The concept of “your best years” infuriates and saddens me at the same time. It seems to me that nothing good comes from it — that it only serves to cause anxiety end regret.
Regret. Older adults I speak with mention the “best years” in regretful terms. They yearn for a better time — when responsibilities and old bodies did not drag them down. They say stuff like, “I would love to do x, but I can’t… because I have children and because I have a house and because I have x and y and z”. It annoys me to no end and hurts bad… especially when said by people I love because they are building castles of excuses that last a lifetime.
Anxiety. People my age (20 years ish) mention the “best years” in terms of the anxiety that comes with having to reach up to the expectations set by society. They say stuff like “I should have more fun” and “I should travel and party” because my time is running out — because I am living during my “best years.” Hell, that’s some self-deprecating stuff. How can you ever have a good time if you are always trying to force yourself to have fun?
All we have is now. We may be 20 years old, 40 years old, or 80 years old, and still, this does not change. Some things change with age. Our bodies become frailer, our minds less sharp… more is expected by us. But, it is our choice to make the best of it or let ourselves be trapped by it.
Live life in the present moment. Stop caring about what society and other people will make you happy. They are not you.
Remember. Your best years are now — if you make it so.