Don't Lament Getting Old, It's a Privilege Denied to Many

Don't Lament Getting Old, It's a Privilege Denied to Many
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 14 December, 2021

Getting old is a privilege, an art, a gift. Accumulating gray hairs, pulling the pages off of the calendar, and celebrating birthdays should always be a reason for happiness. Happiness for life and everything it means to be here.

Life has the peculiar tendency to slip out of our hands with time, which makes wrinkles appear on our faces and aches and pains develop every so often. But all of this is a reflection of life, something that we can feel very proud of.

We have to be grateful for the opportunity to get older, because it allows us to share more moments with the people we love the most. We can enjoy the pleasures of life, smile, and build a better world through our presence.

old and young

Wrinkles remind us where the smiles have been

Wrinkles are an honest and beautiful reflection of age counted by the smiles on our faces. But when they start to appear, they make us realize that life is ephemeral and fleeting.

As a consequence, we often feel bothered and uncomfortable, when they should actually be a source of happiness. How is it possible that we can get so sad over having the opportunity to be alive?

Because we’re afraid that when we get older, we’ll lose abilities, because we think about old age like a punishment, in a pejorative and humiliating way. In the same way, getting older makes us look back and ask ourselves what we’ve done all our lives.

old and young in a blanket

Give thanks for every year you complete

We should be thankful to life for the opportunity to remain here and have the ability and awareness to enjoy it. What sense does it make to be sad and complain about having possibilities? Isn’t it true that we’d give whatever it takes to have the ones we’ve lost by our side? Why don’t we look forward to life and stop hiding from our journey?

Getting older should be a source of happiness. Every day signifies 1440 minutes of new options, of wonderful thoughts, of hundreds of nuances in our feelings. Every second gives us the possibility to experience and take advantage of all of the options that our surroundings provide.

Every year is a medal, an opportunity to treasure memories, to make moments ours, to blow out the candles with strength and pride. Desire to continue fulfilling your dreams, seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years… And above all, be able to celebrate it with the people around you. Hopefully you see yourself and feel full, wrinkled, and happy.


I’m the age in which things are seem more calmly, but with the interest of continuing to grow.

I’m the age in which I can touch my dreams with my fingers, and my wishful thinking becomes hope.

I’m the age in which love is sometimes a crazy flame, anxious to be consumed in the fire of desire and passion. And other times it’s a haven of peace, like the sunset on the beach.

How old am I? I don’t need to mark it with a number, because the desires that I’ve fulfilled, the tears that fell throughout the journey upon seeing my broken hopes…
They’re worth much more than that.

log bridge

What does it matter if I turn twenty, forty, or sixty?
All that matters is the age I feel.

I am the age that I need to be to live free and unafraid.
To continue without fear along the path, I bring with me the experience that I’ve acquired and the strength of my desires.

How old am I? Who cares!
I am old enough to lose fear and do what I want and what I feel.

-José Saramago-

Between childhood and adulthood, life happens in an instant

Don’t lament getting old. Life is a gift that we don’t all have the privilege to enjoy. It’s a jar of sighs, stumbles, pleasures, learning, and suffering. That’s why life itself is wonderful.

And that’s also why it’s essential to take advantage of every moment, make it yours, feel fortunate. Accumulating youth is an art that consists of making the life in your years more important than the years in your life. In short, giving your existence meaning.

It doesn’t matter so much if you develop gray hairs and wrinkles, or if your body asks for a truce every morning. What’s truly relevant is growth, because in the end, getting older is inevitable, but growing old is optional.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.