Pointlessness of Lamenting of Old Age

Twenty-four is a pretty good age. I’m not sure it’s what I would call the best age, but I’m enjoying myself. While I don’t know what the future will bring, look forward to progress. Each new age will bring on new experiences, friendships and career opportunities. I don’t like to remain stagnant, so age and change is a good thing to me. It’s a sign everything is moving forward. I don’t understand why people view age with such negativity.

I know very people who view age positively. You  might think 24 is a young age to be worrying, but I know plenty of people around my age already worrying. My boyfriend is funny because he’ll lament that he’s not carded and the next day try to rush in somewhere without getting carded. Carded or not, he’s disappointed. In what world does that make sense?

What always makes me laugh are the people who say “I’m too old” as an excuse to avoid doing something. That only works if there’s a rule somewhere that puts an age limit on a ball pit. I’d be all over McDonald’s play places if I wasn’t too old to run around in them. You’re only as old as you act.

A good excuse is “my back hurts” or “that activity will hurt my joints.” Maybe people settle for “I’m too old” because they don’t want to define the thing preventing them from enjoying an activity. Most I know, though, use the phrase as an excuse to avoid something they don’t really feel like doing.

All around, I see people lamenting their age. People pick at themselves, complaining about their hair, weight or wrinkles. They move their complaints on to activities and music, claiming they’re tool old for that bar, that vacation or that music. I’ve heard stories about how devastating it was for some people to turn 30 or 40. I know fear of death is a pretty serious thing, but I’m pretty sure it can happen at any age. Why are we wasting so much time worrying about how old we are?

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This photo, “”The Beauty of Old Age” is copyright (c) 2014 Vinoth Chandar and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Was age always such a bad thing? Every new year seems to bring new experiences to me. I don’t worry about turning 30, 40 or 50. I’m alive and happy. Being 24 forever would be boring. I like change. It really makes no sense to me that we should get so down about something we can’t control.

A lot of complaints about age seem to be vain. Perhaps this is influenced by the youthful older people we often see on TV. Even parents and grandparents on sitcoms seem eerily youthful. In recent years, I’ve seen them try to give a reason for this. Claire on Modern Family isn’t just magically fit. Episodes show her running long distances and working out.

Maybe I’m missing something. At twenty-four, what do I know about getting older? I just don’t think it’s a big deal. Getting older should be celebrated for all the unique experiences it brings. We can look back and lament all the thing we can’t do anymore, or we can look forward to the things we can do now that we’re older.

I know there are some negative aspects of getting older, but they’re hardly worth worrying too much about. We can’t stop age so we might as well enjoy the positive aspects. Life is too short to waste our time lamenting something as guaranteed and unchangeable as age. It seems to me, if life is worth celebrating, than so is age.

Do you worry about getting older? Are there any activities you currently engage in that you expect to stop when you’re older? Why do people use the excuse “I’m too old”? How can we change our perception to embrace getting older for its positive aspects?

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37 thoughts on “Pointlessness of Lamenting of Old Age”

  1. I too believe life should be celebrated not necessarily age, it’s a blessing to get older, it’s a blessing to be alive to celebrate another year, not many people make it to their next birthday let alone make it to their 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

    1. Exactly! Why lament? I hear people complain about aches and pains, but I feel like a lot of those can be prevented through good health. Just enjoy life. Why bother with all the negativity?

      1. I do suffer from chronic pain, but it’s no point in staying negative about this all the time, it just makes the pain worse and life less enjoyable, sometimes I forget the pain is there depending on what I’m doing.

  2. My sister always worries about growing older, but I think it’s exciting. The future can offer so much and growing older is just part of that, it all brings new experiences 🙂

    1. Exactly! Life is so depressing if it’s all down hill after 25. Each day brings something new and exciting. We should embrace those changes.

    1. That’s great to hear! I’ve never considered 30 to be old, but the whole concept of old being a bad thing has always confused me. Some days I don’t feel much different from when I was 16 and sometimes I feel decades older. I’m convinced age is nothing and all that really matters is how you act. You want to act like you’re 22 when you’re 82, go ahead. Why let age stop you?

  3. Firstly, what is carded ?. You are young and not knowing from your currant age to – lets say 65 years young. I’m 68 and feel young. I don’t feel old, out used, of no use etc.,, etc…It’s other people who put their stamp on you. As for work – Well here in the U.K. company’s don’t want to employ older folk. And there’s so much ,form filling to fill in to apply for a job. That’s one’s first hurdle and in my case the end of applying for work. As for dying – no problem we all go sometime.

    1. Carded is when you’re asked for your ID to verify you’re either old enough to enter the establishment or old enough to drink. Many restaurants in America (not sure how it is elsewhere) require servers to check the ID of every who orders alcohol to make sure they are old enough to drink.

      The job thing is definitely a hurdle. One of my friends is in his 40s and recently got laid off. I got laid off and found work rather quickly, but he’s having a hard time of it. It’s a shame because he’s so smart. I wonder if people aren’t hiring him because of his age. It’s such a shame. I don’t know what to do about that either.

  4. I’m one of those who feels age is largely just a number. My age has never once bothered me. I’m much happier and content now as I approach 40 than I ever was in my teens and twenties. Each new year adds a layer of experience, knowledge and confidence and new things to look forward to. I actually wistfully daydream about being a senior citizen because then I will have free time in which to indulge my hobbies and interests. My kids sometimes express that they are in a hurry to grow up and get to do things they can’t do yet and I remind them to just enjoy the things they are doing and experiencing now. Everything else will come in time. Time passes and aging happens so what’s the point in fretting about it?

    1. It’s all a part of the human experience. We may as well enjoy it. I also look forward to having more free time as I get older. I kind of wish I could make certain dreams come true to have free time today…. but everything will happen as it should. I have no reason to dread the future.

  5. I think media, marketing and advertising have created a youth-obsessed culture. Personally, I don’t worry about getting old, but I do worry about whether or not I’m living a meaningful life.

    1. Yes, those things probably contribute. As I understand, age used to be a highly coveted and respected thing. Now the reverse seems to be true. Certainly, as you say, living a meaningful life is far more important than age.

  6. I agree with you totally! I looked forward to turning 40 with great anticipation. My forties were honestly the best years of my life. I was starting to grow comfortable with who I was, starting to realize the immense potential I have inside of me.
    This year I turned 50 and it is great! My fifties are going to be the best years of my life until I reach 60 and it will continue till the day I meet my Maker face to face and what a glorious day that will be.
    You are so wise and I love what you said “It seems to me, if life is worth celebrating, than so is age.”

    1. That’s exactly how I see it!. Age brings with it new experiences. I like change and I look forward to every new thing age brings with it. It’s a sign of progress.

  7. As you say, I think life is definitely worth celebrating…and when I was your age I thought the same way. Now that I’m older things have changed and I view life differently, not necessarily because I’m older and wiser, ha!, but because I can’t do the same things I did in a twenty year old body. When I look at pictures from long ago and see how different I look now takes a toll on ones self esteem as well…a kind of psychological punch if you will. Your friends and family start dying off and all the things you thought you could count on begin to change.
    Now that’s not to say life sucks as you age because it doesn’t…its just different, and that’s ok. Sometimes I wish I could have all the experiences I’ve had in life and have my youth as well…but it doesn’t work that way.

    I love your enthusiasm for life…just keep going, you’re doing fine.

    ~ Dave

    1. I’m sure the future won’t work out the exact way I want it to or imagine it will, but that’s okay. I’ve always thought a person should have a rather vague idea of the distant future. That way, when things changes, it’s not too much of a blow.

      But, of course, I’m speaking from a 20-something mindset. I have no idea what I’ll think when I’m older.

    1. OMG!!! I’m totally having a DragonBall Z flashback…. although that might have been a DBZ movie. Either way, a terrifying concept.

  8. So true!!!
    Youth is really celebrated in so many countries and cultures. But with people living longer it seems such a waste to spend it worrying the whole time about getting older. Before you know it time will pass and you will have wondered why you didn’t live it instead of worrying about it all. I feel perspective comes from talking to others who have lived long lives. Either with regret or with joy, there is something to take away from those conversations. I have been thinking about these things recently while looking at volunteering at hospice. People at the end of their life have a completely different outlook. It can be life affirming to hear about their journeys. Age is but a number, it’s the life lived that counts.
    Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    1. Especially when the age we seem to fixate on is 20-something. I mean, that’s hardly the first 25% of a person’s life span. Are we to spend the next 65-75% of our lives morning the loss of the first 25%? Where’s the logic in that. Life is fun, every step of the way. Challenges make achievements more glorious and we all progress in our own way. Why waste time wishing for something you can’t have?

      I hope you do volunteering at hospice. Tell me what the experience is like!

      1. I have done two days so far but can’t really start until after the beginning of September. It’s a bit frustrating but that’s life… it never goes exactly the way you expect it to. Feel pretty happy about it though .

  9. Age is just a number. It is however also a convenient excuse for being lazy 😉
    I stopped playing soccer at around 30 because it hurt (& the drive was too far). I felt age had caught up with me. However the real reason it hurt was not age, it was a lack of preparation. I’m staring again this fall, 7 years on 🙂

    1. Exactly. Age isn’t the problem so much as physical differences… which can often be overcome regardless of age.

      Congratulations on Soccer! My boyfriend loves to talk about his days in high school where he played soccer. He laments being out of shape now. I keep reminding him there are adult soccer clubs just waiting for him. I don’t want to be too pushy, but I do want him to know he can play soccer again if he wants.

      It’s not easy to get back into an activity like that after leaving it. I hope you enjoy yourself out there!

  10. Age is relatively a new thing. I believe the reason for all those white wigs back in the Revolutionary war days was because age was celebrated at the time – as most people didn’t live to have much white hair. Longevity has doubled in the past 150 years, which means we now take for granted and dread that which used to be highly unusual.

  11. I’m one of those 24-year-old worriers. Mostly i worry that i’m entering the professional world too late, that because every job i look at requires 2 years of prior experience i’ll be too far behind by the time i somehow gather that experience. I’m sure future me will look back and shake his head, but presently i just don’t have the proper world view to be able to not worry.

    1. Crazy how jobs do that, right?! If you haven’t worked or had quality internships in college, you can’t really claim those two years.

      But people start from scratch when it comes to careers at ages decades older than 24. I’m sure you can achieve your career goals, too. Don’t feel like you need to be so far at a certain age. Just keep going.

  12. Oh wow, I turned 32 this past Sunday, and my last post was something almost exactly along those lines. I agree. I’m proud of my age.

  13. Great perspective on turning another year older. I was just talking about this with my sisters last night. For me, the anxiety stems from a feeling that I’m running out of time. In my mind, I’m still in my early twenties with my whole life ahead of me, but in reality I’m approaching my thirties. When I realise that, it freaks me out. There’s still so much I want to do and the pressure of ‘the order of things’ can weigh down on you, even if there is a part of you that realises that everything will happen in its time. At the moment, I’m trying to deliberately practice slowing down my days and concentrate on being more mindful, letting the rest fall into place around it.

    1. I think there’s this idea that we’re suppose to hit certain milestones by certain ages. The fact is, though, that we’re all different. We hit those milestones at different times and some of us skip one or two. We don’t all have to live the same kind of life.

      it is hard, though, especially when you see everyone your age doing something your not. My Facebook feed is currently full of babies and I’m not even married.

  14. It always seemed silly to me for people to be ashamed of their getting older be it 30, 40, 50 or whatever. I have always worn my age as a badge of honor, success! I didn’t kill myself with all the bad choices I’ve made in life…lol lol . I would never want to be a teenager again or in my early 20s the learning curve at that age is so steep!

    1. hahaha! Yes! How great to be alive each day. I’m enjoying my 20s far more than any other point in my life. I have a feeling I’ll be happy when they are gone though. There’s an ever-present instability in my life right now. It’d be nice to have enough stability in life to do things like buy a house.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m living up my 20s, but I do look forward to the new things every age has to offer.

  15. Great Post! Some friends and I were talking about this very idea, and how worrying about or focusing on age can be so limiting. We also agreed that we want to be those 80 year olds who are still running races, and staying in the game. The real limit seems to be our mindset, not always our age.

    Keep up the great work on this blog, and thanks for the “like.”

    Carl

    1. My goal is to make it to triple digits. Whenever I saw that, someone always says they hope to be dead by then because of how old they’d be. I’ve seen plenty of fit and active old people, though. Make the right choices in life, and you can greatly increase your chances of not only living long, but living happily.

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