What is the point of getting older? 164



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All my life, I’ve believed everything happens for a reason and recently this attitude has had me wondering: what exactly is the purpose of getting older?

After all, we’re living much longer than previous generations and whether you believe in God or evolution or fate, you have to admit, there’s got to be something in that, doesn’t there?

I’ve always been a useful sort of a person. So useful, in fact, that parts of my life were a blur of activity as I rushed to fulfil competing obligations of work, family, friends and community.

These days I have plenty to do, but I do wonder: Is this what’s it all about?

Is the point of getting older having the time to look after grandchildren, stop and smell the roses or finally tackle my reading list? I’ve spent a lot of time doing these things recently and can’t help but question if there’s more I should be doing.

Looking around me, I see others absorbed in their “thing”. I know a woman who took up triathlons in her mid-sixties and it seems her purpose in life is to inspire (and shock) her children, with a strict regime of training and competing.

Another friend has thrown herself headlong into healing her soul 15 years after her daughter was tragically killed in a car accident. She spends hours meditating and dancing, and has recently started yoga.

Meanwhile, my sister has taken another path and is travelling the world on her own, stopping wherever she pleases for however long she wants. We joke that she is an “itinerant” and sometimes I doubt she’ll ever come home.

And there are plenty of others, some have committed themselves to looking after their grandchildren, others are indulging the passions they never had time for. They all seem content.

I have to admit, I’m not content. I feel I’m missing out on something but I don’t know what exactly that something is.

Perhaps the question I need to be asking myself is: what is the purpose of ME getting older?

How did you find meaning in your life? Do you ever wonder what the purpose of getting older could be?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Gosh! Its a bit early for me to think about this. I haven’t had my coffee yet.
    I think perhaps its preparing us to accept that nothing lasts forever. Its the cycle of life.
    Having said that, I don’t see why we have to get all wrinkly in the process. Not at all happy with the wrinkly look!

    4 REPLY
    • I used to think that about my wrinkles too but now they don’t bother me. I am what I am. Hopefully if all goes to plan I am off in my camper next year and who knows when I will be back. You just have to make it happen.

    • I agree.wrinkles.freckles lumps and bumps all a bit hard to take.but hey I’d we smile and do the best we can each day I don’t think many see our lumps and bumps..hope not anyway.😊

  2. Often ask myself the same question. Are we going through the motions – pleasing others, conforming to societal ‘norms’, fitting it with loved ones. What???? When and how do we find our purpose? My goodness I sound dreary.

    11 REPLY
    • I look back on my tumultuous life, full of stress, working hard, no money, bills bills bills, worry etc… This stopped me enjoying the things in life that should have been able to do….. Other people caused a lot of this and I enabled it to a degree…. Now I look at it, my older life, as a cleansing time. A reflecting time, a no regrets time, helping with grandchildren, doing things I couldn’t do before, having peace and quiet and still learning new things… I believe you should never stop learning… I have done courses and learned more and more and even given advice and input where needed… Our bodies creak, well mine does, illness prevail, but I wont let this part of my life be anything but one of the best times of my life..

    • Joan – I haven’t found my purpose yet. I still feel like I’m “waiting in the wings” and my life hasn’t started. Although – with people calling me Grandma – obviously I started somethings. It’s just been ‘one foot in front of the other’ with no particular direction chosen. I still don’t know what direction I wanted and now I’m at the top of the family tree – (closest to God ) surveying the life I had/have and basically wondering “What happened?”

    • We have all worked very hard and now it’s time to spend our time doing things we want to do even if it’s watching a TV show in Peace. Just enjoy your life , that’s what I am doing. Be Happy !!! Don’t judge yourself !!!

    • Life is short just enjoy every minute of every day and be grateful that you are healthy and have a roof over your head not everyone is that lucky even the big millionaires get depressed and worry that’s life money don’t bring happiness and doesn’t matter haw much you have when your time comes you have to leave all behind nobody takes it with them just be happy and enjoy your life

    • What is the purpose of life regardless of age? I have asked this question many times but never found the answer. Some of us are blessed; some of us are not. It’s a case of muddle through as best one can, take happiness and embrace it when it happens (as it’s often only fleeting) and just get on with life until it comes to an end. My goodness I sound a bit grumpy don’t I, but I’m not. I don’t mind getting older either, it’s the issues that come with it. That old parody is very true: we all want to live to a ripe old age, but none of us want to get old….never a truer paradox in my opinion.

    • Well said indeed, I’ve had horrendous people in my life, which left me very distressed, and stressed.
      That’s all over now, this is my time with my rock of a husband. I feel free and liberated.
      How I love it. And it’s not being selfish, you got to look after number. One yourself.
      No one else will, you are responsible for your own happiness. Have a happy life. 😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄

  3. I would not worry you sound pretty normal to me, I can’t see the point in shriveling up and dying through a long long process that takes years, but it is the way humans are and we just have to accept it and make the most of every minute. I am Atheist and I don’t believe there is “anything ” out there, with perhaps the exception of a few aliens on distant worlds.

    6 REPLY
    • I am an Existentialist Libbi. We are born, we live and then we die. So we better make it meaningful, purposeful and create fulfillment – and we all have that choice and sometimes, as in my case, over and above childhood trauma. I am still creating meaning where I can….so as you say Libbi – make the most of every minute. 🎼🎶💕💐 Hope you enjoy your day…may as well – we are still here. xx

    • Well we must have been created. It didnt just happen. There is a design. Abd each of uschas a purpose. I believe we were designed by a supernatural being called God

    • I believe in evolution Elieen McKenzie and our DNA proves we are very close to great apes, you can’t have a blood transfusion from any other animal on the planet with the exception of Chimps and Bonobo

    • i am an evolutionist. The science backs it up. I believe we all started as organisms under the sea and evolved to what we are over the millions and millions of years. I am here only due to one fast swimming healthy sperm that connected with a ripe egg. Perfect!! Each to their own beliefs – this is not an opportunity to debate about it as it has been done ad nauseum elsewhere. We do not have to agree. So to return to ‘What is the point of getting older’. Well for heaven’s sake we are all born, we all live and then get old and die. If you believe in God then apparently God is supposed to have said (or Jesus or whom/whatever) ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and in this way – I have attempted to help myself and make no other individual responsible for my wellbeing (just as in the theory and practice of Existentialism). So in Libbi’s words – make the most of every minute ..well …..up and at ’em…..chop chop…..we are still able to create a life of meaning and purpose – in fact we must …over and above everything. Point of getting older? It was always meant to be this way. What else?

  4. I’ve just had my coffee 😀 and I do admit I ponder this question. It’s a process. We’re born, we live and then we die. It happens to everybody. The only part of us that is eternal is our spirit, so if we nourish and live from that, our purpose is never over while we are alive. I’m a Christian so I know I’m a necessary praying part of this world. Whilst I still work, love my kids and grandkids, enjoy my friends and creative things, I can still be confident that whilst I can still pray for this world and those I love, and worship God – then every breath I take on this life journey is important.

  5. Yes totally agree with you Philomena, I often say to my hubby. I don’t mind getting old but do we have to look it as well!

  6. It’s certainly better than the alternative! Life is limited, that’s what gives our time here it’s beauty. We have to leave it, so treasure it. I don’t believe in anything after. This is the gift we have.

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