“Getting old sucks” is a common comment; mostly heard from less experienced people approaching the fourth quarter of life.
Many stages of life come with challenges; teenager angst, sleep-deprived new parents, harried working moms and caring for aging parents.
Growing old does come with some harsh realities; losing friends, ill health, and coming to grips with one’s immortality. I’d argue growing old has the advantage of freedom over most of the other life stages.
For instance, you accept the fact that some people love you and some people don’t like you. You don’t care one way or the other, immediate family excepted, (in some instances.)
You can stay up late; watch mindless television and eat buttered popcorn without one scintilla of guilt.
Skipping the gym one day is justifiable; you lifted that heavy bottle of vodka to prepare your daily martini or two. And everyone knows calories consumed by food ingested standing over the kitchen sink do not count.
Wearing sweats nearly everywhere puts you right up there with fashion-forward soccer moms, not that you care. You ditched stilettos, dresses and on occasion, certain undergarments and still feel good about yourself.
Older people are marginalized for being clueless, so use it to your advantage. Park guilt-free in the supermarket online pick-up lane. If confronted you can get away with a vague, clueless facial expression indicating you didn’t know.
You can eat at 4:00 pm if you like and care less about the early bird dinner jokes.
The most under-rated benefit of growing old is the ability to endure thanks to a lifetime of experience. Some people have not had the advantage of life’s learning experiences. The next time I hear someone complain “getting old sucks,” I’m going to bless their heart.