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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Embracing the Quirks: Growing Older and Growing Bolder

Lately, my kids have been teasing me with observations that I'm getting "weirder" with age. This has me pondering a phenomenon I've noticed before: As people grow older, they often become more eccentric, seem to care less about expiration dates in the pantry, may overlook social cues, and sometimes snap more easily.


I took a dive into research to see if there's any truth to this. Turns out, there is.


Aging can come with an increased risk of mental health issues, including depression and erratic behavior. Those little personality quirks we all have... well, they tend to become more pronounced.


But why is that?


Imagine every year adding a pebble to your backpack. At first, it's barely noticeable, but over time, that weight adds up. Our souls work in a similar way. Each year adds layers of experience—sorrowful moments, losses, unfulfilled dreams, and let-down expectations. By the time we reach our 40s and 50s, our emotional backpacks are far heavier than in our youth.


The weight of time and accumulated life experiences can take a toll, often breaking us in unexpected ways. The coping tools we relied on in our younger years may no longer be enough.


Here's the silver lining.


The very pressures of life that can wear us down also have the power to build us up. If we choose to, we can transform our struggles into resilience training. This resilience can strengthen our perspective, patience, kindness, humor, and friendships.


The key is to proactively build our 'resilience reserves' to meet life's increasing demands. This means seeking out new ways to adapt, finding joy in the small things, and cherishing the connections we make.


Yes, my kids might be onto something. Maybe I am getting weirder—or, perhaps, I'm simply becoming more myself, with all the layers and nuances that life has painted on me. And that's not just okay; it's worth embracing.


Here is to growing older and growing bolder.

(P.S.  This article is dedicated to Chloe!)





Cover of book How To Raise Remarkable Kids Without Talking To Them


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