10 Great Things about Getting OlderGreat Things About Getting Older

Most of us have a few things we hope to accomplish “someday,” whether it’s wearing whatever we please, seeing the world, or spending more time in the garden. And while age brings challenges that can make a wish list seem daunting, it can also motivate us to be our best selves while we can. Here are a few ways growing older can lead to great things, big and small.

1. You’ll have the hottest new hair color: grey.

You may have spent years covering your silver streaks, but today there are online video tutorials and special dyes “the kids” are using to get the hair color you’ve earned naturally to join in on the grey hair trend.

2. New tattoos will look good longer.

Tattoo experts say older skin holds ink colors better than younger skin, which is great news for the growing number of over-50 folks who are getting inked, many for the first time. If you decide to get body art, look for a tattoo professional who is experienced in working with older skin.

3. You can retire to the country.

In her sixties, painter and sculptor Georgia O’Keeffe moved permanently to New Mexico in 1949 and created an iconic series of Southwest landscape paintings.

4. You can keep right on working.

If you’re lucky enough to have a career you love, you can keep at it. Comedian and actor George Burns won an Academy Award at age 79 for his role in “The Sunshine Boys” and performed the occasional live show into his nineties.

5. You can tour the world.

Some seniors do this through road tripping, educational tours with Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), or flights to faraway destinations. And then there’s singer Tina Turner, whose 2008-2009 world tour celebrated her 50th year in the music business.

6. There’s more freedom to focus on the issues you care about.

81-year old chimpanzee researcher and wildlife advocate Dr. Jane Goodall spends most of each year on the road, speaking at conferences and educational events.

7. You can talk about sex—and people will listen.

80-something Dr. Ruth has been answering people’s questions about relationships and sexual health since the 1980s. Today she has more than 85,000 followers on Twitter, where she doles out quips about Channing Tatum, good conversation, and keeping relationships hot.

8. You have more time to spend with your grandchildren, friends, and other family members.

One Dallas couple took this to an awesome extreme by building and decorating an elaborate treehouse for their grandkids and the neighborhood children.

9. You can make your community a kinder place.

The late comedian Joan Rivers was known for her caustic persona onstage, but in private she delivered Thanksgiving meals to ill and homebound New Yorkers and spent 2 decades on the board of God’s Love We Deliver, which has served more than 15 million meals.

10. You can leave the world more beautiful than you found it.

Former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, was 53 when the national highway Beautification Act of 1965 was passed to clean up the country’s main roads. She celebrated her 70th birthday by creating the National Wildflower Research Center (now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center), which preserves native and endangered plants and helps property owners, highway departments, and agencies across the US to create healthier landscapes.


Image credit: http://thewondrous.com/40-craziest-guinness-world-records/

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.


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