Growing Older – What Does That Mean, Actually?

Growing Older - What Does that Mean, Actually? © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved.

“Flowers do not worry about things like control or getting older. They entirely dedicate themselves to the flow of life.” -Stefanie Neumann

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Last week was my birthday. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to write about something that has been on my mind for a while, now.

What does growing older actually mean?

Not that I was afraid of it, or something. Yet, I notice changes about me, in me. And then, again, there are aspects that did not change at all.

Life is like a box of chocolates…

We’re not getting older, we’re getting better. … And also wiser in the best case.“

-Stefanie Neumann

the changes that I notice mainly have something to do with how I see the world and how I think things should” work.

For example, I look at my dreams and wishes from my youth as well as my twenties and notice, that the twenty year old in me is still waiting for them to come true. Then, I take a closer look and see:  They already are true. Just that they occurred entirely differently from what I had imagined. Most of these wishes and dreams did not descend from the heavens in a dazzling ray of light nor did they announce themselves with a brilliant fanfare when they came true for me. They often realized rather silently and integrated themselves gently, almost unnoticed into my life.

That makes sense, does it not? Dazzling light would hurt the eyes. And brilliant fanfares might have scared me. Gentle, on the other hand, comes easily. Therefore it needs some degree of awareness to perceive it.


Not attaining our goals but the realization that everything is in the flow, in constant movement, is the achievement of growing older.“

-Stefanie Neumann

The world I grew up in taught us that we have to achieve something. We have to work hard, and set goals, and demonstrate something in the end.

My house, my car, my pool.

Often I see the result of those doctrines, today. I hear about heart attacks, burnout and about people who cease to exist at their desk due to too much work. What for?

A house, a car, a pool?

I can’t demonstrate any of that. Neither a house, nor a car, nor a pool. For a long time I thought, my dreams had faded in the sand. But they have not.

I have an abundance of peace, love and joy in my life.

Nearly nothing of what I had dreamed of as a young girl turned out like I had imagined it. Yet, nearly all of it became true for me.


The world I grew up in taught us that we can and have to control everything. The world I live in has shown me, that this is not the case.“

-Stefanie Neumann

And seemingly I am not the only one who feels like this. Matt from Must Be This Tall To Ride writes in is post „Happy Birthday, Mom“:

Each day I wake up, I get incrementally closer to making total peace with that: I am not in control. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. But everything’s going to be okay.”


As scary as this may seem, sometimes, it is true, nevertheless:

I cannot control anything. Nothing. But I can allow and trust.

I cannot control how others react to me.  I cannot control how the weather will be, tomorrow, or who will enter the bus with me, today.

I can allow myself to experience peace with others. I can allow myself to enjoy the day, and to have a happy bus ride.  And I can trust that all is well.

And amongst all that I often still feel like I did in my mid twenties. Only with more life experience.

How are you doing with growing older? Are you having similar experiences? Or is it completely different for you?

Much love,