Thanks to Facebook, everyone in the world seemed to know that one week ago I turned 68. There was a pile-on of cliches about aging. I buried myself in bed, trying to sleep through it all, the way I used to sleep through my clinical depression in graduate school.
But, the reality has been that the older I am getting the more contract assignments I am getting in executive communications and at a higher rate than in my middle age. My hunch is that it's because I have gotten much better at how I present myself to prospects and interact with clients.
The eagerness to please has been toned down. That transmits a message that I really do know my stuff, at least enough so that I don't have to sell my personality so much. Another change has been that as we age we need less of the status symbols so we're not desperate for money. About 12 years ago I owned a house as a primary residence and a cottage down the Jersey shore. I felt then like I needed that. Currently I rent in affordable housing established for senior citizens. The savings on heat, hot water, and electricity are wonderful. So, when I pitch for an account I'm more relaxed. No, I don't need the money. The money would only be nice.
Another advantage coming with aging is a thicker skin. When criticism comes, I absorb it. Therefore, my cover letters and resumes have gotten better through feedback.
The only regret I have, at least this week, about aging is the reduced energy level. I could once work non-stop for days and nights. Now I need my zzzzzzzs.