I recently watched a YouTube video about things you don’t have to worry about after age 50. The premise was that as you get older, things keep getting better and better. Since watching that video I have thought long and hard about what was said and have come to the conclusion that it was mostly fluff. To universally imply that things get better and better is simply not true. I say this because as we experience life, there will be good days and bad days. Over time, some things get better but some things get worse. That is the reality of our human condition and to try to convince you otherwise will only make you feel bad.
Even though I wanted to call BS on the video, the takeaway was that periodically we all need to identify those things that should be set aside because they drag us down and prevent us from having that better life we strive for. So that is what I did.
Top Five Things I No Longer Worry About
1. Trying to impress people that do not want to be impressed
There comes a point when you realize that trying to impress people is a endless rat hole of frustration. It is far better to accept that some people make a career of trying to one-up others. No matter what you do or say, they need to be the center of attention and if they mow you down in the process, so be it. Instead, I prefer to spend time with people who accept my personality quirks and enjoy my company unconditionally.
As I do theirs.
2. Being envious of others for what they have accomplished
Our position in life is often dictated by choices we made in our 20s, 30s, and 40s. This is especially true with education and career choices.
I can not speak for other generations but as a Baby Boomer, I find there are clear distinctions in the lifestyles and mindsets of retirees who worked for mega-corporations and the public sector, and those that were either self-employed or working for a small business. Each side tends to envy the other. Why is that?
If there is one thing I have mastered these past few years, it is to let go of envy and instead, be joyful for the success and accomplishments of others. At the same time, I remind myself what I have done and relish in knowing that I have done the best I can. There is no shame in that.
3. Tossing out old yearbooks, photos, and mementos from days gone by is not a crime
Prior to moving last year, I had to evaluate the wisdom of once again carting boxes of old photos, yearbooks, and mementos from one location to another. Many of the sealed boxes had been moved multiple times and never once did I have the inclination or desire to review them. Out they went and I have not looked back. In a way, it was liberating.
How much physical baggage are you carrying around with you?
4. Comparing the way I look to someone 25 years younger
There are four words I can think of when it comes to looking young again: It ain’t gonna happen. Three more words: Get over it!
There are days when I want to cover up the mirrors and not look at myself. Photos are the worse. The days of having a 23 inch waist are gone and even with diet, will not come back. Likewise with the sagging eyelids and the emerging hint of a jowl. Is there anyone else feeling my pain?
Dealing with an aging body in a society that values youth has got to be one of the more difficult mental challenges of getting old. I find some solace in staying healthy, getting a modest amount of excercise, and practicing immpecable grooming. Mostly though, I stop trying to make comparisons.
5. Confrontation is a waste of time, energy and emotion
When someone or something wants to get in my face, my knee jerk reaction is to fight back. I do my best to resist that temptation.
Instead, I smile politely and walk away. Who the heck wants to get into an argument that will give you a headache and keep you up at night? Unless my rights have been severely compromised, the stress is not worth it.
Summing it All Up
These days, I am happy to enjoy the beauty of nature and participate in individual pursuits that I have never before had time for. Knowing I am now in the sunset period of my life, I spend every day doing joyful things that bring me peace and allow for a modicum of serenity in this crazy mixed-up world. Although I recognize that not every day will be better than the one before, letting go of some of the worry helps me face the world each morning with gusto.
Why not take a few moments to define those things that are preventing you from being joyful? Regardless of your age, once you do, you will have a roadmap for letting go and getting on with the rest of your life. You deserve to be happy.
Why not start today?