Wrinkles are Badges of Honor: Appreciating Old Age
The years will keep rolling on, no matter what people do and no matter what they will do. Time moves forward inevitably, and nobody can do anything do about it. It happens to the best of us. It happens to the worst of us. Rich or poor, male or female, sooner or later, the hands of time will finally reach any living being, and then death follows. Those two constant concepts of death and aging are both a curse and a blessing, and without a doubt, they are what makes life beautiful.
Among those two concepts, not everybody gets to experience getting old. Among those two, it seems like death has the upper hand. In fact, only very few are lucky enough to reach old age. In fact, the more advanced the age, the fewer people may achieve that number. As of 2022, the oldest living person in the world is a Japanese woman by the name of Kane Tanaka at the age of 119 years old. This increase in longevity and overall life expectancy can be credited to better food, better infant care, and western intolerance to war, as Old Men and Infidels author Walter Clark Boutwell says. Other contributing factors could be better sanitation, better medicine, and overall better quality of life.
The common opinion on aging is that it's a negative thing. People equate to rotting. To a lot of people, aging can be correlated to poorer physical and mental health, loneliness, and decreased quality of life. As such, there are many able-bodied people who are the victims of ageism. Ageism is a social problem that involves the stereotyping or discrimination of both groups or individuals on the basis of their age. Ageism which can also be spelled agism, is what hinders people of a more advanced age from finding decent jobs. Even the healthcare sector has ageism problems, where age stereotypes usually affect what treatment a patient gets.
Not all is doom and gloom when talking about getting older. As with everything in life, aging also has its good sides. For one, there is retirement to look forward to. And as with all things, it just depends on the person's perspective on how they approach and tackle aging. Age is just a numerical value, after all, and it is what we do with our time that really affects us.
So how should life be enjoyed as the years roll on? Well, there are a significant number of things to do, but the overarching theme would be to cope with change. Like age and death, change is another constant that everybody faces. One could say they are the trinity constant in life. Coping up with change may not be easy at first, but when one keeps at it, they may find it as simple as riding a bike. Sure, there will be the occasional hiccups, but on the whole, it will all depend on the perspective of the person. One could focus on the things that they are grateful for. One could acknowledge or express their emotions. There is no time like old age to do the things that seemed unfashionable or "taboo" to do when one was still of a younger age. That said, there are still things that cannot be changed. There are stuff in life that are beyond anybody's control. For these times, the best thing to do is not to dwell on them too much. Stress just takes away from the bigger and better things in life. Instead, it is better to consider these things as an opportunity for personal growth. Make these experiences count and, in time, maybe appreciate them.
Another thing that stress really takes away is the time and ability to enjoy life. One has no time to be stressed, especially in old age. Every minute is a precious resource. It is a bad idea to waste even a second. There are still many things to do and so little sand in the hourglass left. Things like relearning the piano or the guitar, abandoned pursuits due to the business of life can now be done. The present time is the best time to relearn these things or even learn something entirely new. The world is a beautiful place and a single lifetime is not enough to experience them all. So use some of that old age to take them in.