Despite society’s attempts to convince us otherwise, we know that every year is a gift. We can see that aging brings many surprising and wonderful benefits.
Over the years, we’ve asked hundreds of women what they love most about the age they are now. And we’ve received hundreds of inspiring replies from Boom Ambassadors, Women of the Pro-age Revolution and all of you.
We scoured your stories to find out… What are the best gifts that come with aging? Here are the top five...
1. You stop comparing yourself to others.
Many Boom women confessed that their 20s and 30s were filled with comparisons between themselves and other women.
Claudia says, “I thought I was awful in my 20s, honestly. The standard that I had for myself was so high and I couldn't attain it. So I just felt like I was like a mouse on a treadmill... I couldn't get anywhere with it.
“But now, in my 40s, I really don't worry about it so much because I don't compare any longer. I just worry about myself instead of comparing myself to others.”
We’re conditioned to compete with other women, so it’s no surprise we feel the need to compare ourselves.
But as we age, we let go of those comparisons. We learn to accept and love ourselves. As a result, comparisons and competition slip away.
Sharon, 75, says, “When I was in my 20s, I was always checking myself out, comparing myself to the other girls… I guess it was around the ’70s when my girlfriends and I banded together and we just started talking about how we felt, what our insecurities were, and we were open about it to each other, not trying to be competitive with each other. And from that, we bonded.”
2. Your self-confidence grows.
Do you feel more confident at this age? If so, you’re not alone.
Erica found that aging brought her incredible confidence. “I don’t even feel like the same person I was at 29. Much happier, healthier, in better shape. Much more comfortable with who I am, like six trillion times more confident. It’s really amazing.”
“When you get older, you get more confident in yourself, and that makes you happier,” says Kayko. “I know that when I was in my 20s I picked my body apart… Now I've just kind of embraced the fact that this is me and this is the way I'm gonna be and I'm gonna be really happy.”
For Rosalyn, age 55, that confidence makes her feel sexier than ever before. She says, “There was always something that I held back. As much as I might walk boldly into any room—and I do that and I have done that since I was a kid—that was a facade. Now, it’s kind of for real.”
Deborah agrees. She says, "I think, in my 60s, I know what sexy is and I don't have to try at it. I feel it because I know what it is, and I'm confident about my own self in that skin.”
Of course, self-confidence doesn’t stop with how you look. That confidence affects every area of your life.
3. You get to focus on you again.
Many women don’t have time for hobbies and interests in their 20s and 30s as career and caretaking take center stage. Many women also have less time for exercise and eating well.
But when you reach your 50s, 60s and beyond, life opens up again and you get to focus on what’s most important to you.
Having more time to enjoy life is Sarah’s favorite part about getting older. “I didn’t think 62 would be so energetic and feel fun. I have more insight and more perspective. I enjoy life more. I take walks. I swim. I do yoga. I eat really well.”
Yaa says being older leaves so much more time for travel: “For me, 63 is amazing. I love traveling, so at 63, I've traveled a lot of places. At 23, the only place I traveled to was to work and back. So 63 is amazing.”
Joanna, 64, describes how she also has so much more to say as she’s gotten older: “I feel like there's more of me inside that I want to bring out… In my 20s and 30s, my body was a different dance body, but it had less to say. Now, I can't kick my leg up as high but, somehow, I have more to say with my body than I did when I was younger.”
4. You get to redefine your priorities.
As we age, we often have a different perspective on who and what matters most. For Jennie, aging has helped her focus more on her health. She says, “I made a decision when I turned 50 that I had to start taking things seriously."
“You can only slide by for so long and then you really have to pay attention to you. You get to that age where maybe your kids are bigger or maybe you're more settled in whatever your life is. And so you realize that you have time to do this for you—and probably should have been doing it the whole time—but now, for sure it's going to start.”
At nearly 50, Erica is more picky about who she spends time with. For her, getting older is about “spending time with people who I really wanna be around, as opposed to people I don’t wanna be around. I think the older you get, the pickier and choosier you can be about who you spend time with, and I think that’s really important.”
Sometimes redefining priorities means other kinds of changes. Growing older helped Leann clarify what she wanted from her life and career.
She says, “I had a moment where I was at work and I was at the desk. And I remember that my mom… she passed away when she was 46. I just thought, ‘If I had 10 years left of my life, do I just wanna sit here and keep doing this, or do I just wanna get up and do what I love? Like, get out of my way and do what I love.’ So I did. I got up. I quit.”
5. You worry less.
Many Boom women have told us that aging brings a lot less worry. Perspective and experience help them not sweat the small stuff anymore.
“But at 61, I feel like I have more control. Because I know who I am, I know how I feel and I know where I’m going.”
In our first Boom Ladies’ Night, Dulcy said the best part of aging for her was that she was able to let things go. She says, “Things that might have bugged me or worried at me too much… Now I’ll just kind of look at it like, ‘That wasn’t a big deal.’”
Beth concurred: “I agree with Dulcy that, as you get older, you get to worry less about things. And I’m finding that if I worry less, then I am able to experience that ‘wonderful.’ I can’t experience that wonderful if I don’t release my worry.”
Julie, also 59, says, “When everything seems to be going wrong, sometimes it’s good to turn to that person who has a few more miles on their tires and go, ‘What did you do in a situation like this?’ Or, ‘What can we do together as a group to make an outcome that we’re looking for?’ We still have a lot to offer.”
Shira agrees. At 48, she says, “Honestly, for the women who are in their 20s, and even 30s, the best is yet to come. You have no idea how cool it’s gonna be in a few more years.”
We loved hearing about the many gifts that aging has brought these incredible pro-age women.
What about you? What is your favorite gift that age has brought you?
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