My mom has crystal clear common sense. She's highly observant of human nature and how/why people react and respond the way they do.
One observation that she shared with me as I approached 30 was:
"As people age, some lose their sense of humor. They forget how to laugh, and laugh at their self."
How I put it:
You get bitter or you get better.
Now that I am in my 30s and I reflect on how we age, how we are taught to deal with/handle our emotions, it's so easy to see why some lose this sense of light-heartedness. The world can be tough, and it strengthens the ego's grip of temporary satiation:
Consumption of anything but digesting your emotions.
Especially if you're dealing with mental illness like depression (as I have), anxiety, or PTSD or anything in between, there's a line between healing and dealing.
Dealing with your emotions may lead you to feeling defeated, disconnected, or the ultimate dead end: apathy or pessimism that "its never going to change."
Healing your emotions and aging gracefully requires participation, a choice in every decision and moment to try and choose more wisely. This means making choices that help you cope and move you forward, like therapy, medicine (anti-depressants are a good thing in the right prescriptive settings), and/or coaching.
Most importantly, the world is filled with gravitas, a weighted, anchor, that can feel like moving forward can't be done. Maybe that's what the powers at be want: to keep us imprisoned from feeling like there's possibility. So, what can you do?
Be brave. Be courageous in your choices and resolve to move forward, identify how your feeling and why, and to stay bright. Be careful not to placate your despair with unchecked positivity -- I am all about being rational as I am about emotional intelligence.
Choosing to look for joy in the impossible is a great act of liberation. It leads to action to inspire and heal yourself and others.