- I understand myself soooo much better now than I did in my teens and twenties. Things I hated about myself I now see were immaterial or are actually strengths. If you're not born with a ton of confidence and self-acceptance, it's the devil's job to build it up in yourself. I've been working on that for a long time, and the fruit is finally falling off the tree.
- I make a lot more money. Hopefully that will continue.
- Wisdom. It's not a given, as nobody's born with it. Just some people build it slower or faster than others.
- Patience. See above.
- Joy. I am only now, at 47, really starting to experience "the peace that surpasses understanding" on a more than infrequent basis. I used to face life with a kind of fear and dread. Now I find it entirely enjoyable, like a gift that keeps giving.
- Being respected for my experience. I like helping younger people out, and it's gratifying to be sought out.
Things that are not so good about getting older:
- It's harder to keep the weight off.
- Hair loss, in all the wrong places.
- Hair gain, in all the wrong places. I mean, WTF is up with ear hair?
- Pain. Comes easier, stays longer.
- Arthritis. I had a skiing accident when I was 20 that jacked up my hip, and it's now getting arthritic. It makes my long motorcycle rides much more uncomfortable.
- Not having "youthful appeal." As I sometimes tell my wife, women used to notice me (as she did, of course). Now, notsomuch. George Clooney may turn heads at his age, but most of us in our late 40s don't.
Mike Warot: I'm 47, which is kinda old... not as old as I thought it would be when I was a kid, though.
It's like being tired all the time, noticing the things that you can't do anymore that seemed trivial when you were younger.
You have an awareness of your mortality that wasn't there in your youth. Hopefully you have wisdom to make better choices and use them to leverage your way around your declining physical condition.
If you're male, sometime around 35, you start to think without the testosterone clouding your judgement 24x7. Sometime around 40, you have to start writing things down, or you forget them. Sometime around 45, your vision suddenly gets worse. (Some day they will find the cause of this... it can't be natural). Somewhere about 10 years ago, I stopped assuming my friends and family would always be there... I've been fortunate for the most part.
Getting old is mostly ok, it's the falling apart that sucks.
Rich Williamson: As someone already mentioned, 47 isn't really old yet. Well, as I will be celebrating my 47th birthday (and entering "middle age") this year, I though I would throw my $0.02 in. When I was 20, I thought anyone over 45 was old. Now that I am there it doesn't seem so old .
I am slightly more aware of my mortality. I am sad to realize my kids have grown up, and be out of the house in a couple of years. I wish I had taken better care of my body earlier in life. Things are starting to become less flexible, and I have less energy than my kids.
I used to be considered smarter than my peers and very successful for my age. Now at my age I am just "normal" and as successful as someone would expect for a 47 year old.
I am constantly amazed that people much younger than me don't get social references. However, when I think about it many of them weren't born when I graduated high school or even college. I still have a hard time believing I graduated college 25 years ago... It seems like yesterday.
I drive more conservatively now. In my youth I was always in a hurry. Now I am quite happy to drive my 1965 (the year I was born) MGB convertible to work. The car could never get over 75 without shimmying itself to death.
I now realize that I don't know everything. I understand that others know subjects, and facts that I will never grasp.
I am no longer obsessed with sex. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy it, but am no longer driven by it. In my 20's I would have never ever turned it down. Nowadays I have been known to "not be in the mood" every now and then.
In my 20's I was into extreme things, and thrill seeking. Now I am not even remotely interested in bungee jumping, any of the events in the X games, or "parkour" as my daughter likes to do.
In my 20's I was easier to get angry, take something personally, or get irritated. Now I realize that life is too short to let little stuff bother me, or let things upset me. My wife says I have "mellowed".
I used to want to go on high activity vacations, always doing something. I could never understand how people could sit on a lounger in the sun all day. Now I enjoy relaxing low key vacations at places that kiss my butt.
In my younger days, I was obsessed with things being organized, in their place, and perfect. Now I can easily overlook the little things.
In my 20's I really cared what other people thought of me. I was always concerned about putting on a "good face". Now I act and dress the way that makes me happy. I don't care if someone doesn't like me or the way act. I hang out with people I like, and do what I want within reason.
I know (hope) I won't die anytime soon, but chances are that I am midway or further through my life. That bugs me that I am on the countdown phase, instead of the growing up part of life.
I do enjoy being this age. I am more experienced, confident in myself, and happy with where I am in life.
Stan Hayward, in the photo above: am the same age as Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood. In Dog-years that is really really ancient. I am shorter than either, but heavier than both. I am not sure if that makes up for it.
[From time to time something reminds you of the past...]You remember things.
Mostly nice things.
There is a tendency to reminisce, meander, and ramble when talking and writing about the past, and I wonder if anyone is listening, reading, or caring much.
But that is not feeling old, it's more like wondering if there isn't something better I could be doing.
There is of course, but I can't be bothered. That's it.
When you get old you feel you can't be bothered because most things don't matter that much.
Or not as much as they used to.
Or not as much as they ever should have done.
I just wish I had known that then when I was younger.
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