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The ageing adventure

THERE ARE many age milestones in life – turning 18, turning 21 and, for most people, turning anything that ends in a ‘0’ is a big event.

Journey spoke to some young people about how they viewed ageing.

Jane Moad, 27, said she was enjoying getting older.

“Whilst 30 seems like a big milestone that I don’t want to acknowledge, I’m actually enjoying the rites of passage that go with getting older, such as getting married, buying a house, planning for the future and making grown up decisions,” she said.

“I’m constantly learning about life.”

Dean Bird, 25, said he wasn’t worried about the ageing process. “I worry about the future more then I worry about getting older,” he said.

“I worry that I will get to heaven and there will be a list of things I was meant to do before I got there and I worry that my age will prevent me from being a good parent (when that happens).”

Thirty-three-year-old Michelle Cook remembers how she used to view ageing.

“I can remember being 16 and thinking ‘Wow, 22! That is so old’! When I got to 22 I thought – ‘Am I an adult now? I don’t feel like an adult. Maybe I will when I am old, like 30?'”

Ms Cook said ageing only scared her when she thought of her grandmother. “I think of how lonely my Nana was after her husband died.”

With age comes responsibility and Vanessa Curtis, 33, certainly understands that.

“When I was young all I wanted was to be older so I could have the ‘freedom’ it seemed all adults had … Now that I am older, I wish I was back at school,” she said.

Eighteen-year-old Rachel Richardson agreed.

“Now that I’m an adult, I see that you actually hit an age where you start to lose the ability to do things independently.

“We should live each day in the present so we don’t miss the opportunities that we can only have at our current age.”

Despite the age difference, all of these people respected the wisdom of their grand parents, parents and elders.

Fourteen-year-old Jared Ross certainly does. “I see my grandparents getting wiser about things every day,” he said.

Dean Bird said, “I think that as a society we don’t take the time to use the wisdom of people who have a life time of knowledge.”

Even when grandparents are no longer with us, their lessons can still be relevant. Ms Cook said she learnt a lot from her grandparents.

“Their way of life was so different to mine, but family and taking time over relationships were really important. This is something I try to remember when I am rushing about trying to get things done.”

Faith was one thing that everyone said they thought had changed for the better with age.

Jared said his faith grew as he aged. “It gets stronger and stronger every day,” he said. Ms Richardson agreed.

“You may grow closer to God and have a stronger faith as you get older, because you would’ve lived through various situations and struggles and realised what life is like with and without God.”

Mr Bird said he now has a better understanding of faith and its implications on his life.

“My faith is growing stronger as God continues to confirm his presence within my life. I also think that as a child my faith was dependent upon my parents’ faith.”

For Ms Moad her understanding of faith has changed.

“Some things you understand better, other things become less important. I think you also know yourself better – the way that God has gifted you and where he is calling you to be in life.”

As a parent, Ms Cook is glad her toddler will get older, but doesn’t think her personal view on ageing has changed.

“I think ageing is a good thing really. I feel more confident in myself and my abilities (most of the time),” she said. “Aging is like an adventure.”