw in the towel on their high-flying, well-paid jobs to go live in a croft in Scotland and farm sheep aren't as left field as you first thought.
3. What type of person is suited to thrive?
Research shows that if you have a good social network and things you enjoy and are good at, you’re more likely to embrace getting older and not lose sight of the things you love. If you've been exclusively focused on your job or on a hobby, like one sport, then you'll find getting older tougher. If it’s possible, try and open yourself up to new experiences and interests. Feeling too old is never an excuse, no matter how old you really are.
4. Have a plan B
It’s no good basing your entire next ten years around a certain point in life or a certain job - things can change very suddenly if you have an unexpected change in circumstance. Be prepared and flexible, no matter what curve balls life throw at you.
5. Keep yourself busy
Consider taking up another career, or maybe starting another business. It’s important that your self-worth doesn't decrease so if you have a hobby that you love, why not try making money from it?
6. Don't be scared
Thinking about the next birthday milestone, retirement and death should not be something depressive - it is a great way of ensuring you make the most out of life, makes you feel more generous, more forgiving and more tolerant. Embrace it. Think of it like the last day of your holiday - you don’t spend the last day mourning, you make sure you do everything to get the most out of it.
7. Je ne regrette rien?
Think about what you regret in your life so far. That shows you what you’re missing. It's never too late to address something.
8. Consider your skills
There are skills you have as an older person that others just do not have. Yes, there's the obvious that you have physically been around longer and therefore seen more, done more, got the t-shirt. But as you get older you are more resilient, a stronger person and you should take the time to feel a bit smug that you know a fair few things that young people don't. You're also a lot better at communication when you compare yourself to sometimes nervous and occasionally monosyllabic youth. These things confirm your self-worth and give you a reason to get out and seize the moment.