Refiring your next season – 8 things to look forward to as you grow older

In a world obsessed with youth, it’s easy to overlook the advantages that come with the passing years. But if we stop worrying about the wrinkles, greying hair, forgetfulness and aches and pains associated with growing older, we find many surprising benefits.

1. Fewer Responsibilities
Firstly, there’s a wonderful sense of freedom, as the responsibility of providing for children and carving out a career fade. As an elder, your time is more your own. You can do whatever you want to do, rather than always having to take into account other people’s preferences.

Tune the TV into your favourite channel, instead of having to watch programmes the family would choose. Or turn the TV off and read a book instead, if that’s what you’d prefer. Have what you want for dinner rather than catering to the likes and dislikes of everyone else. Dine on popcorn and fruit salad if you like! Or eat your dinner at 3pm and enjoy a lazy evening.

Routines established for a young family no longer matter. As an elder, you have the freedom to do what you prefer.

2. Self-acceptance
As you get older, you no longer feel the pressure to be like everyone else – whether it’s wearing the latest fashion or owning the newest electronic gadget. Remember those days of constantly worrying about what others think? Well, say goodbye to that!

With age comes self-assurance. You start caring less about the opinions of others and more about living life on your own terms. Getting older is the ticket to self-acceptance and the ability to stop ‘sweating the small stuff’.
Along with self-acceptance comes a greater tolerance towards others. You no longer feel the need to correct them (even when you know they are wrong). Instead, you begin to understand that being right is less important than enjoying a peaceful existence.

Of course, you must continue to stand up for what you believe in, but a lot of arguments and bad feelings are caused by arguing about things that don’t really matter. As an elder, you’re more inclined to just let them be.

3. Less fear of failure
The younger ‘you’ may have avoided certain situations or activities for fear of failure. But as you get older, at the back of your mind is the realisation that you are not going to live forever. Time is running out to try things you’ve always wanted to do – whether it’s painting a picture, skydiving, or learning to play a musical instrument.

Tafta’s wellness centres offer many opportunitities to learn crafts, games like bridge and chess, or participate in sports. What’s the worst that could happen? Not that you won’t be good at it, but that you won’t enjoy it – in which case you can move onto something else.

try new activities

4. Wisdom
Older people have a wealth of lived experiences, which are key to increased emotional intelligence – the ability to control emotions and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. You are likely to make better decisions as an older person, and are better able to withstand stress.

You’ve weathered storms before and come out stronger on the other side, and that gives you the confidence to accept whatever comes your way, secure in the knowledge that you will get through it.


5. Lifelong memories
As an older person, you’ll have a treasure trove of memories that you can look back on and enjoy again and again. Think of all the places you’ve been … the people you’ve met … the precious moments – such as the birth of a child – that can never be taken away from you.

Whilst we’re not suggesting you live in the past, there’s no doubt that having a wealth of pleasant memories to call upon can help brighten the darkest day.


6. Pensioner discounts
It might not seem like a lot, but who doesn’t enjoy getting into shows and exhibitions at a reduced fee? You may also be able to save on public transport and travel. Plus, many stores have ‘pensioners’ days’ where you can save 5% on everything you buy, which is a real bonus in these times of skyrocketing grocery prices. Even stores that don’t have a dedicated pensioners’ day may offer discounts to elders if you ask.

7. Being satisfied with less

It’s said that there are three stages in life: wanting stuff; acquiring stuff; and getting rid of stuff! In later life, many people start shedding possessions that no longer seem important. You may find you need fewer clothes, especially after retirement. You can swop the business suits and fashionable shoes in favour of something more casual and comfortable.

It’s also time to critically look at kitchen and other gadgets and admit that you’re probably never going to use some of them. So why have them? De-cluttering can bring enormous satisfaction, and is often necessary if you plan to ‘down size’ your home when you are older.

Consider donating unwanted household goods, clothing and furniture to Tafta. Contact Nelly on 031 332 3721 or email

8. Taking life more slowly
In a world that’s constantly go, go, go, there’s something wonderfully liberating about being able to take things at a more leisurely pace. No one expects you to compete in the rat race any more. You’re free to enjoy a stroll along the promenade or spend a lazy afternoon lost in a good book. You can savour each moment without feeling rushed.
You also have more time to spend with friends and loved ones, which leads to increased happiness. You may well find that your golden years are the best time of your life!