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Silver Linings of Getting Older

I know we all (well, most of us) gripe about the aches and pains of growing older. But what are some of the silver linings (pun not intended)? I'll start...

-I care less and less what others think of me. As a lifelong people pleaser, this is a relief and a godsend.

-My temperament has mellowed tremendously. Things that would've had me in a rage at age 25 now seem like small potatoes.

-I don't mind saying "no" now. This goes along with being less of a people pleaser.

-Material things mean less and less. Sure, they're still nice, but relationships and experiences are more fulfilling.

-I enjoy my alone time. Whether it's on a Saturday evening or a Tuesday afternoon. I'm grateful I enjoy my own company.

by Anonymousreply 144Last Thursday at 6:00 PM

[quote] Things that would've had me in a rage at age 25 now seem like small potatoes.

So how do you deal with 25 year old Dataloungers who expend energy getting into rages?

by Anonymousreply 1Last Tuesday at 1:29 AM

The senior discount pays for sales tax. Plus, I am addressed as Sir, and they hold the door open for me.

by Anonymousreply 2Last Tuesday at 1:32 AM

Other than Jeopardy and a couple of reality shows, I pretty much turned off the TV for good. I have lost all interest in drama and fiction. No interest in other people's stories anymore.

by Anonymousreply 3Last Tuesday at 1:33 AM

[quote] I have lost all interest in drama and fiction

Me too.

by Anonymousreply 4Last Tuesday at 1:35 AM

Sincerely grateful for experiencing first hand the popular music of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. No interest in pop music starting around the year 2000. Feel truly sorry for the ignorant younger people who missed out and are stuck listening to the dreck of today. How sad

by Anonymousreply 5Last Tuesday at 1:38 AM

I can be at home and be at peace.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Tuesday at 1:43 AM

The decrease in sex drive has been for me a blessing.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Tuesday at 1:44 AM

I have a better appreciation of beauty. I take time now to stop and admire it when I see it. I don't mean just in the steam room, bitches.

I have time to cook and I enjoy it.


Not needing to prove myself to anyone. I guess that's being comfortable in my skin.

Financial security and the ability to be generous.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Tuesday at 1:48 AM

Finally had the time at home to have pets...2 cats and a dog.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Tuesday at 1:48 AM

I love this thread. Thanks OP. As young gay men we are told life is over at age 35. A bigger lie has never been told.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Tuesday at 1:51 AM

You're welcome, R10! OP here again...another one I thought of is no more speeding tickets. I had my license revoked for speeding as an 18 year-old, and averaged a ticket a year until I was about 33. The last ticket I got was for an expired tag (just a week expired). I very rarely even feel the need to speed now. It's nice to not be in such a hurry all the time.

by Anonymousreply 11Last Tuesday at 1:55 AM

At least, tell us your age before you write your silver linings, eldergays. Surely, life must be different for someone in 40's vs. 60's.

by Anonymousreply 12Last Tuesday at 1:59 AM

[quote] The decrease in sex drive has been for me a blessing.

THIS!! Times 1000!

by Anonymousreply 13Last Tuesday at 2:00 AM

Just out of interest - how old are you all? You should post the number with your posts.

How old are you R2? That's very nice to have doors opened for you.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Tuesday at 2:01 AM

For me, no one tells you that you can also appreciate the beauty of aging. We don't all become these disgusting untouchables - particularly nowadays.

I'm glad my taste for men has aged along with me. Give me a man 45 or 55 any day over a twink. I feel sorry for those men who age but who are stuck in this lust for men in their early 20's.

Also, over 40, I appreciate people's personalities a LOT more. Kindness, forgiveness, being positive and open to new things - those are much more important than being the life of the party.

by Anonymousreply 15Last Tuesday at 2:03 AM

Another vote for declining libido. The raging male sex drive can get a young male in so many sketchy situations as I can attest to. Glad to be done with that.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Tuesday at 2:08 AM

I'm 74. Agree with everyone who say the lack of raging sex drive is a blessing. It used to consume my life. Looking back, based on what I did and with "whomever," surprised I'm still alive.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Tuesday at 2:13 AM

I'm 67, and I suffer fools far less easily than I did when I was young. I used to put up with a lot of stupidity from others, especially if they were hot men. These days, the first sign of that and I am like the wind.

by Anonymousreply 18Last Tuesday at 2:17 AM

Financial stability, it is a relief not having major financial obligations of a mortgage, car payments and credit card bills plus having money to do whatever. Once the pandemic is under control I will start to travel internationally again.

by Anonymousreply 19Last Tuesday at 2:26 AM

[quote] I care less and less what others think of me. As a lifelong people pleaser, this is a relief and a godsend.

I'm 63 and I agree with all of the above except this one. In fact, now that I'm retired and don't have a lot to do because of the pandemic, I find myself rehashing things I did and said 10, 20, 30 years ago. I was never a mean person and don't believe I did anything out of malice, but I did my fair share of stupid and thoughtless actions. The thought that I may have hurt someone, even inadvertently, fills me with regret.

I try to remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said "You wouldn't worry so much about what other people think of you if you realized how seldom they do" and tell myself what's past is past, but I'd love some advice for how you all are learning to forgive your youthful transgressions.

by Anonymousreply 20Last Tuesday at 2:29 AM

Here’s what I can’t believe: somehow, it all worked for me. I was miserable in my 20s and 30s and all the phony BS that was part of being young and that age. I leaned to actively avoid phony, superficial, bitchy, judgmental gay men. I had the looks, but not the job or the means. I spent so many years being chased after and rejected because I didn’t have the right job, car, live in the right apartment, etc. But I always new I would prevail. I walked away from all those types and surrounded myself with good people, regardless of what they looked like, what they did for a living, how much money they had, etc. And guess what! Here I am, in my 60s, happier than I ever dreamt I would be. I live life on my own terms, have great, reliable friends, enough money to live comfortably. I truly cannot think of one reason I would want to be young again.

by Anonymousreply 21Last Tuesday at 2:35 AM

i used to be enraged at political policies i disagreed with. Now, its like "Meh, I'll be dead in less than 20 yrs, who cares".

by Anonymousreply 22Last Tuesday at 2:40 AM

Every day I am more and more amazed and perplexed to be still alive. Life is great. Couldn't be better. but everybody, but one friend, I socialized with in the 80s/90/s are long dead and gone. And I'm no angel, did everything wrong. But am still here.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Tuesday at 2:45 AM

R2, I LOVE being called “sir” by clean-cut young white guys and “boss” by their darker brothers. Being tall helps.

by Anonymousreply 24Last Tuesday at 2:47 AM

And there's getting fellated by young guys calling me "daddy"

by Anonymousreply 25Last Tuesday at 2:54 AM

Happily surprised that young kids offer me a seat in the subway. Must be the full head of grey hair. Always decline, like to stand.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Tuesday at 3:09 AM

Late 40s here. I love not hitting the bars, being out til 3 am, and stumbling in the house drunk. 930 pm bedtime on a Saturday is fine by me.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Tuesday at 3:17 AM

[quote] Happily surprised that young kids offer me a seat in the subway. Must be the full head of grey hair. Always decline, like to stand

I kid you not, that happened to me for the first time at 62, when I was on my way to work after having sent my boss an email informing him of my intention to retire (I figured he'd read it on his way into work and we'd discuss it in person, which is exactly what happened).

It was like the universe was telling me "Okay, pops, it's time to call it a day."

I too, declined. My father always taught me 'When others are standing, a gentleman never sits on the subway'.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Tuesday at 3:25 AM

[quote]I'd love some advice for how you all are learning to forgive your youthful transgressions

I too have moments of sharp regret about bad behaviour - and tell myself I deserve the pain of that regret.

In attempting to forgive myself though, I tell myself that it's not improbable that I gave those people some pleasure too: it wasn't a dynamic of sheer sadism. Also, it's not improbable that they too didn't cause me, and others, dismay. They weren't saints either. It's a (literally) regrettable part of the human condition. I don't let myself off entirely, but attempt a broader perspective.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Tuesday at 3:31 AM

Another kudos to the OP. Great topic.

[quote] I'm glad my taste for men has aged along with me.

This is so true. I remember when I was younger seeing the question on a gay message board “Have your tastes in men changed over the years?” At the time I thought, no, and I doubt they ever will. I like younger guys. But you’re right, as you age, your tastes change. I hooked up with guys that I think (now) are hot as hell but wouldn’t have given a second look to years ago.

[quote] i used to be enraged at political policies i disagreed with. Now, its like "Meh, I'll be dead in less than 20 yrs, who cares".

Interesting since for me it’s the total and exact opposite. When I was younger I couldn’t give two shits about who the president was, or who my congressman was. After all, young, no taxes to pay, etc. It really didn’t have a direct impact on my life.

Now? Forget it. I’m all in and filled with rage sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Tuesday at 3:40 AM

As I get older, my political views have changed dramatically. I was a Republican when I was young. Then a Democrat for decades. Now, I’m none of the above, and I have a general loathing of all politicians. I care enough about politics to vote for people who are less likely to take away what I’ve worked for. Otherwise, the hell with all of them.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Tuesday at 3:53 AM

No pressure to go on the scary rides at the amusement park.

by Anonymousreply 32Last Tuesday at 4:01 AM

R20 I hear you. Most of my regrets have to do with being selfish and even cruel at times. Every now and then I get a flashback of my youthful stupidity and just cringe. Nothing to do really but be nicer now, think of others. It still counts.

by Anonymousreply 33Last Tuesday at 4:04 AM

R32, the scary rides give me nausea now

by Anonymousreply 34Last Tuesday at 4:05 AM

the ability get "cancelled" without effect.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Tuesday at 4:09 AM

People ignore you. You become invisible and that’s not always a bad thing. I find myself cutting off old friendships that have become toxic. And it feels good. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of my possessions and stopped buying clothes because I need less. My life is very simple now and I love it.

by Anonymousreply 36Last Tuesday at 4:12 AM

I'm glad I read this thread. My declining libido has been a source of anxiety for me, and even a little bit of depression. I suppose I identified myself as this always-performing top in the bedroom, and when that started to wane, it threatened my identity a little bit. Turning it on its head and thinking of it more as a relief/release feels great. I also found myself in some fairly sketchy situations when I was younger simply because my dick was hard.

Now I'm into birds, dogs, gardening, cooking, history, architecture, etc - much more worthwhile ways to spend time and energy than simply sticking my dick in a hole.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Tuesday at 4:16 AM

R34 I was always just petrified of the insane roller coasters etc. But when you're young, it's unthinkable to refuse to join your friends on the ride.

by Anonymousreply 38Last Tuesday at 4:23 AM

I'm just going to put a theory out there.

People who have been raised in the West seem to be very preoccupied with aging. Growing up in Asia, where the elderly are actually revered, I never witnessed elderly people acting like their lives were over because of their age. Back in the day, they had a strong network of family with whom many lived, they had a good social group with whom they would spend hours and chat, eat, gossip etc. My circle of friends from my youth couldn't give a crap about aging. We laugh about it, but none of us are trying desperately to look and act young. I think we're gorgeous in our golden years.

I think in the West aging is seen as something that is undesirable (newsflash, it's natural) and the media, with it's preoccupation with youth and beauty, certainly do not make it easier to age gracefully.

Having said all that (just turned 55):

1. Like mentioned above (several times), I don't care too much what people think of me

2. I don't worry as much about things as I used to. I wasted much of my 20's-30's worrying about EVERYTHING. I used to joke, I'm worried because I'm not, currently, worried about something.

3. Someone above mentioned financially secure. Same here, except for the past several months where I've been job hunting. Prior to that I was very comfortably off, financially.

by Anonymousreply 39Last Tuesday at 4:25 AM

[quote]Also, it's not improbable that they too didn't cause me, and others, dismay. They weren't saints either.

Thanks for saying that. For some reason, I don't harbor any ill feelings about people who treated me badly, whether it was an ex-boyfriend, a schoolyard bully, or a shitty boss, but I put a heavier burden on myself.

[quote] Every now and then I get a flashback of my youthful stupidity and just cringe.

Funny you should use the word 'cringe'. Last year I was going through a rough patch and couldn't stop (figuratively) beating myself up for drunken behavior I did over ten years years earlier. The way I got through it was to say 'cringe' out loud. For some reason, that allowed me to acknowledge my bad behavior and (temporarily) move past it.

Thanks R29 and R33. Somehow knowing I'm not the only one who has these feelings makes me feel better. A friend of mine blames my Jewish upbringing (although I've been an atheist for 40 years) for feeling guilty about everything.

by Anonymousreply 40Last Tuesday at 4:27 AM

Continuing from R39...

I love that people who are in the late 40's+ age range still have this thing called manners. Not trying to start anything here, but I love when you're in a room full of older people, everyone is polite and gracious and have amazing, AMAZING stories to tell about their lives.

Good manners are a HUGE turn on for me! However, I'm not sure how I'd react if I were offered a seat on the subway or bus (LOL). I hope I'd graciously refuse.

by Anonymousreply 41Last Tuesday at 4:32 AM

[quote] I don't worry as much about things as I used to. I wasted much of my 20's-30's worrying about EVERYTHING. I used to joke, I'm worried because I'm not, currently, worried about something.

Boy, I envy you.

I'm just the opposite. When I was younger, nothing bothered me, now, in my 60s, I worry about every little thing (and this fucking pandemic isn't helping matters).

Was it a conscious decision NOT to worry, or did you just gradually realize that worrying was a waste of time?

by Anonymousreply 42Last Tuesday at 4:32 AM

Agree with everything OP says! If it weren't for the physical aspects of aging it would be completely awesome!

You just don't get worked up about stupid crap the way you did when you were in your 20s-30s.

by Anonymousreply 43Last Tuesday at 4:35 AM

R42, that's an excellent question (the last paragraph of your post). I looked back on my life and realized that everything worked out eventually. That prompted me to just stop worrying about things that were not in my control. So, yes I suppose I made a conscious decision.

To quote (paraphrase) a cheesy quote from The Best Marigold Hotel: "everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it isn't the end!"

Yoga has also helped me with calming my mind. I'm serious. Just practicing conscientious breathing, if nothing else, certainly helps to lessen your emotional burdens (many self-inflicted).

by Anonymousreply 44Last Tuesday at 4:38 AM

[quote] To quote (paraphrase) a cheesy quote from The Best Marigold Hotel: "everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it isn't the end!"

Funny you mention that, as I was just thinking about that quote last night while I was sautéing some mushrooms. One flew out of the pan and landed on the stovetop. I popped it back in the pan and then started wondering if I was about to poison myself with any residue from the cleaner I used on the stovetop the night before (see how insane my worrying has become?). Not sure why I flashed back to that movie and that quote, other than I find Dev Patel absolutely adorable, but at least it made me laugh (and no, I didn't get sick for the errant mushroom).

Don't stop commenting R44, I find your wisdom comforting.

by Anonymousreply 45Last Tuesday at 4:49 AM

Thank you, R45!

by Anonymousreply 46Last Tuesday at 4:51 AM

[quote]I'd love some advice for how you all are learning to forgive your youthful transgressions

I don't have any transgressions of note to forgive, but I think some healthy part of that comes from looking to the present and the future.

A lot of people of all ages are trapped by looking too much to their past. But so far as doing something about it, what more can you do than to take inventory of the good things you have and be thankful for them? Use your maturity to be patient and understanding of others? Try to maintain friendships and acquaintances with different sorts of people of different ages? Try to challenge yourself to be more helpful to those same people? Try to stay engaged with the world and alert to the opportunities ahead and around you?

by Anonymousreply 47Last Tuesday at 4:57 AM

You figure things out, finally. Even little things like how to be properly organized at home. I think by the time one figures it ALL out, it's probably time to go. Alas.

by Anonymousreply 48Last Tuesday at 5:01 AM

The worry about past transgressions is familial, I think. My grandmother and father will replay past events like it’s today. Now my sister - in her mid 40s - is doing it. “Was I hateful to a kid in school?”

I have a tendency toward that, but I actively counter it with a “no one probably even remembers it happened”. And then it goes away.

by Anonymousreply 49Last Tuesday at 5:04 AM

[quote] You figure things out, finally. Even little things like how to be properly organized at home.

Oh good lord. I still haven’t figured that one out.

by Anonymousreply 50Last Tuesday at 5:10 AM

I guess I'm the only one who truly misses the sex drive of my youth. It gave me such a feeling of power and being alive. And I didn't feel the need at the time of prowling in bushes, bath houses and dunes. I certainly don't feel the need to make love to young man. But I loved being aroused and all the jacking off I used to do. Honestly I feel a real emptiness without it.

Also I was as strong as a horse(emotionally I was a mess) but I've had to have a couple of hospitalizations in the last several years so my body is beginning to fall apart and I hate hate hate my skinning turning into parchment paper.

Oh but you wanted silver linings. Ok a chance to have the time to finally sit and savor the music and films I've collected through the years and study languages.

by Anonymousreply 51Last Tuesday at 5:17 AM

I feel kind of differently.

I had a nice townhouse and a new BMW 3 Series about 15 years ago. Lost them both due to company closures.

I can't WAIT to get back to owning a house ($250-300K) and having a new BMW in the garage again.

At 56, I feel like I'm starting over and can't wait to get back to these things.

by Anonymousreply 52Last Tuesday at 5:19 AM

At 54, there's a definite ease to living that comes from having (finally!) learned lots of painful lessons in the earlier "carefree" days, from what not to say and do and think, to people and places to avoid...

For those agonizing over past errors, if you hadn't made them, you couldn't have grown from them, so be grateful they're done and let those worries go! And remember that everyone does stupid things when they're young.

Of course, more practically, being 54 rather than 24 means having the means and the sense to maintain, improve, and replace things (from houses to cars to our own bodies) before actual calamities occur.

by Anonymousreply 53Last Tuesday at 5:21 AM

R37- How old are you? I'm 55 years old and my libido is certainly not what it was at 32 but I look at naked men and or porn videos EVERY day. I have not had sex in 11 months because of Covid.

by Anonymousreply 54Last Tuesday at 5:37 AM

I lament my lost youth; coming of age in the era of AIDS sucked (figuratively); the message on the news each night was clear: Have sex. Die.

I'm older now and I'm thinking once the pandemic is over, I'll go out and have some safe fun.

But I'm also okay living in my apartment the rest of my life like this.

I have books, a SmartTV; I use social to reconnect with folks and try not to get overwhelmed.

Sure, there's been some decline in drive, but with the right guy I could still go to town.

by Anonymousreply 55Last Tuesday at 5:39 AM

I am very happy my libido is almost gone. Instead of looking at good looking guys and wondering if they might be potential partners, I now just appreciate their looks and move on to other more important thoughts.

I also have a much greater sense of empathy for other people, which is why I have become increasingly liberal in my dotage. And why I dislike people like R31, selfish libertarians who vote only for their own interests. When you get old, and all you care about are your own interests, you're not just old. You're pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 56Last Tuesday at 5:46 AM

Makes shoplifting so much easier. No one ever notices older white woman with sensible shoes.

by Anonymousreply 57Last Tuesday at 5:47 AM

[quote]For those agonizing over past errors, if you hadn't made them, you couldn't have grown from them

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."

by Anonymousreply 58Last Tuesday at 6:08 AM

Lots of good responses on here. I stopped worrying as much as well. An above poster asked if it was a conscious decision or just naturally flowed from aging and experience. For me, it was a bit of a combination of both. I used to worry about so many things. God, I don't miss that at all. I heard a saying in my 30s that worry is interest paid on a loan you may never take out. That struck me for whatever reason and suddenly it all made sense. I stopped wasting my time worrying. Also, life experience taught me that life is about ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Bad times pass, and so do good times. Most of the time, life is fairly neutral and a bit boring. I don't crave excitement all the time like I did when I was young. I've learned to just appreciate life in whatever state it's in.

R21, I'm glad you got to where you did. I learned fairly young to avoid the phony, superficial, and bitchy gay men. My first serious boyfriend was a lot older than me. He told me the gay community was full of wounded birds and the nastiness was just them lashing out because of their internal pain. It made sense and I still see it even today, although the younger generation of gay men are far less that way.

Like others, I narrowed down my friends to a core group. I got rid of the selfish ones who only wanted the friendship as one-sided--that is, with me giving to them and they never gave back. I started saying no a lot more to family and friends, and the selfish moochers naturally disappeared. They weren't getting what they wanted anymore.

R39, I loved your post. Even though my family is Western, aging was no big deal. We celebrated the birthdays of family members who hit milestones like 40, 50, 65 (retirement usually). My grandmother's 80th birthday was a huge celebration. I've never had the Western mentality when it comes to aging. As you wrote, it's natural and normal. Some of the gay men and straight women I've known just seem obsessed with staying young looking to the point of distraction. Interesting, straight men usually don't give a shit about that. I love the Eastern approach to aging. I learn so much talking to someone with experience, and their life stories are usually really interesting.

I care less and less about material things. I'm in a profession where a lot of people get into it for the money. I actually like what I do. I have a nice house but an old car. It runs fine and I don't need a new one. I don't need every new gadget or latest trendy thing. What matters is spending time with those I love, or spending time by myself or walking my dog in nature, which has such a calming effect. In general, I feel mostly as peace with who I am and where I am in life.

My sex drive has lessened, which is of course natural, but I'm partnered and we still have sex 2-3 times a week (both in our 50s). I don't crave it every single day like I did back in the day. But I was partnered and monogamous, so I never had a slutty period. I'd rather have sex with someone I love than some total stranger. I'm glad I never let my sex drive, which was high, rule my life.

by Anonymousreply 59Last Tuesday at 6:49 AM

I no longer need a fake ID to buy alcohol. Which is great since Bryan won’t even talk to me anymore much less supply the booze.

by Anonymousreply 60Last Tuesday at 7:00 AM

[quote] I'd love some advice for how you all are learning to forgive your youthful transgressions.

Maybe a bit of guilt is OK. Keeps you on your toes about how you currently treat people. (You never want to feel this way, guilty, again.)

by Anonymousreply 61Last Tuesday at 7:04 AM

I am better at delayed gratification. I can do something (figuratively plant seeds on a project), walk away from it, and hope for results. But I don't go nuts b/c I don't see immediate results.

by Anonymousreply 62Last Tuesday at 7:05 AM

When I go to sleep I never know if I’m gonna wake up which is nice.

by Anonymousreply 63Last Tuesday at 7:08 AM

[quote] Also, over 40, I appreciate people's personalities a LOT more. Kindness, forgiveness, being positive and open to new things

I wonder where you're seeing you those personality traits because its def not on DL

by Anonymousreply 64Last Tuesday at 7:10 AM

[quote] too have moments of sharp regret about bad behaviour - and tell myself I deserve the pain of that regret.

Regret? I regret nothing! I loved every minute of my debauched youthful behavior. And at my advanced age it still gives me great joy to think back to many of the situations I got up to back in the day. Granted some might find it off putting if I told them all, who, and where I did it, but I'm not going to because my private life is no one's damn business.

by Anonymousreply 65Last Tuesday at 7:15 AM

I'm a 62-year-old lesbian. I too lost my sex drive, but completely -- after I hit menopause. I have not had sex in 12 years, and have no plans to have sex or ever date again (no more dyke drama!! Hurrah!!). I finally really love and accept myself for who I am and I love living alone with my faithful little dog. I wonder now why I spent all those years believing that I HAD to be in a relationship. I'm one of those people who is truly much happier on my own.

I don't have much in the way of material possessions, but over the years, I've learned to do without. Still, I have everything I need and a few extras (my two motorcycles amongst them). I have enough money to travel economically and while my health is not the best, I'm still hoping I can hold to it on long enough to ride my motorcycle in Europe and Mexico.

I am finally calm and at peace.

by Anonymousreply 66Last Tuesday at 7:52 AM

Great thread. I am 70 and a couple observations - from reading this thread and my own experience.

There is not really a universal experience of "getting old".... it is individual. Generalizations are possible, but the specifics are more realistic. Individual experience of getting old is "karma", in a sense. The reality of cause and effect. If you've developed a positive, loving, open-minded, non-materialistic mind set - you will take that through to the end.

Having said that, (and this may seem contradictory), getting older provides time, space, data, energy, direction, experience... to live in these more spiritual ways, to develop habits and practices that open up to greater truth... more compassionate and loving and accepting ways to see others, to see the world.

It's this last that is sometimes called the "wisdom" of getting older.

I've enjoyed greater physical health now than when I was working 60 hours a week obsessed with the mission and objectives of my work. I hike 10-15 miles, 2 or 3 times a week.... because I have time, because that is what makes me happy, and I have "permission" to know and do what makes me happen.

I've experienced no diminishment of libido. My libido, however, isn't operationalized by an ego, by a warped psychology.... my psychology settles down in ways it didn't before.

Coming to a place again, and seeing it as if for the first time, ya know?

by Anonymousreply 67Last Tuesday at 8:21 AM

R64 A skewed sample, for sure. If you are kind and centered and happy, you're probably not trolling as much on social media.

by Anonymousreply 68Last Tuesday at 8:23 AM

Two things told me I had gotten old. First, I got pissed at kids complaining that they have to go to school 6-7 hours a day for 9 months. BooHoo. Try 40 hour work weeks doing deliveries in a shitty van with no AC in the summer in Virginia.

Second, a 12 year old looks at a candy display and wants everything. A 58 year old looks at it and says "That has too much chocolate and it will make my stomach hurt. Oh, that is too hard. It will destroy my teeth. I probably will not like that so it will be a waste of money.'"

by Anonymousreply 69Last Tuesday at 8:43 AM

I appreciate more the sacrifices my parents made in my behalf when I was growing up. And I’m grateful for my childless state which frees me from having to make sacrifices of a similar kind.

by Anonymousreply 70Last Tuesday at 9:03 AM

Thanks for posting, OP.

I feel much better about the prospect of reaching 85, like you did.

How long ago was it?

by Anonymousreply 71Last Tuesday at 9:05 AM

It's I COULDN'T CARE LESS you thoughtless dolt.

by Anonymousreply 72Last Tuesday at 9:17 AM

another silver lining is the Silver Sneakers gym program (or Sniveling Seekers, as i call it)

by Anonymousreply 73Last Tuesday at 9:18 AM

R69- Those two things did not tell you that you've gotten old , they told you that you've become a GRUMP.

by Anonymousreply 74Last Tuesday at 9:23 AM

R56- You say your libido is almost gone. How old are you?

by Anonymousreply 75Last Tuesday at 9:25 AM

Like many of you, my sex drive has decreased a lot (I’m 49). I sometimes get sick to my stomach thinking of all of the random strangers I drunkenly brought home from bars in my 20’s. I could’ve been killed.

by Anonymousreply 76Last Tuesday at 9:27 AM

I enjoyed my career and was afraid I would find retirement to be a bore, but I'm enjoying it much more than I had expected to and now wish I had retired sooner. The biggest silver lining for me is realizing how much I now enjoy and appreciate life's many small pleasures. Knowing that I'm not going to be around forever makes whatever time I have left a lot more precious.

by Anonymousreply 77Last Tuesday at 9:43 AM

I'll soon be 67, and other than being somewhat isolated because of the pandemic, I'm doing well. Having fewer distractions over the last year has given me time to reflect on past experiences. Sure I cringe as I remember past adventures but now realize that I wouldn't change a thing. All of these past adventures have made me who I am today. In my case, staying away from toxic friends and making more time for healthy relationships has been a revelation.

by Anonymousreply 78Last Tuesday at 9:44 AM

So much ... I love the feeling of confidence at work, stemming from years of experience, and thus also being able to stay calm when things go wrong. Really appreciating the beauty of nature rather than it just being a backdrop. Having learned the 2-3 colors and cuts that suit me, so shopping is much simpler. Realizing that now that time is going faster, any bad times also go by faster. As so many have mentioned, being young and hot and sexed up was great, but I don't mind having left the stormy relationships and anxiety and meat market behind.

by Anonymousreply 79Last Tuesday at 9:52 AM

[quote] First, I got pissed at kids complaining that they have to go to school 6-7 hours a day for 9 months. BooHoo. Try 40 hour work weeks doing deliveries in a shitty van with no AC in the summer in Virginia.

Actually, IMO, kids *do* have it worse. Remember, school is mandatory up til 15 or so. You're stuck in class (on the bus, etc.) with a bunch of assholes & teachers (who may be assholes as well). At least, as an adult, you can have some time to yourself, go smoke a cigarette, etc.

I would much rather be an adult working full-time than a kid going to school. Yes, I've had shitty jobs. Still would prefer working to school.

by Anonymousreply 80Last Tuesday at 10:06 AM

R79: “I love the feeling of confidence at work, stemming from years of experience, and thus also being able to stay calm when things go wrong.”

This is a great feeling. It is so hard to get younger team members to be able to step back, take a deep breath, and not panic (and send a stupid, rushed, angry email).

by Anonymousreply 81Last Tuesday at 10:08 AM

I think shitting is a lot more difficult now

by Anonymousreply 82Last Tuesday at 10:13 AM

I can tell some to fuck right off has become as natural as breathing.

by Anonymousreply 83Last Tuesday at 10:16 AM

[quote] I care enough about politics to vote for people who are less likely to take away what I’ve worked for.

Which means that you vote Republican, because that is their mindset, and the reason that the country has been as fucked up as it has been for the last 40 years.

by Anonymousreply 84Last Tuesday at 10:26 AM

I never know when I’m gonna die. Maybe tomorrow or later this evening

by Anonymousreply 85Last Tuesday at 10:29 AM

Nice thread. Want to give all of you a high-five.

Look after yourselves health-wise. It makes all the difference. I'm elder, I try and eat well and do moderate exercise. I'm not a health nut or fitness fanatic by any means. I've maintained the same weight and basic shape since I was young, have a degree of flexibility so I can at least touch my toes and I'm learning a new language to keep the brain happening. I've smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. That's my vintage. I still do this regularly.

I know what I'm like and I'm ok with it now. I'm moving to another country soon. I haven't been before, don't know anyone there but I'm doing it. It's still possible to have adventures later in life.

by Anonymousreply 86Last Tuesday at 10:30 AM

R76 age/wisdom will teach you to appreciate that you were not killed!

by Anonymousreply 87Last Tuesday at 10:32 AM

Getting older makes me grateful when ordinary things go smoothly, e.g., the store wasn't crowded, traffic was light, etc.

by Anonymousreply 88Last Tuesday at 10:34 AM

R59, thank you.

R86 that is wonderful! You are going to enjoy the adventure. How old are you, if I may ask?

by Anonymousreply 89Last Tuesday at 10:36 AM

I can use my bosshog sex toy to fuck my ass with ease nowadays.

by Anonymousreply 90Last Tuesday at 10:39 AM

R84: “ Which means that you vote Republican, because that is their mindset, and the reason that the country has been as fucked up as it has been for the last 40 years.”

I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. And I recognize that the fucking up of America was a bipartisan affair.

by Anonymousreply 91Last Tuesday at 10:42 AM

As I’ve always felt impending mortality since I was 17, I regret that I didn’t live carelessly and without worrying about death when I was young. Perhaps part of what has kept me alive so long but there is a sadness at youth lost. Having always felt old and acted with an appreciation that I could die tomorrow, age seems like a time to breathe and realize I might actually live to retirement - offset by living in constant fear of running out of money. I guess the main change is I feel “I made it to old age”. Meh.

by Anonymousreply 92Last Tuesday at 10:55 AM

It doesn't matter anymore how I dress. I could go to the supermarket wearing slippers and a coat over my pajamas and not shave for 4 days. Who cares?

by Anonymousreply 93Last Tuesday at 10:56 AM

There is no measure of my dismay that none of you old queens got the right answer to this...

(My apologies about the link. I tried TinyUrl links to gifs. It none worked. Hopefully you get the drift)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 94Last Tuesday at 11:19 AM

[quote] Material things mean less and less. Sure, they're still nice, but relationships and experiences are more fulfilling.

True, OP, but that's the cruel irony. When you're older you can now afford more material things, but forming relationships is much harder.

by Anonymousreply 95Last Tuesday at 11:19 AM

[quote] I think shitting is a lot more difficult now

Metamucil and prunes will sort you right out.

by Anonymousreply 96Last Tuesday at 11:59 AM

r57, as someone who used to work undercover security at department stores, I can assure you, you will be caught. White, older women were one of the largest demographics of shoplifters when I worked it. I would watch an elderly woman more than a younger sketchy looking kid any day because white women who shoplift think they are being sneaky when they aren't.

FYI, if you bring an empty bag and put shit in it and walk out, that's no longer a misdemeanor, it's a felony.

by Anonymousreply 97Last Tuesday at 12:10 PM

Might sound weird, but after getting age-related cataracts removed, I finally, after 58 years of wearing glasses, see with 20-20 distance vision.

by Anonymousreply 98Last Tuesday at 12:28 PM

I'm with r5.

by Anonymousreply 99Last Tuesday at 12:29 PM

Sex with hot guys is not a priority

by Anonymousreply 100Last Tuesday at 12:30 PM

R86, Please tell us where! Living vicariously is another perk for me!

by Anonymousreply 101Last Tuesday at 12:32 PM

[quote] Might sound weird, but after getting age-related cataracts removed, I finally, after 58 years of wearing glasses, see with 20-20 distance vision.

Yes, I've only ever heard good things about cataract surgery. Good for you, R98!

by Anonymousreply 102Last Tuesday at 12:33 PM

R80 is correct. Especially as a gay kid in the 70’s. My life at home and school was a living hell, and I had absolutely no control over it. It is the worst feeling in the world. I can now cut off asshole family members and people who I dislike (I’m self employed for a reason). I can set my own hours, for the most part. I wouldn’t go back to childhood for anything in this world.

by Anonymousreply 103Last Tuesday at 12:35 PM

Everyone gives up his seat for you in buses and trains

by Anonymousreply 104Last Tuesday at 12:41 PM

R93 I've finally figured out my personal "style," such as it is. I've learned not to decorate, but rather to surround myself with things I like. And I've learned the secret to being cool is to not try to be cool. Wish I'd realized all this much sooner, of course.

by Anonymousreply 105Last Tuesday at 1:08 PM

I’ve got style and lots of $.

by Anonymousreply 106Last Tuesday at 1:23 PM

I'm 71. I find it easier to forgive people because I don't want to carry any of that crap with me to the other side.

For those that worry about earlier indiscretions. There is no such thing as a mistake, only learning experiences. Did you learn anything from it? Did you change so you didn't do anymore? Are you sorry you did them? If you're sorry, you have already asked yourself for forgiveness, now just forgive yourself because no one can do it for you.

I was always grateful for the time period I lived in, (could have done without Trump and covid though) but even though I loved the music of the 60'sand 70's, I still love the music of today. Music is everything and I have loved most of it. I didn't like "crying in your beer" country western but do like the newer kind. I never liked Jazz, and didn't like heavy metal but I loved everything else from religious to classical to rock to bluegrass, rap, etc. Music is invigorating.

Things that were so important in earlier years just don't matter anymore.

by Anonymousreply 107Last Tuesday at 1:47 PM

I’m 56. I turned 18 in 1982. My “prime” years passed amidst AIDS and rampant hostility against gays.

I never thought that I would live to turn forty.

Alas, here I am. My husband and I have been together for more than twenty years. We are relatively well off. We have a tween daughter. And two dogs.

I do not hold my tongue any more. When something is bullshit, I call it bullshit, whether it’s at work, my kid’s school, or a church vestry meeting. Of course, there can be blowback. One of my mantras is, Don’t ask a question whose answer you do not want to know.

Most people in my field consider me an expert and many younger folks seek advice, even if they’re at a different school. I enjoy being capacitated to do this and to help out young colleagues. I wish I’d had such a mentor when I was coming up.

I stopped “dressing to impress” long ago. I wear what is appropriate, but nothing uncomfortable. This might spring from job security as much as age, but it is nice.

by Anonymousreply 108Last Tuesday at 1:47 PM

I can shit and piss my pants and someone will clean me up. It’s great.

by Anonymousreply 109Last Tuesday at 1:49 PM

[quote] Oh, that is too hard. It will destroy my teeth.

If you’re using teeth, you’re doing it wrong.

[quote] have a degree of flexibility so I can at least touch my toes

Very important to a top like me.

by Anonymousreply 110Last Tuesday at 2:05 PM

Hunky young men sometimes help me cross the streets

by Anonymousreply 111Last Tuesday at 2:09 PM

I turn 67 this year. My libido (and erections) remain fairly strong. Two things that have changed: I no longer feel driven to ejaculate 4-5 times a week, once or twice is fine. Most times the sensation from cumming feels wonderful, but occasionally the sensation feels "short circuited" as ejaculation begins. This used to happen to me a couple decades ago when I was taking antidepressants for panic disorder.

I find myself less bothered by most of life irritants, but a few really set me off.

by Anonymousreply 112Last Tuesday at 2:14 PM

Age has taught me that no matter how they seem...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 113Last Tuesday at 7:52 PM

Each time I learn that someone who wronged me in life dies is a plus.

by Anonymousreply 114Last Tuesday at 7:57 PM

I would posit that a “silver lining” OP is trying to pry from us geezers is more some perspectives, context and insights instead of the inevitabilities of age that y’all are trying to pass of as the former.

You’re 71? Don’t feel the need to wear flashy clothes and peacock yourself any longer? Or can FINALLY squeeze into those Mylar pants you’ve hung onto for 40 years and want to strut? Fine. Not a silver lining. At least not for OP, or since I’m unsure how old he is, at least not for the younger gaylings.

Context and experiences are everything. I just helped my niece regroup and frame negotiations for a new job’s salary and benefits. No one helped me do that 25 years ago. I just took what I got. Silver lining? Not just helping her get that outcome, but most importantly teaching her she’s worth it.

Imagine what this world would be if we stopped hanging onto our own personal secrets of how we got through life (to a particularly high level of success) and shared it with those who will hold and control our futures! Of course, there will always be Millenials saying “ok Boomer,” but fuck them if they won’t listen.

Our silver linings shouldn’t be a reflection of how great we turned out, what only we have learned, or the times we had that no one else will ever be able to access (death of culture, degradation of environment, purely illegal now, etc....) Our silver linings should be a lesson we teach to those we love and can go forth and multiply those linings/lessons/love throughout the world.

by Anonymousreply 115Last Tuesday at 8:14 PM

Living passed 60 is living the dream. You made it. Look at all those who didn’t. Gone too soon.

So it doesn’t really matter if you are living in a van or under an overpass or in a mansion because you made it! You got the chance to live a full life. Surely that is a silver lining.

by Anonymousreply 116Last Tuesday at 8:20 PM

My dick is wider when flaccid. Also, it doesn’t do the shape-shifter shit as much anymore - button, mushroom, roll of nickels, or sleepy mouse.

I can obtain what I want, but I have to be honest about whether I’m willing to maintain it.

And finally, I’m starting to understand the perspective of Uncle Bottoms who will help you into your grave. That might be fun.

by Anonymousreply 117Last Tuesday at 8:37 PM

R115 is worth going back to read if you initially blew past it based on a cursory glance of the first two paragraphs.

by Anonymousreply 118Last Tuesday at 9:16 PM

One silver lining of getting older is knowing I’ll be dead soon.

by Anonymousreply 119Last Tuesday at 9:27 PM

R115, Did you actually read the OP's own examples?

by Anonymousreply 120Last Tuesday at 11:38 PM

R118 = r115.

by Anonymousreply 121Last Tuesday at 11:38 PM

I had a friend from kindergarten to when he graduated and then we were roommates for a while. We were very good friends and could talk for hours did things together and occasionally traveled together. He married a woman we were both friends with in high school but a number of years later married another woman who had him cut off all his old friends. At this same moment he inherited his fathers fortune and became a multi millionaire and built an estate in CT. His completely cutting me off caused me enormous pain and it was truthfully a burden making feel I was completely worthless and the fact I would never pass those friendly times we passed together again caused me grief. You can't replace a friend like that whom you shared a lifetime with.

He died at 44 of a heart attack. I was enormously shocked but felt not the least bit sorry for him. It made me feel so much better. The specter of his enjoying his traveling the globe and enjoying his new circle of rich CT friends as opposed to poor financially strapped me suddenly no longer mattered. The burden lifted. I am now an elder gay and he has been dead a long time. I thank whatever for releasing me from the bondage of his rejection. I hate to say it but it was one of those awful moments where one says 'God is good to me!' And I don't even believe in God.

by Anonymousreply 122Last Wednesday at 12:12 AM

Thanks, OP, for starting this thread, and thanks to the many wise, thoughtful responses. At 61, I find myself increasingly aware just how precious time is, and I'm much more judicious about how I spend it. In the past I spent way too much time hanging out with tiresome, boring people who only wanted to talk about themselves or otherwise be the center of attention. Without those people in my life, there's now so much more oxygen in the room, and I can now focus on the family relationships and friendships that really matter to me.

by Anonymousreply 123Last Wednesday at 2:55 AM

Great thread,OP.

I’m starting to fall in love with some of you geezers! ❤️

by Anonymousreply 124Last Wednesday at 3:37 AM

And we you, r124.

by Anonymousreply 125Last Wednesday at 3:39 AM

I have zero fucks left to give, it's liberating!

by Anonymousreply 126Last Wednesday at 4:10 AM

They make little blue pills for that now.

by Anonymousreply 127Last Wednesday at 4:45 AM

R115 In these golden years I've grown to recognize the toxic nature of my ego. I am not the center of others' universes. I avoid comparing my inside to others' outsides. I accept who I am now, while also open and grateful to who I am becoming. I've let go of the idea that I need to "teach others" about who they need to be, what they need to do.

by Anonymousreply 128Last Wednesday at 6:10 AM

Kind of harsh, r122. People go through different stages in their lives. They sometimes grow apart. It isn’t healthy to hold that much hostility (being happy that someone is dead).

by Anonymousreply 129Last Wednesday at 10:45 AM

As others have mentioned, many gay men who are 60 years old (plus or minus a few) never expected to live this long. So in a sense, we're having to make it up as we go along.

The sad truth is that there were times (for me, perhaps for others of the same age, nearly 60) that I didn't want to live this long. I didn't want to live to age 30.

It's hard for today's young networked, digitally native gays to imagine that in the first 20 years of your life:

1. Next to no one even dared to mention the word "gay," even though you had internalized the concept as a youngster. Nonetheless the words sissy, fag, faggot, homo, pansy and queer were hurled by bullies without resulting in any discipline or consequence.

2. There was no internet, or any ready source to find out anything about being gay. If you dared to conduct research in the library (with the accompanying terror of being caught with one of "those" books), you'd find that being "homosexual" was a mental disorder.

3. There were no "online communities," where a young gay person could anonymously connect with others having the same feelings, questions and pain.

4. There were no "straight/gay alliances," or anything of the sort. You're basically on your own (and finding "someone else" often came with great peril of physical or emotional harm). Good luck with all of that.

5. The only gay man you ever read about in the news (the only AIDS back then was Ayds weight-loss candy..."I've always wanted to lose weight, and now with Ayds I can!") was in a Time magazine issue lying on the coffee table in your parents' living room, if they dared display it at all. The cover story described the ordeal of someone who honorably served in the military (Leonard Matlovich) and then was discharged after "revealing his homosexuality" (or "coming out," which sounds more benign in hindsight). Message received: keep your mouth shut.

6. As you finally reach college age, a terrible disease about which scientists know little and about which most politicians care little, begins to devastate gay men. No one knows exactly what caused this disease, how it was transmitted, or who had it (although in the latter case, the disease helpfully marked some gay men with giant purple splotches or a gaunt, nearly-wasted-away body). It would be years before definitive information, much less an effective treatment, would come to light. So good luck as you furtively explore your true sexual nature, usually anonymously.

7. If you make it out of high school or college and into a career, you must keep your sexual orientation secret or risk being fired immediately, with no legal recourse.

So live through all of that, come out (not as a teenager but years or decades later in life), figure out what kind of life you'd like or are able to have, and then try to live it.

Small wonder that the "older years" after retiring from the workforce, losing many "friends," especially men, whom you managed to summon the courage to come out to only to be insulted and permanently rejected, finding someone more or less your age who wasn't already "killed off" to try to form some semblance of domestic life that most Americans, well over half, including many or most members of your extended family, thought was heinously immoral, and (assuming you do find that relationship), have no medical coverage, bereavement leave, or any other workplace benefits for your partner (relegated to "partner" status because "marriage" was illegal, if not unthinkable), and avoiding death or serious injury from a gay-bashing (which, in any event, wouldn't usually result in any legal action against the assailants).

Considering all of this, are there "silver linings" to getting older? Why, yes, as it happens, there are.

by Anonymousreply 130Last Wednesday at 1:01 PM

R130 Thoughts and prayers, hon. Call me if it gets worse.

by Anonymousreply 131Last Wednesday at 3:06 PM

You care less about suppressing farts in public.

by Anonymousreply 132Last Wednesday at 3:17 PM

It might be the change in air pressure, but I fart incessantly on airplanes. The ambient noise masks (most) sounds, but every once in a while, the smell is noxious.

by Anonymousreply 133Last Wednesday at 4:21 PM

I'm nearly 60 and I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been in my life. I'm content. I don't think very many young people are. They're always searching, always wanting more, never satisfied.

by Anonymousreply 134Last Wednesday at 4:36 PM

I in no way wanted him dead. It didn't even cross my mind. His death was such a sudden shock but after It happened suddenly then it did not matter what he thought of me. I said it was awful but it was an unexpected release for me.

by Anonymousreply 135Last Wednesday at 4:40 PM

R133- You are SO uncouth. It's not FARTING it's PASSING WIND.

by Anonymousreply 136Last Wednesday at 4:43 PM

R130 Every thing on your list rang a bell. Here I am, 76, been through the gay life, and glad the hormones are finally settling down to where I have some control of my life. If not downright boring at times, at least I feel safe in the fact I’m not chasing dick and screwing up my life in that pursuit. I always liked them young, but can no longer support that daddy lifestyle living off my social security and dipping into savings once in a while. My folks both lived to be 95, and that seems too long to live for me. Always looking for some purpose to pursue to help make the days pleasant.

by Anonymousreply 137Last Wednesday at 4:57 PM

Almost 40 here but I feel much more content than I did in my teens and 20’s. I am much more comfortable with myself, have been out for over twenty years now and have worked to have close relationships with family, friends and a partner of ten years. I used to feel very anxious and worry about my future and what people thought of me.

by Anonymousreply 138Last Wednesday at 5:02 PM

I wake up every morning knowing I'm one day closer to death.

by Anonymousreply 139Last Wednesday at 5:40 PM

I used to regret a lot. Mostly shit that I didn't do - "nothing's worse than a missed opportunity". Took years to figure out that time & energy spent regretting a missed opportunity is much worse. It's a distraction from the ability to appreciate. I see mid-lifers ruled by fomo, and want to convey.

by Anonymousreply 140Last Wednesday at 5:56 PM

[quote]I wake up every morning knowing I'm one day closer to death.

But you're also further away from it than you'll ever be again!

by Anonymousreply 141Last Wednesday at 5:57 PM

I'm 103 but still look like I'm in my twenties.

by Anonymousreply 142Last Wednesday at 7:27 PM

R138 where you are in life right now is true maturity. You’re prioritizing what is actually important and meaningful. Kudos!

by Anonymousreply 143Last Thursday at 4:11 AM

R141, I hope I run into you sometime, maybe in line for coffee. For your sake though, I just hope you’re behind me in that line.

by Anonymousreply 144Last Thursday at 6:00 PM
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