The Privilege of Growing Older – Episode 442

There comes a point, somewhere in your late 40’s or early 50’s, where you look in the mirror and I becomes clear to you that you are not a kid anymore. What happened? Life happened the way it  should. The only powerful choice we can make in the face of aging is to accept our ongoing journey with grace and dignity. If we can do that, we will find what it takes to continue growing, exploring and living in a way that is always inspiring.


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This morning I took my car into the dealership to get the oil changed. While I was standing around in the waiting room eating one of the free donuts, a young lady from the sales department walked up to me. She said “Hi, How are you?”

I said “Ok.”

She said, “Would you do me a favor?”

I said “Ok.”

She said, “I’d like to offer you a demo ride in one of our new cars.”

Now, I didn’t go there for a test drive, but I am thinking about getting another car and giving my car to my daughter who is driving now, and my wife’s been bugging me about dragging my feet about that, so I said sure.

We went for a test drive, and she told me that she had been working there for 3 months. I told her she had a lot of courage to just walk up to someone and offer them a test drive. I sold cars once and it had never occurred to me to do that.

She was maybe in her 20s. She said she was determined to be successful but that she still had a lot to learn. I told her that if she persisted and continued to have confidence that she would be ok. I told her that selling cars can be a cutthroat business and you need to be tough. I told her that she already had the grit and guts to make it happen if she wanted to.

Right then I felt the benefit of all my 64 years of experience. She was at the beginning of her journey, and I already had a lot of miles behind me.

I thought back to my days selling cars and how scary it could be to just walk up to someone and start talking to them. I was shy and kind of introverted, but I was able to move beyond those limitations as I grew older.

Getting older is a privilege, it’s a gift. You get to get old. Growing old is a privilege that’s not available to everyone. Many are “Done too soon” to quote a Neil Diamond song. When informed of their youthful passing, we say, “How sad, they had their whole life ahead of them.” Yet, many of us, when we reach the place of obvious and apparent aging, are more likely to quote the words of MickJagger: “What a drag it is getting old.”

There comes a point, different for everybody, somewhere in your late 40’s maybe early 50s. You look in the mirror and it becomes clear to you, you are not a kid anymore. Or you see a photo of yourself, 10 years ago, obviously looking much different. What happened?

Life happened, as it should, and the only powerful choice we can make is so to accept our ongoing journeys with grace and dignity. I’m talking about being present to all of it, and fully embracing the inevitability of the natural course of life.

Why not celebrate the fact that we have arrived at a chapter of seniority in our story, and commit or re-commit to living life fully and passionately each and every day? After all, there is no guarantee of tomorrow.

I’m in no way suggesting that we embrace slowing down, or that we give up activities that we love, or be resigned in the face of our mortality. I’m suggesting that we have gratitude for however many years of life we have been given.

Aging is challenging, that’s a fact. Aches and pains, necessary surgeries, gaining weight, less energy, friends and family members pass away. We lose things in the process of aging – most obviously youth, a precious commodity in our culture. How can we celebrate the loss of these things that have become so vital to our lives?

I think the key is to step back and see what we have gained: wisdom, experience, life lessons, maybe children, or grown children that are finally able to give back to you. Hopefully, we have gained love, experiences (both good and bad), and a perspective gained only from walking the walk, through the up and down, thick, and thin, rain or snow.

Think about what people go through to stay connected to life, which seems to get more precious when it might not last as long as you thought.

At one time I volunteered at a senior facility, reading the newspaper for a woman, eighty something, who had no practical use of her body. Trapped in her useless body was an incredibly sharp mind; she had been an educator with a master’s degree.

Her family was back east and rarely visited, so she looked forward to our time together. We would talk a lot, and one time I asked her: “Would you rather not be alive?”

She said “I like being alive, in spite of it all. I can still hear the birds and listen to music. I can see the sunlight and trees through the window. I want to live.”

I don’t know if I would have the same attitude. I don’t know if I would be able to celebrate aging if I was chronically sick, or in constant pain or sorrow or depression or hopeless.

But for the grace of God, I’m not. Chances are, neither are you. And if you are, maybe that could change.

I like to look to the natural world for inspiration wisdom. It’s spring now, and things are blooming after a long, cold rainy winter here in Southern California. The trees on my street that are many years older than me have woken from their winter slumber and are starting to bud. This time of year corresponds with the Easter holiday for Christians, which is a time of renewal, new life, and re-birth as celebrated by the resurrection of Jesus. The word Easter comes from the word Oestre, the Germanic spring goddess.

We all have the opportunity for renewal, regardless of how old we are. We still have the ability to change, to grow and to learn something new. The perspective of age can help us to see more clearly what is important and what needs to be released.

I know at least three men, one older than me and two slightly younger who are coming to the realization that spending time with loved ones is more important than working to pay off nice stuff like cars and big houses.

At 64 years of age I’ve started lifting weights, reading more, and exploring new interests.

You can’t allow yourself to get cynical and resigned. As long as you breathe, there is hope for a better day, for a new way and for a new way to play in the fields of your life.

There’s hope for a greater ability to endure the hard times with peace, grace, and dignity, along with the hope of continuing exploration, growth, and joy. I wish this for you and for me.

I’m glad I’ve made it this far, 64 years. At least for today, I’m enjoying the privilege of getting older.

Are you having trouble again gracefully? Maybe a shift of perspective is all that’s needed. If I can be of any help, reach out for a complimentary phone consultation to see if hypnotherapy is right for you. You can get in touch with me at You are not too old and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out it’s own secret. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Thanks for reading this and take good care,


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Are you having trouble again gracefully? Maybe a shift of perspective is all that’s needed. Reach out for a complimentary phone consultation with Ted to see if hypnotherapy is right for you. You can get in touch with Ted at He’ll get back to you asap.