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.