Another Year Better, Braver, And Ready For More

Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. – Charles Schulz

I’ve got to admit something. I’m not crazy about getting older. In my late 40s, I started noticing more aches and pains. I started creaking and slowing down a little. In the last few years, I’ve had frozen shoulder, a frozen SI joint, and I think my brain has frozen a time or two. Still, I’m blessed to be able to walk, run, write, play music, and more.

If you haven’t guessed, today’s my birthday. I’ll tell you this much: I’m over 50. But with age has come more creative opportunities. Here’s why:

The Older I Get, The Less I Care What Others Think

When we’re young we tend to want others to like us. We want to be cool, to fit in. We don’t want to be the weird kid in the corner writing poetry. We don’t want to be the freaky long-haired kid wearing black and playing Goth music. But when we’re older, we begin to care less about what others think. This gives us the freedom to be more creative.

Twenty years ago, I’d have been reluctant to publish my story of growing up in a cult. Now I’ve written The Cult Trilogy. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have imagined experimenting in programmed music. Only geeks did that. Now I’ve written several dozen songs on an iPad.

Age Has Made Me Better, Braver, And Ready For More

Life isn’t guaranteed, so we have to make the most of it while we can. Over the last few years I’ve come to realize that getting older isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.

  1. Age has allowed me to improve my talents: It take years to become a master of any craft. I may not be a master of anything yet, but I’m getting closer. I’ve developed writing and songwriting skills. Each year, I get better. Each year, I add new skills to my resume. You can too. Make a point to keep practicing your creative art. The years will make you better.
  2. Age has allowed me to take more chances: I’ve never been a big risk-taker. That’s not quite true. I took some stupid risks in my teens and 20s. But I’ve always stayed clear of taking creative risks. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more willing to put myself out there. I’ve started several blogs and published several books. I’ve let others read my work. I’ve bought a house and traveled to places I never thought I’d go. You only live once.
  3. Age makes me want to reach higher goals: I’ve read that when we face the idea of our own death, it motivates us to live. That’s true. When I consider my own demise, it makes me want to write more books that help others, write more songs that touch others, and reach higher than I’ve ever reached before. I want to leave a legacy for my family and friends. I want to leave a mark with my writing and my music. Death makes me want to excel.

And if getting better, braver and being ready for more is not enough, older people are happier, too. Check out this Ted Talk. Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.

Older People Are Happier

Don’t fear getting older. Live life full on. Take time to improve yourself. Keep playing, keep walking, keep writing, keep getting better at whatever you do.

If you’d like to develop your creativity, I’d like to help. You can start by signing up for my free, monthly newsletter.  You’ll get tips and motivations for getting your creativity flowing.

Join The Creative Side

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  1. Well said Dan. Since I am probably about 10 years older than you (63), I can attest to what you write. I spent way too many years trying to please people. I’m not sure when it clicked that was an effort in futility but I know it was after 50. I also have adopted more of a “Life is an Adventure” mentality. I know physical limitations stop me from participating in some activities (the aches and pains are magnified as we get older) but I want to enjoy life to the max.

  2. Yes, I hear you about the aches and pains, Bill. I just had a hernia surgery three weeks ago and I’m still feeling it. I need to work on that sense of adventure again. I seem to have been less adventurous the past few years.

  3. It’s good to hear from you again. You’ve been busy! I just got my copy of your last book. Looking forward to it! I also agree with you here, Dan. Life is to short to stress over what others think.

  4. There are great perks that come with aging and you have stated them well as the lady on the video. We who are older wish we could have the wisdom gained by the aging process in a younger healthier body. But wishing is not healthy, in fact it’s fruitless for us who have a lot to give. Recently while sitting with a woman a little younger then me said, “somewhere along the way, past 55 I realized I do have a lot to give, me personally, not just collectively with my husband. She continued, and I have lost my fear of what others think of what I have to share, I now have freedom. An after thought came to later as I processed our conversation of how I wanted to finish well. I am much more focus on what I spend my time on, I now know exactly what to spend my time on and so I do not waste it like I use to. People have become more interesting then they were when I was younger, I have time to think about others and how can I help them. My desire to pour myself into others has grown as I aged. I have many friends who collect all sorts of things, from cars, dishes, hats, shoes, crafts, etc. I found as I searched for what have I collected through the years, I have nothing to show, except my friends spread all over the world, I collect friends, relationships. The closer I get to heaven the less stuff I want on this earth, for me less is freeing. This is a great post Dan…going to send it to some of my aging friends who are stuck in their hearts over this aging process. I understand that because I spent a whole one year about 10 years ago struck down by fear, fear of old age and all the negative it will bring. I say will, because this old body will continue to age, hurt more whether I exercise or not, it is decaying minutes by minutes. But the challenge the Lord gave me was that there is no age limit to the scriptures that talk about renewing our minds as we wait for a new body to be given to us, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. Thanks

    1. Hi Betty, your words are very wise and comforting. I battle my fear of aging still, but I’m reaching for that place where I no longer worry or care about it, but just move on with the security that all is in God’s control. It’s good to see you here. Hope all is well for you.

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