Insights: The Privilege of Growing Older

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growing older“Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”

A friend of mine sent me this quote and it really made me stop and ponder. I so often will complain about getting older rather than focusing on the fact it is a privilege that needs to be appreciated.

Not every person is given that opportunity. Each day needs to be seen as a gift. This does not mean every day is easy, be it illness, divorce, loss or emotional or physical issues. But that day is still a gift.

Last week, sadly, a man jogging along Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar was hit and killed.

Every time I hear a story like this, it reminds me to appreciate each day, as it is a privilege, even the tough ones. The challenging times help us grow. When I am struggling with the pain of growing, I remind myself if I resist it, not only am I making it more difficult for myself, but also it means I do not learn things about myself.

Another issue of growing older is we start to notice our regrets. This is another way we miss appreciating our lives. We regret what we have not done, missed opportunities, bad relationships, and poor choices, just to name a few.

Regretting these choices is a waste of time and energy. These are choices from the past that need to be grieved and put to rest. Mostly they cannot be changed. Maybe you need to repair past hurts. Take the time to do so but watch getting stuck in regrets. So make amends where needed. It is amazing how freeing and rewarding it is to make amends, and repair our past.

Often we try to run away from our regrets, but this is like running on a treadmill. You can’t run away from your regrets, as they remain in us as negative energy until we process them. Remember that some of our choices are not always going to be great—that is called being human.

Studies have shown some great things about growing older.

For example, we are better at managing our emotions, and believe it or not this is a skill that needs to be mastered. Age helps us with that.

We do not agonize over our losses so much. Stony Brook University through a survey found that people over the age of 50 were happier and had less issues with anger. Typically we make better decisions as we get older for ourselves. Along this same line, we are much more confident in our choices and ourselves.

Also we have more acceptance of our bodies, and of ourselves. I love that part of getting older. Acceptance is wonderful.

So in summary about growing older:

  1. It is a privilege to grow older
  2. Everyday is a gift no matter what experiences we are having
  3. Challenges help us grow
  4. Repair your regrets and past hurts
  5. Our choices will not always be so great and that is okay
  6. Our emotions are much more manageable
  7. We are happier
  8. We have more confidence
  9. We have more acceptance of our faults and flaws
  10. Lastly we do not care so much about what others think (Wahoo, doesn’t that feel good)

So enjoy getting older—what other choice do you have!

Contact Dr. Zavala at [email protected] or DrZavala.com.

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