Our society is obsessed with youth.

Look younger. Feel younger. Be younger.

But the only problem is, EVERYONE AGES!!

It happens to be a very big part of our life cycle.

We’ve created a society that makes aging into some horrible misfortune. If you haven’t started a skin care regime by the time you’re nineteen, you’re already behind! Don’t you know you’re losing collagen by the second? You better go get yourself some face cream with peptides stat.

But growing older is a privilege, not a problem.

Yes, a privilege. Not everyone gets to do it.

Those lines that frame your face and that skin that has some wear and tear are signs of a life lived, darn it! It’s decades of existence and vivacity and experience. Of course, you should have some marks to show for it. And although aches and pains become more prevalent and we lose some of the mobility and luxury of youth, both physically and mentally, it’s a concession that should be treated with admiration for the life that was lived and hard fought. We may sparkle in our youth, but we don’t have to lose our shine as we age. If anything, we are more multifaceted with more angles to flicker and flash.

Wouldn’t it be nice if growing older was treated like a precious gift that held wonderment and as each layer of wrapping was peeled off, what enfolded was viewed with great admiration?

That after all the beautifully decorated wrapping was removed and the ornamented bows were untied, what was left behind was far more exquisite than the faded beauty of its packaging?

Wouldn’t it be nice if looking older was a sign you are like an aged wine, full of depth and layers that only come from living through decades of hard winters and plentiful summers that all add up to a truly seasoned life?

Wouldn’t it be nice if age spots were treated like Cindy Crawford’s famous mouth mole and everybody wanted them? I mean, that would be really great since I just noticed my first one. But seriously, it’s time we take a full loop around society’s traffic circle of thought when it comes to aging.

What if we started embracing instead of replacing our wrinkles? What if we made gray hairs that special something you can’t wait to grow into, like say how thirteen year old girls feel about training bras? Maybe you even get jealous a little when your mid-twentyish girlfriends get their first one before you. Too much? Okay, baby steps. But, come on– life doesn’t end when youth starts to fade. Think Velveteen rabbit. It’s only when the new is worn off that things get real.

Let’s take a look at some of the awesome benefits of growing older:

1. You’re wiser.

You’ve been there. You’ve done that. You know things. You know what’s really important in life and can shine that wisdom onto youthful ignorance.

2.  You don’t sweat the small stuff.

 You’ve raised your kids. You’ve been married a long time. Or maybe you’ve done neither and you’ve gone the road less traveled. Either way, you know what’s a really big deal and what’s not. You realize the things we worry about in our youth, aren’t things to be so stressed about in hindsight. You’ve lived enough to know what’s really important

3.  You hold things loosely.

You realize we don’t have as much control over people and things as we think we do in our youth. Things and people come and go. You know the world owes you nothing and everything can change in the blink of an eye. So, you love hard because you know one day you’ll have to let go.

 4.  You aren’t inhibited by other people.

 You know life’s too short to worry about what others think. You know everyone gets their fair share of haters in this world, and not to take it personally. You don’t let the opinions of others keep you from doing what you think is right. You’re braver. You’re bolder. With others and yourself.

 5. You know who you are and it’s not just a pretty face.

Strength holds more beauty than pretty could ever promise. Growing older makes you stronger in all the important ways. You gain maturity, patience, resolve, stick-to-it-ness, and familiarity with oneself. You’ve been through the fire and you know who you are. You know you’re worth it. You know you’re more than lipstick and nice calves.

 6. You’re too cool to care about what’s cool.

 Trends? Who cares. You’ve been around long enough to see the more things change the more they stay the same. You’ve seen this rodeo before. You’ve ridden that bull. Now, you do what YOU like. You wear what YOU want. You say what YOU think. You do YOU.

 7. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Oh, friends, this one is where it’s at. You were a seed. You grew. Through rain and shine and drought and scorching heat, you grew. You produced fruit. Which produced seeds. Which produced more fruit and more seeds. And over time you’ve built a garden. It’s full of your life pursuits and favorite people. You get to tend it. Weed it. Nurture it. Admire it. You get to enjoy it.

Growing older is a privilege. Not one we all get to take part in. So, no matter how long your circle of life may be, don’t wish it away for younger days. Aging has many pages for you to continue writing the story of your life, and I don’t know about you, but it’s always in the middle of the book where things start to get interesting.

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Sherry White

Sherry White writes about the messiness of life, parenting, and faith at her blog The Messy Christian. She tries to add her own brand of humor and insight into everyday issues we all face, reminding us that even though we find ourselves in countless messes, God’s grace lights the way. She would be thrilled if you follower her on Facebook and Instagram.

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