In no particular order, here is my list of perks.
- You don’t have to hold in your stomach anymore.
- You don’t have to wear a skirt again, ever. This is important to me. I was getting tired of getting dressed up for work every day, and for most of my my working experience, women wore suits, heels, stockings, and a girdle.
I’m not wearing any of those things anymore. If you want me to come to your wedding, graduation, funeral or bar mitzvah, I’m coming in pants and low-heeled shoes, proudly showing off my muffin top. If that doesn’t fit your “dress code,” don’t invite me.
- You get to say “No” a lot. Your days of living to please other people are over for good.
- You get to go to matinees of the most popular movies, pay for a senior ticket and often find yourself in a nearly empty theater.
I have found myself in an empty theater. I like to talk to myself and I could, and I did. No one told me to “shush.”
- This is my favorite perk. You get to go up to cute guys and tell them, straight out, no holding back, that you think they are DDG. Drop Dead Gorgeous. No one sees seventy and sexy in the same sentence except my husband. I’m not threatening, and the guy gets to enjoy the flattery without anything attached to it.
I do the same thing to women. They always say that I made their day.
- You finally have the time to stop and smell the roses. Even better, you realize that most of them have no smell, and you get to enjoy walking right past them.
Because of this, you have time to think about your next adventure.
Zip-lining comes to mind.
Climbing Machu Picchu.
The truth is I am going zip-lining, I would never jump out of a plane, but we may book a trip to Peru. Whether we climb or not remains a question.
I’m terrified of heights, and I want to conquer that fear. The mere thought of stepping off that platform makes my heart race even thinking about it. I want to use stepping off the platform with nothing between me and the ground as a metaphor for what is fast approaching, my death.
The point is that you don’t have to spend the rest of your life playing games you don’t enjoy. This is a huge perk.
If I get lost, don’t look for me playing boccie ball, pickle ball, horseshoes or croquet. I won’t be there.
Look for me in the ballroom, and you might find me there. I love to dance.
Forget what old age sounds like. Yes, it comes with aches and pains in places you didn’t know even existed, but there are lots of drugs to take care of those aches and pains, most of them legal. It comes with, at least for now, the expectation of death. I don’t care how old or young you are, expect to die. If you can accept this inevitable outcome and make the rest of your life revolve around life and not death, you will have found happiness.
Age does change you, but not in all the terrible ways that you think. Please remember that aging isn’t just a frame of mind no matter what the pundits tell you. Aging is real. How you think about aging is up to you.
If you live the story that someday you’re going to be old, and it’s going to be awful, at some point you’ll be right.
I choose to set my sights on the next person I can give a compliment to because they are special in some way. I choose to walk right past those non-smelling roses. I choose to walk my dogs.
One of them is old and is thrilled that I’m not walking him as fast as I used to be able to, and the other one tries desperately to take me asphalt-skiing. We’ve all had to compromise with asphalt-walking.
There are so many stupid sayings about getting old that make me laugh. Let me end with some wisdom on some of the more popular ones.
Getting old only matters if you’re a cheese.
Wrong, getting old matters and you’re not a cheese. I say pass the cheese and the crackers. The cheese, as close as I could tell, didn’t say a thing about being old.
If you’re not getting older, you’re dead. ~Tom Petty
Try telling that to the young kid I saw on the freeway today weaving in and out of traffic so that he could get three car lengths ahead of me. What’s his hurry? We’re both heading towards the same place. The difference is that he doesn’t know it.
“I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me—they’re cramming for their final exam”.” ~George Carlin
Old age isn’t for sissies. – Bette Davis
You bet your bippy, Bette.
Getting older makes you wiser. ~Anon
No, it doesn’t. It just lets you see that your past mistakes, that at the time seemed so earth-shattering, weren’t.
Getting old mellows you.
No, it doesn’t.
If you weren’t mellow when you were young, you won’t be mellow when you’re old. I’m not some fine wine sitting in an oak barrel, and I’m not getting more mellow. In fact, I’m just the opposite. Feistiness is expected in old people; I love to be feisty. It is my right; I earned it, and I’m not giving it up for anything.
Seventy is the new fifty.
No, it isn’t. My doctor tells me that I’m really only fifty-eight because I eat better and exercise. Wrong. I do eat better and exercise, but at least for me, it sucks.
Exercise doesn’t make me fifty again. It makes me sore, tired and out of sorts.
Anne Landers said that:
At 20, we worry about what others think of us.
At 40, we don’t care what they think of us.
At 60, we realize that they’ve never thought of us at all.
I find that extremely freeing.
I don’t know who said the following, but I offer them up for your delight.
“I can’t wait until I’m old enough to pretend that I can’t hear.”
“I finally figured out what I want to be when I get older. Younger!” ~Maxine
“Excuse me. What language are you speaking because it sounds like bullshit.”
(This is feisty, and I love it.)
“Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.”
“Although I can party like a rockstar, I can’t recover like one.”
(Ask me about Sara’s wedding one of these days.)
“You’re a grownup when a nap is no longer a punishment but a reward.
My favorite, and I’ve said it on Quora before and probably will again, and with all apologies to Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways thoroughly used up, totally worn out, with chocolate in one hand and Chardonnay in the other loudly proclaiming “Holy shit! What a Ride!”
Henny Youngman and I want to leave you with three funny jokes.
“My grandma is 80 years old, and she still doesn’t need glasses. She just drinks straight from the bottle.
Neither Henny Youngman or I can remember the other two.
Now, what was the question?