Viva, I know for a fact you make a difference in the lives of people here on AN. I know it isn't the same as working with patients, but it ain't no small 'taters neither.
I guess I'm through and past middle-age, being almost 67. (in 3 months) Mentally and emotionally I like being older because I have ceased being so self-conscious, which really is a nice relief. And mostly I have gone through and resolved some fairly serious emotional problems from way long time ago. They never disappear, but you can get them to loosen their vise-like grip with therapy and decent meds.
Physically, this age brings some rude shocks; you almost never think of it happening to your OWN self, you know, even when you know it will eventually! Aches, creaks and groans, not being as agile; getting all the moles and stuff on your skin that used to gross you out when you saw your grandmother in a bathing suit...and of course, Mean Old Mr. Gravity, who lets you know that since gravity is the LAW, you cannot escape it! Certain things just give up being 'pert' after a while, even with architecturally designed under-garments.
Do you remember when some older person would tell you not to make a certain face "because it will FREEZE that way"? Alas, alack, it is true! The repetition of a facial movement over the years builds up to a permanent feature. ACH! AUGH! Years of smoking gave me that 'feathered' upper lip; vigorously rubbing my eyes has given that thin skin a crepe-like texture, and since I have had a habit of frowning in concentration, I have the nice || between my eyebrows. If you don't believe it can happen to you, live and learn! And to top it all off, I can see that I am losing some of my nicely plumping interstitial tissue!
When 'they' say "OLD AGE IS NOT FOR SISSIES, they aren't kidding. It sounds cute to say it that way, but it is also true. I don't even consider myself to be in Old Age yet, but I am getting pretty profound hints of things to come. I am trying to lessen the effects by, you know, all that eating right and exercising, etc, etc., but even knowing what I know I fall short.
I have been on Soc Sec (retirement) for a while now. Thank goodness I can still work (and grouse about it), but I don't have to deal with workplace politics! Private duty is just right for me, if I have to work, which I do. When I got my first SS check, I thought WOW! I can DO this! Now hubby is on SS too, and even with both checks being pretty good amounts, it is still a struggle. If you add up the two checks and divide it by four (weeks) it is just one good paycheck like hubby earned when he was a grocery-chain truck driver, or when I was working as a nurse. Even though it's a good amount, it is just one person's take-home and there ARE two of us... plus the dogs. And I hate to say it, but I hope any future canines/felines we might own do NOT require professional grooming!
So, life goes on, for the most part, part insult and part hilarity. Enjoy and appreciate every little thing you can, to help tide you over when the going gets tough. If you live long enough that you can't DO practically anything, at least you'll have memories...IF you are lucky.