Tara Crooks
Limitless Contributor

As we embark on yet another year passing I am seriously starting to feel "old". I don't know how to explain this feeling except to tell you that as each year passes I am just amazed at how much faster they seem to go. It doesn't always have to happen on my birthday; turning into a New Year has the same affect.


What's funny though is if you were to visit my home you'd look around and quickly realize I'm not a "new shiny object" kind of girl. I love primitives and antiques. I like for things to have a story, a little wear and tear. Things made of real wood vs. particle board, things with layers of paint and roughed up edges. Like yesterdays lasagna, I just believe that there are certain things in life that are better with age.


Secretly — and now not so secretly — I hope that I'm one of these things. I hope as I age I acquire more wisdom, life knowledge, patience, maybe common sense. I hope that I can appreciate the true value of a lifelong friendship and family — children, then grandchildren. I hope I learn to accept my body for the wonderful machine that it is instead of critiquing it at every blemish or curve.


When you stop to think about it there aren't just some things that get better with age, there are many things. Stop to think about it...


Antiques and Collectibles: I would argue that their worth is not only in monetary value but also in the sentimentality of the many years of cherished possession.


Trees: A tree starts off a seedling, and it's never really a GOOD TREE until its many, many years old. To truly appreciate this, go sit outside of that big ole' Oak and then compare it to the one down in the pot at Home Depot.


Cook Books: Best-loved, classic cookbooks are the ones that are marked up, pages dog-eared, notes in the corners, with spills of food and fingerprints.


Fine wine or liquor: Full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, dessert wines, scotch, vintage ports, whiskey, and higher-alcohol, full-bodied beers all taste better when aged.


Cheese: Ever had a really good aged cheddar, blue cheese, brie, or limburger? Without proper aging, these delectable cheeses would lack their distinctive flavor and characteristic texture.


Jeans: Ooooh there's nothing like your favorite pair is there? Ask my husband, he will sometimes be seen sporting ones that I swear are from 1987.


Classic Cars: Nothing beats a "new car smell" except for the ageless appeal of a classic car. Plus, they're typically paid off and cheaper to insure.


Photo Albums: Think about how precious your photos are to you years down the road. Did they hold that same value the day you took them? Probably not.


And of course, our guru's here at USAA (shameless plug) would argue that other things that get better with age are your IRA, TSP investment, 401K, college savings, and life insurance.


So I'm heading into this New Year with a new perspective of celebrating that I am just that much more seasoned, that much more valued, and that much more...well, awesome. I hope you do too!