Thankful I’m Old(ish)

On this Thanksgiving, I pondered the fact that I’m grateful for you, my friends at Any Shiny Thing (sometimes I type it wrong and it comes out Any Whiny Thing, and that’s good, too).

But I appreciate you. For sharing your experiences, for holding my hand when I’m scared or bummed out, and for your contributions to our mental  health (did you know commiserating with each other generates oxytocin, the love chemical, and defeats cortisol, the stress chemical?)

I am grateful for the fact that we can gather together around this electronic campfire and howl at the moon about being in the second half of life.

I started Any Shiny Thing because I think we’re more powerful at this age, but that’s not the common perspective and I want to change that. I reject the premise that everything young is good, and everything old is bad. I agree with Barbara Strauch, who defines middle age as that vast range between young and old. I believe older people have the joyful responsibility for sending back messages from the front, and their younger sisters and brothers should pay attention.

I’ve been gathering some great information about the benefits of “middle age,” and all through December I’m going to talk about the amazing, awesome gifts we receive from being older. This isn’t just anecdotal.

Brand new research, based on brain imaging, has led to new discoveries about the way the brain ages, and these discoveries will shock and delight you.

Here are some examples:

  • As we age, our brains don’t slow down. They power up, rerouting information over new roadways, actually increasing brain function.
  • The older you get, the calmer and more positive you become.
  • The older brain is adept at cutting through the BS and arriving at solutions to complex problems in less time than our younger peers.

There is so much more, and I can’t wait to tell you about it, but I’m visiting with my family in Atlanta and want to get back to them. So we’ll talk next week. Enjoy your mad, crazy post-Thanksgiving weekend.

Comments

  1. cydmadsen says

    What a fabulous post (and teaser). Like everybody else who commented, I can’t wait for your December posts. I hope we can bounce off each other as I add a section to my own blog about aging and the need to see it from a different perspective. Baby Boomers are re-defining what it means to get older because we’re living longer than anybody expected. I’m 60 and feel as if I have lost a lot of the treasures of youth, but there is still so much to be discovered and so much is gained with age. I’m tired of hearing about what I’ve lost without hearing, and sharing, what I’ve gained, what I have to offer that can only be offered with aging. There is power in aging, and I’m so glad there are bold women stepping forward and telling the story.

    • says

      Cyd, I hope that can happen more and more. I think women are getting the idea. I also discovered a website, 70Candles.com, where women 70 and older tell their stories, and that looks interesting too. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    “Howling at the moon around the electronic campfire” that’s us. So glad you are part of my Ya Ya Sisterhood. As I tackle another senior moment…uh oh, what did I just say in front of class of teenagers?…I can’t wait to read your December posts on our super charged old age brains!

  3. says

    Oh Lynne, how I love this shiny, whiny, howl at the moon electronic campfire you have summoned us to where we get to laugh, cry ,spew our thoughts and embrace the benefits of growing older and wiser together! Can’t wait for your December posts. Enjoy your time with your family and new grandson and safe travels back home. Xo

  4. says

    I love the image of all of us howling at the moon around this electronic campfire! And your teasers about the posts you’ll do in December sound very interesting. With the examples you cited, it’s no wonder the “young’uns” are having trouble finding, and keeping, jobs!! Enjoy your family Thanksgiving and have a safe trip back home!

  5. says

    Funny about sending messages from the front. My husband, a retired military officer, is six years older — he always says he is the advance party, and it’s his job to let me know what’s coming. Happy Thanksgiving — looking forward to reading about your research!

  6. heather says

    Amen Lynne,
    Thanks for putting in your post the good stuff about getting older and yes i deeply feel the wisdom of these later years, and laugh that none of the younger folks (especially the older 30 to 40 somethings) want to listen or absorb one blessing. They know everything :) already. Hooray for some of the good stuff about getting older or middle aged!

    • says

      Heather, thanks for saying that. I know the info I will share next month will make everybody feel better about being older! As you say, most young people are sort of oblivious about what lies ahead, and that’s as it should be. Let them enjoy themselves! I tell my DIL I can’t believe how limber and strong she is, when I see her flop down on the floor by the infant, or grab the two-year-old and swing her up into the air and then down, and then up again, Lord Almighty, it hurts my back just to recall it. (Dang, can you tell I’ve been in the South for a week?) But I do have a 29-yr-old “mentor” – Casey is wise beyond her years.

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