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Growing older gets a bad rep, with a lot of stereotypes and negativity about ageing. True, it might not always be a fun process, but it’s also a celebration of getting wiser, having more confidence, and having a greater sense of self that comes with age.
We get real women of different ages to share what they didn’t expect to love about getting older.
“The heightened awareness of how the things that I fixated on didn’t matter, and grounding in self-acceptance.” — Kendra Ng, 30, assistant vice president
“The fact that you really do care less. And having lesser friends, too.” — Ang Peng Lin, 28, experience designer
“My body. It’s sh*t now, but it’s been through a lot. Guess every scar is a story when I’m senile.” — Hezratilah Hamzah, 29, former student care teacher and stay-at-home mom
“That I stopped chasing material goods. Luxury goods felt like an achievement when I was younger. But as I grow older, I’m more into keeping myself fit. I’ve taken up diving, boxing, and have run marathons. I even went on a 16 hour-long hike up Indonesia’s Mount Merbabu. These achievements are so much better than earning money to buy a bag.” — Serina Tham, 51, in the food service industry
“Myself. I always thought getting older just meant getting your life together, earning more, knowing how to adult and so on. But the unexpected part of getting older was learning to love and accept myself with all my imperfections and mistakes, and being kinder to myself.” — Melody Bay, 30, writer
“My outlook on life. As I age, I am less concerned about what others think about me, and am more inclined to do things that make me happy – even simple things like laying in bed and doing nothing, which is something I would not have done in my younger days without worrying.” — Jennie Fok, 59, marketing personnel
“Enjoying the simple things like tending to my plants, and realising that I don’t need a lot. It was a lot about the money in my earlier years – I dedicated a majority of my time to my business, and was always on the plane for business trips. Now, I work from home (even before the pandemic), and read or take walks during my leisure time. I’m also less hot-headed, calmer and more open-minded about many situations than I would have been when I was younger.” — Kristine Lee, 63, in the automotive industry
“I didn’t expect to grow strong both physically and emotionally. I started doing yoga in my 30s, and was hooked by how much more aware I became of my body. I managed to do things I didn’t expect my body could do! Pushing your body’s limits helps in making it stronger. I’m also emotionally stronger as I now take on two roles — a mother and a daughter. I’m responsible for being a role model to my kids and a caregiver to the elders; I’m no longer affected by other people’s angry words said on the spur of the moment. I focus on being more patient and forgiving.” — Celeste Phua, 35, brand strategist at Homestolife
“I feel like I know myself better, what I like, what I don’t and what I do well. This gives me more confidence. I’m also more comfortable with saying no to people and situations.” — Melissa Tan, 41, logistics manager
This story was originally published on Nov 3 , 2020 on The Singapore Women’s Weekly.