17 Things About Getting Older That No One Really Tells You About

There are so many things about getting older that we don’t know. Besides wrinkles and becoming less mobile, we wonder why our grandparents didn’t explain the surprising things about getting older.

When you’re 20, you think 40 is old. When you’re 40, you feel great and realize you’re still young. From 50 onwards, things start happening that nobody tells us about.

From your feet getting bigger, hair sprouting in unexpected places, losing your balance and memory, and getting floaters in your eyes, nobody prepares you for many aspects of aging.

I’ve chosen 17 things I have experienced that I wish somebody had told me about getting older.

1. Short-Term Memory Lapses

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As you age, you may remember events from 30 years ago, but you may forget what you did five minutes ago. You may walk upstairs into a room at home, where you’re headed with purpose, and then suddenly forget the reason.

You may struggle to remember simple words or cannot retain people’s names. It happens to all of us. The best way to cope is to laugh it off, eat a brain-healthy diet, and keep your brain active.

2. It Takes Longer To Get Moving

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Where you once leaped out of bed in the morning and skipped down the stairs, you’ll notice it takes a little longer to get going. Your muscles feel stiff and achy, and your brain seems to switch into gear long after you wake up.

Starting a daily yoga practice can help, or you can just do some gentle stretches before you start the day.

3. You May Not Sleep Through The Night

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At a certain point in your life, you start wondering if your bladder has shrunk to the size of a peanut. You wake in the middle of the night and begrudgingly realize you must get out of your snuggly, warm bed and take a trip to the bathroom.

Avoid drinking after 7 p.m. and avoid coffee late in the day since it’s a natural diuretic.

4. Hair In Unexpected Places

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Men may start losing the hair on their heads but find ear hair sprouting like unruly weeds and eyebrows that resemble caterpillars. Women’s eyebrows start disappearing but reappear as spiky chin hairs.

No matter how much time you spend plucking these hairs, they sprout right back.

5. Your Entire Body Hurts

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No matter how much or how little exercise you’ve taken during your life, random body pain seems to be a constant part of growing older. You get persistent pain in your hips, shoulders, neck, knees, and even your fingers.

To help reduce these niggling pains, consider switching to an anti-inflammatory diet.

6. Wrinkles and Dry Skin

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Unless you’re lucky enough to have good genes, wrinkles can appear in your late 30s or early 40s. No matter how expensive the face cream is, these aspects of age remain, and the wrinkles become deeper as we age.

It’s a little unfair that men often look more handsome and rugged, while as women age, they look haggard.

7. Hot Flashes

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As women head into their 40s and 50s, they experience perimenopause and menopause. Among many of the symptoms are hot flashes. It’s deeply unpleasant. It feels as if your entire body becomes a furnace within seconds.

The good news is that you don’t have to tolerate these unpleasant symptoms. Talk to a menopause expert who can guide you through the best treatment.

8. You Get a Little Wobbly

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As we age, we lose muscle mass. For menopausal women, it can become problematic because we lose estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, so it becomes harder to maintain muscle mass. Weaker muscles can lead to poor balance.

Physical therapists advise regular weight training to help build muscle and eat a protein-rich diet.

9. Eye Floaters

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I sat at my desk a few years ago, constantly swatting away tiny black insects in front of my eyes. Eventually, I realized they weren’t insects and booked an emergency consultation with the optician. She informed me I had floaters. They were like lots of tiny black dots moving rapidly in front of your eyes.

The good news is that the brain adapts to floaters, and you stop seeing them within a few weeks. Thank goodness.

10. It’s Harder to Manage Your Weight

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Middle-aged spread is real. It’s like your metabolism goes on strike. You gain weight just by looking at a doughnut, but losing the weight is like pulling teeth.

Women get belly fat — like a kangaroo pouch — as part of losing female hormones during menopause. Men get a beer belly. They may be slim, but their rotund belly has a life of its own.

11. Your Feet Get Bigger

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My feet are two sizes bigger than they were 10 years ago. It’s one of the weirdest aspects of aging, and it happens to many of us. I thought it was from years of running half marathons, but it also seems to happen to sedentary people.

I advise you not to buy too many pairs of shoes as you head into your 40s. It’s better to wait until your feet decide when to stop spreading.

12. You May Have Fewer Friends

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We may have many friends when we’re young, in college, or starting a new job. However, friendships drift as we enter our late thirties and beyond. People move away, start a family, or we grow apart.

As you age, you realize that the quality of your friendships matters, and you start developing more meaningful relationships with the few people who matter to you.

13. You Become More Outspoken

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The wonderful part of getting older is we lose our filters. After a lifetime of holding back, it becomes easier to speak your truth. You learn that there is no benefit to not being honest with your friends and family.

Another lovely bonus of age is that you become more diplomatic, so your honesty doesn’t hurt people’s feelings.

14. You Start Enjoying Alone Time

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After a lifetime of being available for your family, friends, colleagues, and employers, you start appreciating time spent alone. You step away from the lifetime labels of being someone’s mother, wife, husband, etc, and spend delicious time alone.

You enjoy choosing your routine and spending quiet time doing as you wish.

15. You Realize A Need For Community

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As much as you might enjoy time alone, getting older means you become more vulnerable to accidents and illness. It can also be lonely if you lose a spouse.

Building a supportive community can help to reduce feelings of insecurity and loneliness. Take part in local activities and get to know your neighbors. Reach out to others and build friendships you can count on.

16. You Care Less About Others’ Opinions

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Perhaps you’ve spent a lifetime worrying about what people think about you. Maybe you were a people pleaser, which can be exhausting. The wonderful thing about getting older is that you stop worrying about the judgments and opinions of others.

You can shrug off people’s judgments or unwelcome comments without feeling defensive or needing to justify yourself. In time, people will stop offering their opinions because they don’t get a response from you.

17. It’s Easier To Make Difficult Decisions

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Do you recall all those nights you lay awake worrying about making the right decision? Well, these sleepless nights fall away when you get older. You can better balance the pros and cons quickly and make challenging decisions without anxiety.

Part of this enjoyable aspect of aging is your lifetime of problem-solving. You can call on your experience when it’s time to make a big decision.

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