I’ve never experienced anxiety around chronological aging. Hope I never do. However, I have experienced lots of anxiety about aging and not having done the things I’ve always wanted to do. In essence, growing.
One of the best gifts I gave myself was a self-care sabbatical, where I discovered so much healing and so many opportunities for growth.
Some things to consider if you’re struggling with the aging process
Prioritize health and wellbeing
Health and wellbeing looks different for everyone. Determine what that looks like for you and ground yourself in it. Make it a priority. Make it non-negotiable.
Be bold about the things that bring you joy
Show up and show out with the things you love to do. I know. Fear of judgement is a real thing. I feel it at times. I’m not going to say push past it. But I will say work past it.
Do the work that’s necessary to arrive at the point where people’s opinion of you does not matter and have no power to affect your decisions. Remember, your goal is to bring joy, happiness and contentment into your life for whatever amount of time you are able to experience it.
You can reinvent yourself
It’s ok to reinvent yourself, regardless of your age. Forty, fifty, sixty and beyond. The “second half” of your life can be as good or even better than the first half
Dolly Parton says it best, “I don’t think about my life in terms of numbers. First of all, I ain’t never gonna be old because I ain’t got time to be old. I can’t stop long enough to grow old.”
If only for a while, forget the chronological aging, the number of years you’ve existed on this earth. Rather, think of what you want to accomplish in this finite amount of time that’s been given to you and aim for that.
The past is in the past
The past is not coming back. Learn from it and move on.
What ever happened to hurt you, change you, redirect you, make your life what it is today. Be grateful where you’re able to. But don’t linger with regrets and what ifs. That will only hinder your ability to be the person you desire to be.
Work with what excites you
Get rid of the “Sunk Cost Effect.” The tendency to feel that you’ve invested too much money or time in something to leave it all behind. Instead, take all you’ve learned and apply it to something meaningful and purposeful. Something that you love, you’re good at and you value.
Consider age gap friendships
Are all your friends your age? Consider diversifying your friendships. Get older and younger friends. You can learn so much from both groups. It’s an amazing way to shift and broaden your perspective. I promise.
Listen and learn
Aging does not always make us more knowledgable, wiser perhaps, but not all knowing. I’m certain you can think of lots of examples of older folks who are neither knowledgable or wise.
Furthermore, no one knows everything. So be open to listening to and learning at all times. This does not mean that you have to apply what you learn to your life. As a matter of fact, you may learn that some things are not best suited for you and your lifestyle.