As We Grow Old

Aging is the reward for living: the more you do the more you get. Turning 40, 50, and 60 can be milestones to celebrate, instead of dread. As we age, we gain perspective and wisdom, yet we rarely ever truly feel “grown up.”

The older you get, the more you tend to feel like the warranty on your “car” has run out. Parts start to go, the engine doesn’t run as smooth, and you can’t get the same performance as you once had. In reality, it’s a bit of a trade-off. When you find yourself forgetting little things, like where you left the keys, it is because your mind is full of more important memories. When the bills are due, your kid’s first birthday and the points you need to make in your next meeting fill your mind. You have a vast Rolodex of memories, and picking one specific card takes more time.

Unfortunately, many of the milestones associated with aging aren’t the most positive experiences. You go from “hooray; I’m 21, now I can go to the bar,” to “great; I’m 50, now I get to have a colonoscopy.” You need to check your blood pressure more frequently, you need to get an annual flu shot starting at 50, and you need get eye checks every year after 60. However, since you end up paying close attention to your health, you can end up being fitter than when you were younger.

On the plus side, the older you get the more people will take your advice seriously. After all, you’ve been there and you have a pretty good idea of who you are and what you believe. You’re crystallized intelligence keeps increasing, as does your ability to remember and apply experiences you have acquired over a lifetime. As you age, your ability to solve practical problems increases and you are better able to understand situations.

Additional Resources

Men’s Journal You Get Old: http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/you-get-old-20120712

University of Florida Physical Changes of Aging: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he019

Forbes What to Know About Turning 40: http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthaettus/2012/07/09/what-to-know-about-turning-40/

The Huffington Post How to Turn 50: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-greenthal/how-to-turn-fifty_b_1686118.html

Oprah The Agony and Ecstasy of (Gulp) Turning 60: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Aging-and-Emotion-Valerie-Monroe-on-Turning-60

Psych Central Face It: 6 Steps to Help Women Deal with Aging: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/05/16/face-it-6-steps-to-help-women-deal-with-aging/

The Relationship between Expectations for Aging and Physical Activity Among Older Adults: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1490218/pdf/jgi_204.pdf

Web MD Cocoa May Sharpen Aging Brain: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20120813/cocoa-may-help-sharpen-aging-brain

Web MD Diacetyl in Butter Flavoring, Beverages May build Brain Plaque: http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20120808/popcorn-butter-flavorant-linked-to-alzheimers

Web MD What’s Giving Away Your Age? http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/defying-your-age

Web MD Medical Tests for Your 60s and up: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/milestone-medical-tests-60-up

Web MD Eating Disorders in Women over 50: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20120620/eating-disorders-in-women-over-50

Eating Disorder Symptoms and Weight and Shape Concerns in a Large Web-Based Convenience Sample of Women Ages 50 and Above: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.22030/pdf

Middle Adulthood: http://blue.utb.edu/ecantu/Psyc%202314/Feldman3Notes/MiddleAdultPhysCogFeldman3Notes.htm

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