Growing older is a blessing and a curse. There are a lot of surprising factors that come with it – it isn’t just gray hair and wrinkles. So what can you expect in the future? Reddit users gave their answers – and you can learn from their experiences, no matter if you’re 12 years old or 85.
Check out the link at the end of the article if you wish to read more.
That you can often prevent, but rarely go back. It applies to skin, joints, and many other issues.
Try as you may, you’re never fully prepared for your parents to get older. Somehow I still half expect my mom to be able to do certain things and it’s disheartening that she can’t. Even more so that she lacks the ambition and drive to do much. Mortality sucks, basically.
When you start to know your parents as just regular people instead of parents. And they’re growing old.
My parents recently took me to where they have reserved their burial plots. The area is stunningly gorgeous, in the Colorado mountains, but the whole thing made me sad. Dad joked about him and Mom spending all of my inheritance money in the next 10-15 years. I looked at him and said, “Do it.” I want them to enjoy themselves, and that makes me happier than thinking about whatever money/stuff I’ll get when they pass on. Crap, their growing old still hits me in the gut.
Teeth. Take care of your teeth because it’s painful and expensive work if you need your whole mouth worked on just because you didn’t brush your teeth twice a day.
My knees dying on me. I played a least one season of soccer from age 4 to 22 every year and then some small leagues once I hit 24. Now sitting at 40 my right knee sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispy’s if I bend it just right.
Now that I can afford to eat and drink as much as I want, I can’t because it’s too unhealthy for me.
Saw a bumper sticker that summed it up nicely: “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
31 is the new 13 – you’re gonna get pimples again and they’re gonna be hideous.
That grey/white head hair isn’t the same texture as the rest of your hair. More like the hair ‘downstairs.’
Randomly growing hair on your chin/neck. One day you see this big black hair and try and brush it off… ‘oh’ you think, ‘its stuck’ so you try and pull it off, then you realize its GROWING OUT OF YOU!
From then on it’s all downhill… every day you pull out half a dozen with tweezers, sometimes the resulting pores get infected and you end up with spots like a teenager.
Then there are the ones that are not quite long enough to tweeze, just below the skin, do they look like a blackhead on fairer skin. And then you end up gouging a small hole in your face just to get it out, which then scabs over…
There, that’s better.
Even the most unlikely of your friends to get married and have kids will do it and disappear eventually. If you’re not on that path, too, things get a lot more lonely.
Oh man, that special, horrible suffering that comes with your first official Adult Hangover. The tastes, the gnawing nausea, the searing pain of light, and then you remember you have to go to work, and feel like crap there, all day.
Then, later on in life, if you’re still stupid enough to drink stupid amounts of stupid booze, you get a visit by a new horror; the multiple-day hangover!
One of my scarier moments was the time I realized I was now stronger than my dad. We were moving some furniture and he took the heavier end out of habit, couldn’t lift it all that well, we switched sides after a few yards and I found I could lift that end just fine. We both knew what happened, but we never spoke of it.
This is a real moment for a lot of guys. When you are little, you want to be bigger and stronger than your dad, but when you eventually are, you kinda wish you weren’t.
The part where hurting yourself as a kid can have long term negative side effects. I played football in highschool only, had 4 concussions at least and busted both of my shoulders. Now in my late 20s I get migraines and the doctors said I have the shoulders you would find on a 80-90 year old man.
By my mid to late 30s they said I will need a shoulder replacement on both arms ideally. If I knew that when I was 14 I would’ve done theatre or math club or anything that didn’t involve physical violence. I can barely sleep now because of the pain, I’d rather know how to act and sleep instead of saying I played football, it was a waste of time and now it negatively affect me every day.
How much harder it is to get the same sense of wonder and joy out of small things. When I was little, the most insignificant stuff would bring a smile to my face without me even trying. Now as an adult, I feel like I have to actively try to put myself in a positive mindset in order to enjoy small pleasures in life. I fear this is something I’ll have to keep doing for the rest of my life.
The part where all those broken bones, torn ligaments, injuries that never healed correctly, imperfect posture, terrible lift form… all build up and then eventually explode as you get older. It sucks.
Now that I can afford the cool clothes, I’m too old (and out of shape) to wear it. And cars. I could afford something flashy, but now I’m more interested in my MPG and the safety ratings.
That there is no such thing as an “adult”.
You just grow older, and people expect more of you, and you do your best to make stuff work.
When you are old enough to say “when I grow up…” that is as “grown up” as you’re ever gonna be, and the rest is trial, error, and hard work.
The fact that I don’t feel older, it’s just that younger people seem even younger.
How fast time seems to start moving as you get older.
This may be gender-specific (I’m a woman), but how the perception of your looks changes as you age. In other words, by the mere fact that I am visibly aging at all, past a certain age I become inherently less attractive.
I would say that, up until my mid-20s and maybe past that, every year I seemed to get more attractive. I didn’t really change (I’ve always been pretty trim, with a good body, nice face, nice hair, etc.), but somehow I “grew into my looks.” I went from being someone who got a lot of attention but mostly bad, to someone who got a lot more attention, good and bad. Then as I got past 30, then 35, then 40, things changed a lot.
I was still dating when I was in my 30s, but it became much much harder. Again, I didn’t gain weight, go grey, or even have any wrinkles, but I did look like I was in my 30s rather than my 20s. And the men who were interested in me would get older and older with the passing years. First mostly guys 5 years older would be interested, then 10. (I did meet some men who were my own age, one of whom I eventually married. He continues to think I am good looking — he’s also not too hard on the eyes.)
This has also affected my work. I now work in the same place I did when I was in my 20s (left and came back about 15 years later), and it’s amazing to see how differently people, many of them the same people, treat me. When I was young, I often felt like I was the target of a lot of bad attention from the big men in charge. But I also didn’t realize that part of the reason they took me seriously (or acted like it) when they did was because they enjoyed having the attention and the approval of a young, pretty girl. As a woman in my early 40s now, it doesn’t matter that I wear the same dress size, have the same hair color and cut, almost the same face. I am still beautiful, but I’m old beautiful. I find these men take me less seriously than before, when I was a grad student, even with my big fancy PhD, publications, and grants now. Very odd.
It will continually take exponentially more disgusting porn to get you off.
The eyes. I wish I could have my younger eyes with no reading glasses. OH! And you know all of those metal concerts??? Tinnitus sucks!
Being “young” in your head but your body not agreeing with you. I occasionally get depressed (nothing serious) about it. I used to be an avid runner and beach volleyball player. Now my body refuses to let me do either of them.
Your body is going to hurt for no reason at all sometimes, and you’ll go to the doctor and they’ll tell you that everything is fine.
Finding friends as an adult is really hard.
You’re dumped into friends in your youth, because you spend so much time with this set of people in school, for several years. I was never particularly good at it then, but I have a hundred times the social skills now, and it is really damn difficult. If your coworkers don’t end up doing friendly things with you, you have to somehow, in between work, sleep, eating, and managing all of the other problems in this thread, go out intentionally to activities, repeatedly, trying to find people that don’t suck that also think you don’t suck, and then hope that you’re trying to become friends isn’t off-putting for them. You used to have 8 hours a day at school to do this, now you have to cram it into 1 hour, twice a week.
If you made good, valuable friendships in high school or college, hold onto them the best that you damn well can. Because replacing them is a daunting task.
Or at least it has been for me.
The hype for when you become an adult (turning 18) isn’t really that great. It gets more stressful and you are expected to be more responsible.
Your parents starting to decline physically, mentally, and “socioculturally”.
It’s not a sudden thing – it’s very gradual, almost like when you’re growing taller. You might see them less frequently, and maybe you see them once or twice in a year.
Physically, their appearance changes. Your dad’s hair is a little greyer, your Mum seems a little shorter. Your Mum gets that short haircut that old women sometimes get. Your Dad decides to give up on cutting down on bad food and trying to exercise. He sees little point in subjecting himself to hard self-improvement when he has his twilight years ahead, and feels like he’s earned the right to do what he wants – and this includes kicking on with his bad habits. You find you have to fix a busted hinge on a gate or replace a lightbulb because these are big jobs for your parents now.
Technology passes your parents by. You get your Mum an iPod to put the three albums she listens to on it, but she never uses it because she’s only managed to figure out how to play solitaire and manage her email on a $1500 Sony laptop and won’t know how to sync with iTunes. But when she was your age, you listened to music on the radio and recorded things on cassette.
You observe that your parents still look through the TV guide and plan to watch shows as they air on free-to-air TV, so you think Netflix and an Apple TV would make their lives easier, and so you set that up for them. Then you realize your parents don’t trust their cc details with anyone and still pay their bills in person, so you have to work hard to convince them it’s okay to give them to Netflix. Your Dad has somehow learned to stream everything for free on a site that’s bursting with ads and malicious links, so he has seen everything on Netflix in potato quality anyway – he doesn’t see the point in paying $8.99 a month but figures it will be good for your Mum. Your Mum burns through The Crown in two nights and when you tell her there isn’t a Season 2, she says “Well, what good is this Netflix anyway?”. Meanwhile, you’ve spent half a day googling the TV model, the soundbar model, and the Apple TV remote to write simple step-by-step guides for how to use them in tandem. You walked your Mum through the guides, and she seems to understand, but a couple of days later forgets and is back to watching something on Netflix with tin can TV audio quality bleeding out of the speaker. But to you, an Apple TV remote is discernible from a TV remote, is discernible from a soundbar remote. But your Mum watched the moon landing in 1969 at the house of the only person in the street with a TV – and it was black and white, with dials.
Then when you hear about gender fluidity or marriage equality, you hear your parents say things like “people just choose to be gay” or that “your generation loves taking offense”. But in their day gays were beaten or killed at worst and closeted at best, and society’s understanding of hormones and genetics and sexuality was very new. Your Dad tells you that the smartest thing you could do right now is to buy a house, and doesn’t seem to understand why you wouldn’t put yourself in a position where you could do that. But your Dad bought his first house when they were dirt cheap, you could leave high school and get a job, and the banks made darn sure you could afford to repay a loan.
Your Mum buys the paper every day and it’s a right-leaning rag that tells her to fear our culture being taken away from us by migrants who promote terror and will replace our entire legal system. You can’t convince her that migration has a net benefit for the economy and the probability of being involved in a terrorist attack is so low you’re more likely to be killed by the police or in a domestic violence scenario. Then you remember she never went to university and wasn’t taught probability in school because it wasn’t a subject women took.