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What is it about getting older that terrifies you? Why does turning thirty or forty or fifty or seventy (!!) makes you depressed and anxious?

I'm standing in front of a restroom mirror, fixing my hair, and a thirty-something woman is groaning as she looks at her reflection. "I hate this," she says, speaking to no one in particular as she touches up her makeup. "No matter what I do, I can't look any younger." She crumples up the tissue she was using to blot her lipstick and turns to me as she tosses it in the wastebasket, saying "I don't know why God invented getting older. It's like some sort of cosmic bad joke, you know?" As she walks out of the restroom, I think "Well, it depends on your point of view."

The more you think getting older means getting useless, or worthless, and therefore un-wanted – by the opposite sex, by employers, anyone – the more depressed and anxious you will be. So instead, approach each milestone, whether that's thirty or forty or sixty or whatever, recognizing your increased value at this new point in time.

Lots of qualities only appear as you get older, like wisdom, patience, a sense of perspective, and understanding. Many other qualities like caring, a sense of humor, self-confidence also frequently increase with age. And no matter how old you are, find people older than you are, who can inspire you. Believe me, there are plenty of those around once you start looking! Then, you can actually look forward to each coming year.

Age is only frightening if you let it be. True beauty, grace and courage just get better over the years.

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