19 Things Older Folks See as a Huge Waste of Their Time

The older we get, the more we realize there are certain things in life we don’t need to give our time to. This could be because they’re draining or because there are more important things. Here are 19 things older people realize aren’t worth their time or energy.

Societal Expectations

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Partners in Fire writes, “The greatest blessing of age is that we stop caring about what other people think. We live life on our own terms and stop doing stuff to fit in.” You start to live life according to your own personal values and not societal pressures.


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Older people will always choose peace over drama. They may even walk away from any situations that threaten their peace. For example, Tiny Buddha writes, “The drama keeps us absorbed, and it keeps us enmeshed (unhealthily) with others, but it leaves very little room for real peace and joy.”


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Perfection is never worth anyone’s time and energy because it’s completely unattainable. Focusing on being “good enough” is often enough. Older people will let go of the pursuit of perfection in all aspects of their lives and instead would rather focus on their personal bests rather than societal standards.

Quantity of Friends

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The quality of friendships will always matter more than the number of friendships. Older people prefer to focus on deepening the connections they already have to create more meaningful relationships. They’ll let go of any friendships where they feel the need to maintain anything superficial.

Past Battles and Disappointments

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The only way a person can grow is by letting go of past battles and disappointments. Instead, people should value experiences that contribute to personal development. With maturity comes choosing battles wisely, and if it’s going to harm a person’s peace, then it’s not worth it.

Body Worries

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Accepting that your body is going to change, and not for the best, is one of the first things older people try to do. This helps to give them self-confidence as they get older because they don’t have to worry about how they look. They’ll become less influenced by societal standards as they realize that won’t make them happy.

Ignoring Your Dreams

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Older people no longer want to ignore any dreams they may have had to put off due to family or finances. For example, BestLife writes, “It’s time to discover what satisfaction means for you, and how to refocus your life to create more of it.” They start to realize freedom comes with age and they can do more with life.

Not Accepting Yourself

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Being able to accept yourself with all the quirks that come with you will lead you to greater happiness. This may also mean letting go of the need to fit in, especially because you don’t need to be liked by everyone. It’s important to embrace your individuality because that’s what makes you who you are.

Not Controlling Your Emotions

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As you get older, one thing you become better at is controlling and regulating your emotions. You’ll also find that you start to react better to any bad news. As you mature, you realize what’s actually important are the emotional goals you have with loved ones.


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Realizing that material possessions don’t bring you happiness is one thing that happens as you get older. Instead of purchasing new things, you instead focus on experiences and relationships. By simplifying life, you get to focus on what truly matters, and that’s not a new car.

Career Success

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You soon start to realize that career success isn’t the only measure of worth in life. When you get older, you want to have more of a work-life balance, especially when retirement is edging closer. You may also start to find fulfillment outside of work, as this brings you more personal satisfaction.

Things Beyond Your Control

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You start to recognize the futility that comes with worrying about things beyond your control. The best thing you can do is concentrate on areas where you can make a difference in life. You want to embrace serenity and practical action in the face of challenges.

Social Engagements

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Instead of attending everything you’ve been invited to, you’ll prioritize social engagements that are the most important and ensure you have time for yourself as well. You prefer deep conversations and genuine friendships, which means you don’t need to attend superficial gatherings anymore.


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Something that stops becoming so important as you age is competitiveness. Instead, you start enjoying your personal activities and go at your own speed with them. You find joy in your hobbies and pastimes without the need to excel. Now, you prefer the option of relaxation over always having to be the best.

Birthday Celebrations

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You don’t feel the need to put so much effort into your birthday celebrations anymore or have huge parties with presents and people you barely know. This is supported by Gen Twenty, which writes, “We begin to understand the importance of people over presents. The older we get, the less we care about presents.”

Family Roles

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If you have children, you don’t have to worry about them or take care of them so much when you get older. This is because they’ve now become adults. You can have adult-to-adult relationships with mutual respect instead of having to put so much of your energy into raising them.


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There is nothing more liberating than releasing any unnecessary burdens. It means you can embrace a lighter life, giving you a more joyful approach to it. Getting older means realizing what you do and don’t need to keep hold of, allowing you to release things in life that feel too heavy.

Old Bad Habits

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You start to realize that some of your habits are having a negative effect, and you can now change them for more positive ones and pursue what’s important to you. This can mean you learn and try new things without listening to what others say. It encourages a growth mindset instead of sticking with things that are doing the opposite.

The Need for Approval

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One advantage of getting older is that you no longer feel the need for approval. You realize it’s unfulfilling for you because it can stop you from doing what you truly love. You prefer to embrace self-confidence and the only validation you care about is your own.

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