There is a saying that wisdom comes with age.
Every day there is a slogan or inspirational quote, posted on a social networking site, that lays claim to this “wisdom.”
The Dalai Lama recently celebrated his 77th birthday. Now, there’s a true human being with more wisdom than Moses. No one compares to his holiness, except perhaps Mother Teresa and the powers-that-be in the universe.
Yet, as you approach middle age, how do you know that you are wiser? Are there telltale signs that show one the level of contentment and wisdom that comes with the daily grind, so to speak? Being 50 years and older has many advantages that the younger years never quite provided.
An ability to take better care of yourself through healthy decision-making, taking responsibility for your actions, discernment in all aspects of daily living, planning for retirement or actually enjoying retirement, quality time with close family and friends, connecting with more people in a sincere human way, and laughing uncontrollably at certain foibles that occurred during your younger years.
Is this wise? I think so.
Is it naturally understood that after you reach 50-years-old, you will attain all the above?
Not necessarily so. Here’s why:
Midlife crisis. Both men and women experience it at one time or another during the baby boomer years. The facelifts, the Botox, the Porsche, the expensive getaways, the dating-younger-people syndrome (which might actually be a wise choice!), the haves vs. the have-nots, competition amongst peers, working incessantly with no end in sight in jobs that provide no passion, and of course, greed.
Being 50+ years old can be a blessing and a curse. But, there are many people who have managed to ease themselves from the 40s into the 50s and beyond. They don’t complain about much. They accept what life throws their way. And, they are the wise ones.
The unwise will go the other route.
The one I mentioned above. Men get bigger bellies. Women get bigger thighs, and both will alter that unfortunate occurrence with treatments and surgeries that take away their authenticity. That’s not very wise. No, wisdom happens with an understanding and acceptance that you are doing the best you can with what life has to offer.
Gone are the rebellious 20s, the wild 30s, the confusing 40s. Turning 50, you usher in a new decade.
You have new responsibilities. Perhaps your children are having children of their own. Then you are a grandparent. That’s a bit daunting when you are still keeping up with your 30-year-old counterparts in yoga class but, your wisdom shows that it’s okay to even be in that yoga class with your hot and able self!
Confidence, my friend. Baby boomers have confidence.
They can still bike long distances, take adventures, run like the wind, do a bazillion pushups, lead corporations, lead their own lives, and leave some 40-year-olds anxious to turn 50 and experience that magic. It’s infectious.
If you ask a 50-year-old what their secret is to being so content, they might just smile. That’s wisdom. They might even give you a helpful pointer or two on eating right, exercising, not smoking, and enjoying your friends and family. It’s that simple. And it’s wise…..
Celebrate being 50+ years old. You earned it!
Editor: Olga Feingold