With every birthday surprise, surprise, we get one year older which is not a problem until you reach milestones above the big 4 0 and then it is viewed with trepidation.  But it shouldn’t be as  getting older is NOT as terrible as we think!  

It comes with untold advantages that you couldn't have ever imagined when you were frantically running around doing handstands, performing the Macarena on a loop, staying up all night and wearing neon micro ra-ra skirts and range of scantily clad underwear that flossed in an unforgiving fashion. (or was that just me?). 

It seems fair to say that if your biggest fear is getting older, then surely the  best thing that can happen to you is getting older. 

Like finding a cure for a particular anxiety; spiders/heights/clowns/flying etc; the most beneficial way to get over whatever it is that is freaking you out is to gain maximum exposure to it!  

So whilst the universe continues to play its part by applying time and gravity;  ageing is a hand we have all been dealt and one that no matter how many times we shuffle, it simply wont change!

Wouldn’t it be nice to imagine that in a perfect world, we will always remain the energetic wrinkle-free whippersnappers we were at 21, but with all the wisdom of being 40+.  This would certainly be a place  where we would find ourselves in a privileged position where important lessons of life have been learnt, our judgment is better, sharper, more finely tuned whilst still looking all fresh faced and gorgeous. 

But if physically in our twenties yet intellectually/emotionally in our forties, then the reality would be a little more complicated!  No doubt  we would probably be too cynical and painfully attuned to the risk inherent in everything we did so life would be very different! 

Staying up to the wee small hours would be an instant no-no, getting wasted would be a thing of the past and any caution making its way to the wind would be dragged back kicking and screaming whilst sensible contemplation prevailed! 

Never would we even dream of laying in the sun without Factor 500 and most likely we would spend our days dissecting food content and identifying what is not a healthy option! 

Being in your twenties is that period where you don’t know any better and your naïve enough to continue all those carefree stupid ways that the more mature individual waves a cautious finger at!  Even better you still bounce back from them.  Hangover – what hangover? 

However, and there is always a however; reality check - this cannot and should not last forever. Things do change when you get older, but it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom! 

Growing old can be done with style and verve where you can wow others to rethink the need to discover that mystical fountain of youth and be happy in embracing the ageing process and having positive mental attitude which is key. 

It is important to believe as the interplay of chronological age and physical health is much stronger than we appreciate.  We tend to associate getting old with dysfunction. A young person in poor health feels old, while an old person in good health feels young and active. 

But if you think young, have good genes, and take care of yourself, you'll probably feel and seem younger than you are. 

Regrettably most still have not found that sense of confidence or contentment with our ageing bodies within our anti-ageing world.  One that encourages us to exercise and eat our way to longer, healthier lives, but at the same time brainwashes us with a vast range of age-fighting weaponry, from wrinkle creams to collagen injections and cosmetic surgery for both sexes. 

Men too are worried about wrinkles!  Research has shown that nationwide men actually use the more traditionally feminine products such as bronzers and foundation to create the illusion of a more youthful appearance. Is it wrong for either sexes to help nature along, to try and slow down the ravages of time? 

What is it about ageing that makes our saggy, baggy, flabby skin crawl? Are we frightened of looking and feeling old because it reminds us that we're mortal?  

But old age as we now know it is very new, and doesn't look at all like it used to as people live longer and with greater independence and can plan their futures more actively.

Middle age also doesn't mean what it used to. Mid-lifers aren't set in their ways, instead it is a generation open to new ideas/experiences where the sense of potential and of discovery remains as they age. 

What we deem important for happiness tends to alter  greatly as we age.  We think fewer negative thoughts and life becomes simpler. In the fashion stakes it is true we care less about our appearance and more about our emotional well-being which is probably why corduroy trousers are so popular! 

And as physical attributes become a little less stunning, sex roles become blurred as men become more accommodating and emotionally expressive and women become more assertive in meeting their own needs.

Of course the downside to getting old is slowing down which is the main negative made worse by the intolerant attitudes of in the main younger people. It is factual people grow impatient and are vocal and unforgiving about others being slow, even though they too will one day experience the very same – Karma or just life – you decide! 

And of course no matter what your age, there are those that are positive/negative/happy or crabby but research shows most miserable people in later years are those who withdraw as engaging actively with others and remaining involved is essential – that’s when the world can be your lobster! 

It appears how old we feel depends very much on how young we wish to remain.