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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Celebrating Another Year: Embracing the Coolness of Aging on My Birthday


“Today, I realized I will never look like this again” was a recent comment by Selena Gomez who was referring to a picture of herself from ten years earlier in a bikini. When I look at the picture below, I feel the same.  I was 25 and had just landed from parasailing in Key West, Florida.  At the time, I had a lot of huge adventures planned like bungee jumping and skydiving, so parasailing was to be the first of many. I remember feeling brave and free, floating up high above the water.

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I felt ambitious and invincible until I realized I had somehow developed a fear of heights.  I used to love getting stuck at the top of a ferris wheel until years later, when I was on the London Eye and started to feel very anxious. Looking down through the glass bubble cars brought on a really scary feeling that was unfamiliar and unrecognizable in my own skin. I was so excited to go on it and then practically had a panic attack. What happened to the thrill seeker I once was? This is just one of the changes I had to accept in my body as I’ve gotten older.

You can’t stop the journey, so you might as well embrace it

 

Nobody stays young forever, although we try as much as possible to slow down the aging process.  We either age or die, but can’t freeze time. In 2023, $71.3 billion dollars was spent globally in the anti-aging industry, which is expected to increase to $120.4 billion by 2032

 

Although aging interventions can certainly smooth out wrinkles and remove fat, it does not slow down our bodies’ aging processes. Feeling our bodies transition is the toughest part.  We are the same people with the same history, victories, traumas, and genetics, only better on every level. Despite being slower, achier, saggier, with an increased risk for medical issues, getting older is worth cherishing. 

 

Embrace the coolness of aging because you don’t sweat the small stuff

 

If we had internal, “I don’t give a sh*t” levels, they decrease as we get older.  When we are younger, we are more sensitive, self-conscious, and take everything personally. With maturity, we become more immune and intolerant to drama, as well as understand that we are not responsible for other people’s feelings.

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Embrace the coolness of aging because you are wiser and more resilient

 

Being older means to have had enough life experience to have regrets, mistakes, heart breaks, failures, as well as joy, love, success, strength, blessings and learning opportunities. You become better at avoiding the same mistakes again, bouncing back from adversity, and knowing what works for you.

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Embrace the coolness of aging because there is no set way to do it

 

Thankfully, in this day and age, we age our own way.  While I am choosing to avoid knives and needles, I support other people’s decisions.  There are no rules like we all have to start applying eye cream at 20 years old. Personally, I like my wrinkles. When I look in the mirror, I see more than a half-century old face who laughs, enjoys drinking through a straw, and loves the outdoors

Embrace the coolness the aging because you own your sh*t

 

We have learned at this point to celebrate ourselves, as opposed to tolerating. We can laugh at the quirks we used to consider flaws. We have accepted what is and know how to deal with it, as opposed to hiding and shaming ourselves.

How about your aging journey?

 

  • What do you appreciate the most about yourself as you age?

  • What has been difficult to accept about aging?

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