2006: Issue 10
You’re Only as Old…
As you feel. For me, depending on the moment, that can range from five to 85, with my actual chronological age about half-way in between. I have a difficult time thinking much beyond 85, and am counting on that changing as I inch closer.
They say that 50 is the new 40. The fastest growing population is the “old, old”, defined as 85 and older, and to top it off, the fastest growing population from a percentage standpoint is the centenarians – those 100 plus years of age. So “what is old?” or “what is middle age?”
Perhaps this is on my mind for May is my birthday month; or perhaps because of the email I received recently from my father with the subject line, “the old man”. Expecting another internet joke or cartoon, I was surprised and elated when reading it to find he was merely sharing his good news – he hit a hole in one! (Yes, golf.) The second in his life time. Not bad for an 81 year old. Frankly, not bad for any age. I smiled with pride, feeling his elation as if we were in the room together, and later, recognized, that wrapped in this feat were many life lessons.
Throughout my life, especially in his retirement, he has demonstrated you’re only as old as you feel; that you can teach an old dog new tricks; with age comes wisdom; you get better with practice; a little luck doesn’t hurt; winning the game is only possible if you keep on playing; don’t sweat the small stuff; and by all means, celebrate your successes – to name just a few. They seem to have worked pretty well for him for at 81 he seems to me to be forever 71.
Maybe he will make it to 100, and maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll get a hole in one at 99. Time will tell, as it will for you and me. I often hear people say, “I’m too old” (at 55) or “It’s too late to do that” or “I don’t want to live to be that old.” Or, “it wasn’t like that in the old days.” – whenever those were. All judgments that tend to stifle our lives, essentially age us out mentally, if not physically.
Observation: We are living longer, with possibilities of how to live exponentially growing and unfolding everyday, if only we will expand our views, and take ownership of the adage, “50 is the new 40.”
Assessment: We all have the capacity to “make a hole in one”, no matter our chronological age or sport. What matters is the attitude and approach we take to living every day, whether we’re 41 or 81.
Copyright 2006, Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. All rights reserved.