To Women of a Certain Age,
As a clinical psychologist and an observer of all people at all ages, I have a lot to say about why growing older can be a wonderful thing for women. This seems odd at first glance, because women associate growing older with loss of attractiveness and lost opportunities. In my life's work and as a perpetual people watcher, I would like to explore the other side of growing older. I want to tell you about all of the delightful things that you have to look forward to as you move through your thirties, forties and fifties.
1. Smarter Relationships
Throughout your life, you pick up on patterns and with time, begin to know what to expect. So, for example, if you have a few decades' worth of dating experience, you are likely to choose more appropriate partners because you pick up on negative qualities more quickly. And, perhaps you will also have the opportunity to end relationships earlier and before you get too invested because you know from experience where this type of relationship is likely to lead. Perhaps you have been through a failed marriage or two. I have seen women move from marriage one or two to successful subsequent marriages because they have learned what works and what does not.
2. You Know Your Body -- and How to Dress It
Let's face it: After having taken yourself and your own unique and special body on countless shopping trips for more than a couple of decades, you know what looks good on you and what doesn't. You stop trying to buy that type of blouse that just doesn't work for you, even though you want it when it's on the rack. You know what ends up sitting in your closet unused just as well as you know what type of items will be your go-to items on most days. Shopping trips are quicker and less confusing. You've most likely identified the jeans that fit you best and the types of shoes that allow you to walk through the day comfortably.
3. A Smaller (and Better) Group of Friends
As we age, we weed out friends who don't add to our lives. The reliable friends who are attuned to you remain with you, while those who drain you and compete with you have been moved out. Hey, smart women realize that their time is precious and that they can't be too generous with it. They also get that there may not be much benefit to being part of an exclusive clique and they are open to being friends with others who may be much younger or much older. Women thrive when they have mentors and role models. Conversely, they thrive from being a necessary mentor to younger women.
4. You Know How to Really Relax
You know at this point what is likely to help you relax and what is intended to make you relax but doesn't, never has and never will. Perhaps a cup of tea and a magazine may be your literal and figurative cup of tea, while a brisk walk and a pedicure may make your friend's day. Women start to know what makes them tick and what makes them tock.
5. Anxiety Decreases
Yes, this is true. As women get older, they still worry about the most important things like relationships and their children, but they are more likely to let the little things go. They have learned that worrying is a waste. It doesn't stop bad things from happening because good and bad things will inevitably happen whether anticipated with anxiety or not.
I plan to add more items to this list. I'm just getting started. I would love to hear from women of all ages. What has gotten better for you as you have gotten older?